Software Media & Inks



  • Leading manufacturer, NUtec Digital Ink offers a unique proprietary bulk ink system engineered to ensure a continuous supply of ink to the Epson® DX4, DX5, DX6 and DX7 print heads used in wide-format digital inkjet presses.

     

    NUbis is a bulk ink system from NUtec Digital Ink which enables more efficient printing with uninterrupted refilling, giving the functionality of a cartridge with the advantages of a bulk system. The system holds either 1000ml or 2000ml degassed pouches, which are easy to replace when empty, even during printing without disrupting the print session.

     

    Replacing pouches can be done quickly and cleanly as the custom-designed needle connecter attaches easily to the nozzle of the pouch for a rapid, spill-free refilling process which reduces ink wastage. Empty pouches can be folded and disposed of in accordance with regional waste disposal measures, while the outer box is 100% recyclable.

     

    “Installation of our NUbis bulk ink system is simplified with the supporting tools we provide including our Quick Install guide, detailed components list and step by step installation video available on our YouTube channel, “ says Darren Claassens, Head of Sales and Marketing at NUtec Digital Ink. “Additionally, our network of distributors and dealers are fully trained on the system and are able to assist with installation and technical support.”


     www.nutecdigital.com





  • Agfa has announced the release of SolidTune, a breakthrough prepress software solution for offset packaging printing that excels by reducing ink consumption and allowing faster turnaround time for greater production efficiency, improved image quality.

    SolidTune has been developed with the specific challenges of packaging production in mind, building on the success of the crucial elements of InkTune and PressTune, which are part of the highly regarded Agfa ECO3 program for sustainable innovation. The new technique applies a unique algorithm to the solids and text, after screening prior plate imaging. This process reduces the amount of ink needed for printing by an average of 3%.

    SolidTune is available on license in Apogee and Amfortis prepress workflows and can be used with any screening technology, including Agfa SPIR@L.

    New technology innovation for packaging
    As the last stage of the rendering process, SolidTune applies a unique ink saving algorithm to the solid 1-bit pixels, before final output. Unlike other solutions, the software has been devised with unique edge protection, meaning the algorithm ensures the edges of the solids are preserved to keep the print clean and crisp. This helps to create a better printable 1-bit file for offset packaging printing, where spot colors are often printed as solids.

    “The packaging market is growing, and the opportunity is growing for converters, meaning they are constantly searching for new technologies that can help them deliver even better print quality with strong colours, but at cost-efficient levels,” says Andy Grant, Agfa’s Global Head of Software.

    “We are now ramping up our unique offering for the demanding packaging market by leveraging our deep expertise in offset printing to introduce innovative solutions, such as SolidTune, that will have a considerable impact on the bottom line for the converter and the long-term sustainability of the process.”

    SolidTune: less ink, faster production
    Delivering exceptional ink-saving benefits, this new approach naturally shortens the overall production times, as the thinner solid ink film enabled by SolidTune takes less time and energy to dry. And with faster drying, downstream processes such as finishing and die-cutting can take place sooner, allowing converters to respond to demands from brand owners for faster delivery and also to save on warehouse costs.

    Furthermore, the implementation of SolidTune into the workflow improves ink distribution and reduces problems with ink offsetting from one impression to the next. There will also be less force on the substrate from the ink system, which prevents plucking (or picking) of fibers from the top paper layer; a problem that is known to cause reduced image quality and potential rejection of jobs.

    “This clever tool, which is very user-friendly and simple to impose during the rendering process, provides quite significant improvements in print quality,” states Grant.

    SolidTune can be combined with any screening but works optimally in combination with SPIR@L – Agfa’s revolutionary patented screening technology which was extended from commercial into packaging printing in 2021 – to achieve even bigger ink savings.

    SolidTune & SPIR@L screening enlargement
    Grant concludes, “SolidTune is another innovation that Agfa added to its ECO³ program to maximise ink reduction and value whilst still delivering the highest quality possible and putting converters at the leading edge of innovation.”





  • This milestone highlights Durst Group's transformation from a press manufacturer to a solutions provider (“Pixel to Output”) in the digital printing industry.

    Durst Group, manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, announces the 500th customer installation of Durst Workflow Software. This milestone highlights Durst Group's transformation from a press manufacturer to a solutions provider (“Pixel to Output”) in the digital printing industry. Founded in 2019, the Durst Software & Solutions Division now has more than 60 employees and has developed Durst Workflow, the most comprehensive software solution in the market that is also open to third-party providers, and successfully integrated it into its customers' production.

    Michael Deflorian, Business Unit Manager, Durst Software & Solutions, explains: “We are proud that more than 500 customers from different sectors rely on our workflow solution. With the help of their feedback, we try to improve our products every day to offer the best software ecosystem for the digital printing industry."

    Durst Workflow is the high-end solution for fully automated management of prepress and production tasks. Originally developed to provide the highest print quality for Durst printing systems, it is now also available for third-party printing systems. The complete browser-based solution has a user-friendly interface that allows the entire PDF workflow to be fully automated. Durst Workflow integrates seamlessly with the customer's existing software environment, enabling a higher level of automation than comparable stand-alone products. Thanks to preconfigured corrections, data preparation is faster and more efficient, and the integrated, powerful color engine guarantees exact color accuracy right from the start. With Durst Workflow, it is possible to print more while using less ink, thanks to predefined color saving profiles that can be applied with just one click.

    Serge Clauss, Product Manager, Durst Software & Solutions, explains: "We develop software solutions that help our customers make their prepress and production processes more predictable and productive. Reaching 500 users with our Durst Workflow solution is a clear statement that we are meeting our customers' expectations."






  • General Formulations, a leading manufacturer of Pressure Sensitive Films, announced today the launch of GF 765 Rainbow Holographic Film. GF 765 adds a whole new dimension of colour to graphics. It is 6-mil thick, for easy handling, and the permanent adhesive makes it great for decals, retail displays, packaging, or whatever you can dream up! It is compatible with solvent, latex, and UV curable inks.

    “We are extremely excited about the launch of GF 765 Rainbow Holographic Film,” states Matt Edwards, Digital Print Media Product Manager, General Formulations. “GF 765 is a fantastic product for our visual market. We can’t wait to see how it is creatively used in different applications and graphics.”

    generalformulations.com





  • Onyx Graphics, Inc., today announced a new annual prepaid option for ONYX Go, the company’s subscription RIP software. In addition to the no-contract monthly subscription, these one-, three-, and five-year prepaid options are available exclusively through Authorized ONYX Resellers. ONYX Go prepaid is available for both ONYX Go Lite and ONYX Go Plus product tiers. 

    “Offering print shops prepaid options was an easy decision for us,” said Matt Crawford, Director of Product Marketing at Onyx Graphics, Inc. “This is especially true when a new printer is leased instead of purchased. By enabling our channel to provide one-, three-, and five-year subscription options, ONYX resellers can tailor a complete package to suit each user’s specific needs.”

    ONYX Go prepaid also includes the same no-cost software support and free product upgrades as featured in monthly subscriptions to ensure the same premium user experience. Support teams are located across North America, Europe, and Asia with dedicated call centers for expert product help. Users can also access on-demand video libraries, how-to-guides, white-papers, and product manuals from the company’s website.

    onyxgfx.com






  • Esko continues to simplify and optimise production with emphasis on colour consistency, data processing and powerful insights 


    As the packaging industry continues to grow and adapt to the very real threats of today, supply chain volatility, labor shortages and rising consumable and energy costs all underline that converters need to accelerate their search for increased efficiencies throughout the workflow. That’s why Esko has today (28 March) launched a series of innovations to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation and unlock considerable productivity gains. 


    Esko Release 22.03 includes a host of new features, such as: 

    • New - Next generation Colour Preflight with Automation Engine and ArtPro+ 

    • New - Assembly instructions with ArtiosCAD, reducing assembly time by up to 20% 

    • New - Native Apple Silicon support for ArtPro+, DeskPack and Studio 

    • New - ArtPro+ Digital Edition for digital print workflows 

    • New - Improved WebCenter user experience and reporting 


    “This latest software release sees a number of breakthroughs in innovation that will streamline complex workflows,” said Jan De Roeck, Esko Director of Marketing, Industry Relations and Strategy. “We are simplifying processes from structural design through to reporting analytics, ensuring process control, and advanced colour software to deliver guaranteed quality and output to levels that were previously unattainable. 


    “Our continued software innovations respond to the market need for more effective processes that connect workflows between presses, departments, and even between remote facilities,” said Jan. “Many companies are now digitising many of their processes, tasks and workflows. We continue to support that ongoing digitisation by making our solutions even more powerful, robust, yet simple to engage and user-friendly. 


    “Addressing a growing need for actionable insights, this release also includes new features to enable businesses to make optimal use of data,” said Jan. “For those organisations who are already advanced with their digital transformation, collecting more data than ever before, we are empowering them to make more with what they have.” 


    New reporting tools in Automation Engine and business analytics in WebCenter help to turn that data into useful business insights that can help shape a business by identifying and untapping new efficiencies and eradicating further waste. “New additions to WebCenter, our packaging management solution, remove barriers and improve the user experience by increasing ease of use, while advanced reporting features and dynamic 3D viewing serve to better equip teams to meet today’s challenges,” said Jan. 


    “Our close relationship with customers and partners informs how we identify and respond to specific market trends,” he added. “With colour accuracy and consistency being key concerns for brands – and therefore to our customers - the ability to deliver accurate colour, regardless of run length or substrate, is of paramount importance to today’s packaging converters. That’s why we have introduced our next generation Colour Preflight in ArtPro+ and Automation Engine. 


    “Delivering a true forecast of colour conversion results, and with defined tollgates ensuring colour quality, it not only delivers accuracy on press but simplifies the editing process, simplifying colour matching work and speeding up the entire process,” said Jan. “What’s more, with Esko Release 22.03 we are making some of these innovations more accessible than ever. We want to remove barriers to digital transformation and ensure that everyone is equipped with the data, analytics and production intelligence to meet the challenges they already face today and are prepared for the emerging challenges of tomorrow. 


    “That’s why, for example, our new release also features a Digital Edition of ArtPro+. This underlines our commitment to digital print production, enabling digital printers to benefit from our native PDF editing software and take their own steps towards getting more jobs to press through automation. Similarly, this latest release has Native Apple Silicon support for ArtPro+, DeskPack and Studio. 


    “Esko Release 22.03 delivers value right across the workflow from ideation to production, be that through protecting the integrity of a design idea from screen to pack or driving efficiencies across the process and reducing the amount of waste generated,” said Jan. “These latest updates are focused on enabling customers to enhance and improve their workflow processes, by leveraging the benefits of the cloud and accessing the latest in automation technology. 


    “In the face of the disruptive market trends in the industry, we continue to work closely with our customers, listening and developing innovations that respond to demands and deliver tangible benefits,” said Jan. “This latest software release achieves this goal by enabling packaging converters to enjoy the accelerated business benefits that Esko solutions deliver.” 


    The new Esko Release 22.03 will be launched at a live webinar event, on Thursday, 7th April. To register for the free event, just click here


    For more information about the new features in Esko Release 22.03 and the full range of Esko software solutions, visit the Esko Innovation Hub here.







  • + Inkcups Launches Automated Artwork Preparation Software for Digital Printing

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    March 22 2022

    Global printing industry leader Inkcups announces the launch of ArtPrep, an automated artwork preparation software for digital printing that will greatly reduce time and labor associated with traditional manual preparation methods.

    ArtPrep automatically prepares artwork for digital printing through a flexible user interface that is adaptable to any workflow. The software easily integrates with all Inkcups digital printers and workflows and accepts PNG files directly through any user’s art department or automatically through an API connection. ArtPrep adds desired layers, including customisable trapping, and can manipulate image placement and size as well as perform image adjustments.

    By reducing image preparation time, ArtPrep improves overall productivity of Inkcups’ established digital printer workflows. This innovative new software has a unique capability to seamlessly handle variable data, name drops, challenging gradients, and highlights, all while providing maximum control over ink usage and production costs.

    “We’re excited to launch our first artwork preparation software, ArtPrep. This new capability will further enhance the Inkcups customer experience by offering significant time savings over manual preparation of artwork for printing. Our main priority is to make sure our customers can easily create high-quality artwork quickly and efficiently, while saving them time and labor,” said Ben Adner, CEO of Inkcups.

    ArtPrep is a huge cost and efficiency gain for companies handling any volume of artwork files for printing on Inkcups digital machines. The software is compatible with all Inkcups cylinder and flatbed printers, which include: the Helix®, Helix Hi-Fi®, Double Helix®, Revolution®, X360, X2®, X5®, X5-T, XJET, and XJET800. ArtPrep is especially suited for print-on-demand companies handling one-off printing.

    Inkcups will be offering two versions of the software: ArtPrep and ArtPrep Pro. ArtPrep is now available worldwide and will be available in Europe starting Spring 2022.





  • Display graphics print providers now have a powerful solution for saving media and reducing prep time with newly available EFI™ Fiery® Prep-it™ true-shape nesting and cut-preparation software. The newly available solution from Electronics For Imaging, Inc. connects to any digital front end (DFE) – including full integration with EFI Fiery proServer and Fiery XF DFEs – to increase the profitability of cut jobs printed on wide- to superwide-format inkjet printers.
     
    Media and time savings
     
    This easy-to-use, powerful offering can reduce the time needed to manually nest jobs by up to 90%. It also reduces nesting time by more than 10% compared with other leading true-shape nesting offerings. Plus, Fiery Prep-it software saves users more than 10% in media usage compared with other, similar products thanks to its highly effective nesting algorithms. Display graphics businesses that currently use rectangular in-RIP nesting will find that Fiery Prep-it software reduces media consumption to a fraction of what they use today.
     
    On media savings alone, this affordable, effective software can pay for itself in as little as 2 months.
     
    Efficient, accurate, and fast true-shape nesting for cut jobs such as stickers, road signs, and more, are three critical capabilities for a display graphics workflow product,” said John Henze, vice president of sales and marketing, EFI Fiery. “Fiery Prep-it software excels over other products because it delivers all three at an affordable price, saving our customers hours of prepress time while reducing material usage.”

    Automated cut job preparation
     
    Fiery Prep-it software can take jobs destined for cutting from different sources and prepare them quickly and correctly for print-then-cut production. This can be done manually or semiautomatically with the use of pre-sets and hot folders. Jobs that arrive to production from prepress workflow, web-to-print, or MIS solutions can take advantage of the capability to apply every available Prep-it cut setting in a full “hands-off” job production mode. Minimal-touch-point production reduces the potential for expensive human error and frees up operators for other important tasks such as graphic design or production planning.
     
    Decreasing preparation time, media consumption and touchpoints on cut jobs is the key to making customers’ operations more profitable.
     
    Economic advantages for all display graphics businesses

    Whether print businesses do their nesting layouts manually in Adobe® Illustrator®, or use an existing nesting solution, switching to Fiery Prep-it software offers compelling productivity gains and media savings. It has some of the best true-shape nesting technology on the market, including its 1° increment rotation capability and accurate double-sided nesting, giving users the ability to reduce media waste and turnaround time even further.
     
    On top of its ability to generate at least 10% in media savings, Fiery Prep-it also increases profitability by:

     

    • Giving companies the ability to win more tight-deadline business by preparing cut jobs in a fraction of the time required with manual nesting methods;
     
    • Reducing errors and expensive rework due to minimal touchpoints in job production with hot folders and automation capabilities;
     
    • Removing production bottlenecks with increased utilisation of existing printing and cutting equipment.
     
    The software integrates with EFI Fiery proServer and Fiery XF DFE print servers, providing access to an additional 1,300+ cutter and router types on top of built-in Prep-it connectivity options. The software can also connect to any RIP or DFE that accepts PDF files, serving as a central hub for cut job preparation.
     
    For more information about EFI solutions for display graphics printing, visit www.efi.com.





  • FloorSignage, LLC, launches DriveOn Graphics, the world’s first wide format print media designed to be applied to surfaces that support both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. DriveOn Graphics is the first retro reflective digital print media created with drivers in mind. DriveOn Graphics can be applied directly to streets, parking lots and driveways providing motorists with clear visual communication. This first of its kind material offers ground graphics in full color that will stand up to the rigors of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

    “Placing graphics on outdoor walkways was a radical idea in our industry back in 2013 when we launched AlumiGraphics Grip,” said Scott Wieclaw, President of FloorSignage, LLC. “Thanks to our product, AlumiGraphics Grip, outdoor floor and ground graphics are now commonly used worldwide and known to be the most reliable solution for graphics on concrete, asphalt, and brick, withstanding weather conditions and pedestrian traffic,” says Wieclaw.

    “We began R&D efforts for DriveOn Graphics not long after launching AlumiGraphics Grip, in response to customers asking if our material could withstand vehicle traffic,” continued Wieclaw. “The missing piece of the puzzle was to develop a wide format print media product that would combine the ease and utility of a pedestrian use graphic with the strength and durability of a vehicular traffic marking,” said Wieclaw.

    Until recently, stenciled, painted graphics and thermoplastic products have been the only options for graphics placed on parking lot and driveway surfaces. “DriveOn Graphics provides a better alternative to these current methods that suffer from design limitations, are difficult and expensive to apply and are not easily removed,” stated Wieclaw.

    “Not simply just an outdoor ground graphic, DriveOn Graphics offers vehicle durability,” explains Wieclaw. “When ground graphic materials are used on surfaces supporting vehicle traffic such as parking garages, cross walks, drive thru lanes and transit stations, most graphics cannot withstand the forces they are subjected to by vehicle traffic. Some manufacturers claim their graphic materials can withstand limited vehicle traffic, but the truth is, these materials are thin and soft leaving them susceptible to damage,” according to Wieclaw. “DriveOn Graphics provides dimensional stability, designed to withstand the kinetic friction that takes place between a tire and the graphic material,” said Wieclaw.

    “DriveOn Graphics solves the common issue faced by graphic materials used in areas serving both pedestrian and vehicle traffic, providing a retro reflective, slip resistant pedestrian safe product reducing accident risk. DriveOn Graphic’s retro-reflectivity results in a highly visible material both day and night, providing crucial response time for vehicle drivers,” said Wieclaw.

    DriveOn Graphics can be cut to shape and used as turn arrows, symbols, and other traffic control and curbside messaging. The material is matte white and direct print compatible with latex & UV flatbed and hybrid printers. USA Made, DriveOn Graphics offers easy, heat free installation, and is sold in 44” x 35’ rolls to suppliers.

    “This new material blows the door wide open for endless uses from parking lot traffic markings to creative cross promotion for brands that can now easily access endless amounts of available surface area. Think branded parking spaces or sponsored curbside

    pickup areas and electric vehicle charging stations. There are no limits to the uses of DriveOn Graphics,” says Wieclaw.

    DriveOn Graphics is a product of FloorSignage, LLC. Headquartered in Sunbury, Ohio, FloorSignage, LLC has built a niche as the industry expert offering premium quality substrates that serve as the most reliable solutions for graphics applied direct to rigid wall and floor surfaces in a wide range of environments both indoors and outdoors.

    floorsignage.com





  • Inkcups announces the launch of ArtPrep, an automated artwork preparation software for digital printing that will greatly reduce time and labor associated with traditional manual preparation methods.

    ArtPrep automatically prepares artwork for digital printing through a flexible user interface that is adaptable to any workflow. The software easily integrates with all Inkcups digital printers and workflows and accepts PNG files directly through any user’s art department or automatically through an API connection. ArtPrep adds desired layers, including customizable trapping, and can manipulate image placement and size as well as perform image adjustments.

    By reducing image preparation time, ArtPrep improves overall productivity of Inkcups’ established digital printer workflows. This innovative new software has a unique capability to seamlessly handle variable data, name drops, challenging gradients, and highlights, all while providing maximum control over ink usage and production costs.

    “We’re excited to launch our first artwork preparation software, ArtPrep. This new capability will further enhance the Inkcups customer experience by offering significant time savings over manual preparation of artwork for printing. Our main priority is to make sure our customers can easily create high-quality artwork quickly and efficiently, while saving them time and labor,” said Ben Adner, CEO of Inkcups.

    ArtPrep is a huge cost and efficiency gain for companies handling any volume of artwork files for printing on Inkcups digital machines. The software is compatible with all Inkcups cylinder and flatbed printers, which include: the Helix®, Helix Hi-Fi®, Double Helix®, Revolution®, X360, X2®, X5®, X5-T, XJET, and XJET800. ArtPrep is especially suited for print-on-demand companies handling one-off printing.

    Inkcups will be offering two versions of the software: ArtPrep and ArtPrep Pro. ArtPrep is now available worldwide and will be available in Europe starting Spring 2022.





  • + AVERY DENNISON® LAUNCHES NEW DIGITAL PRINT SOLUTIONS

    Avery Dennison Graphic Solutions has ...

    March 08 2022

    Avery Dennison Graphic Solutions has today launched a new generation of digital print films to empower businesses in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia to create durable inspirations on walls and vehicles, quickly and easily.

    The new Avery Dennison MPI 2904 Easy ApplyTM is a smooth glossy, flexible vinyl film designed for vivid and high-quality digital print performance. It delivers great value for vibrant and creative applications with intermediate durability requirements, including; outdoor signage, wall murals, indoor and outdoor advertising, floor graphics, and even fleet vehicles with flat surfaces or simple curves. Complementing the MPI 2904 Easy Apply are the new Avery Dennison DOL 2960 Gloss and DOL 2980 Matte overlaminates that give users both improved handling efficiency and superior finished graphics.

    “With life returning to pre-pandemic norms, owners and managers of corporate offices and public spaces are eager to offer employees, customers and visitors refreshing new looks and experiences,” said David Newman, Senior Marketing Manager for Graphics Solutions in Asia Pacific, Avery Dennison. “This launch is the result of our focus on customers’ needs to reduce inventory and maximise application options. The MPI 2904 Easy Apply is a dependable solution for converters, designers and building owners to use for multiple applications quickly and easily.”

    “Our production teams were able to achieve sharp and smooth printing results with minimal fuss using the Avery Dennison MPI 2904 Easy Apply. It was a seamless process, and we have in fact used the MPI 2904 for a large client with confidence,” said Luke Parisella, Operations Manager, Image Box Group who was one of the early adopters of the new product.

    Using the new MPI 2904 Easy Apply film along with either the DOL 2960 Gloss or DOL 2980 Matte overlaminate, business owners and managers can create exciting new possibilities such as remodelling workspaces for staff, reimagining spaces for shoppers and diners in hospitality, leisure and retail industries, or revitalised branding on fleet vehicles, all within a short timeframe. With Easy ApplyTM adhesive technology, the new MPI 2904 has air egress channels to easily eliminate bubbles and wrinkles during application.

    The films have undergone extensive and comprehensive testing and are backed by the company’s long-established Integrated Component System (ICS) Warranty Program. All of the films announced today are available through the authorised Avery Dennison Graphic Solutions distributors.





  • + Colour Graphics Services encourages upgrade to Myiro-1 spectro with trade-in offer

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    March 08 2022

    Colour Graphic Services, the Australian colour management, ISO and G7 specialist, also dealer for the highly-rated Myiro spectrophotometers in Australia and New Zealand, has announced a trade-in offer on any older spectrophotometer or colorimiter, to a Myiro-1 complete with Myiro Tools software, scanning/spot colour ruler USB cable, calibration cap, mini tripod for monitor calibration, downloadable spectrophotometer configuration software and storage case.


    David Crowther, Managing Director of Colour Graphic Services says: “As someone who is passionate about correct colour in the print and packaging sectors, I like to see people using the right tools to measure, profile and calibrate. I have not found a better instrument for this than the Myiro-1 together with Myiro Tools software. Many printers are using outdated, inadequate or out-of calibration spectrophotometers and colorimiters and wondering why colour is still not right.”

    Crowther continues: “To change this paradigm, for the month of March, we are offering 15% off the price of the Myiro-1 with MyiroTools software as a trade-in allowance for any older measuring device. This equates to between $550 and $700 saving, to upgrade to the best hand-held spectrophotometer/software combination available in the world today!”

    The Myiro-1 bundle can come with either Basic or Advanced MyiroTools software, which is then owned outright. Colour Graphic Services (CGS) requires the serial number of the traded-in device, which is then sent to CGS, for responsible disposal. The discount is applied at time of purchase.


    Trade-In pricing is: Myiro-1 with Basic Tools: $3,209 ex-gst (normally $3,775)

    Myiro-1 with Advanced Tools $3,927 ex-gst (normally $4,620)


    Crowther adds: “We can be a bit flexible with the March 31st cut-off due to the current shipping and flood situation. I am confident that anyone upgrading to the Myiro-1 bundle will experience colour accuracy they have never seen before.”



    ENDS


    www.colourgraphicservices.com

    www.myiro.com 





  • Xaar has launched Sure Flow, its new ultrasonic self-cleaning mode, designed to help users keep their print at its very best – and without the need to remove the printhead at any stage during the process.

    With Xaar’s TF Technology ink recirculation, a regularly maintained printhead is extremely unlikely to block. However, external factors and challenging applications can create exceptionally harsh operational environments for inkjet printing.

    Sure Flow enables users to clear and prevent nozzle blockages without the need to remove the printhead, maximising operational print time for optimum productivity. Enabled by software, users simply activate the mode as required by adjusting the settings and loading a command file. This drives each channel to work at maximum power and frequency to create ultrasonic waves that produce controlled vibrations of the channel walls without pausing production or the need to remove the printhead.

    Graham Tweedale, General Manager of Xaar’s printhead business, said: “By minimising downtime and maintenance, Sure Flow can provide users with unrivalled reliability and enhanced productivity across the Xaar recirculating printhead range.”

    Xaar worked in collaboration with a number of customers and Sure Flow has already been tested in real-world operations worldwide. To date, feedback has been extremely positive, and all Xaar recirculating printhead users are invited to contact their representative or use the Xaar Community to gain access to the new Sure Flow mode.

    Graham concluded; “Sure Flow is the latest development from Xaar that continues our focus on delivering practical innovation for our customers, helping them keep their print at its very best in even the harshest environments.”





  • Significans Automation Inc., a leading provider of integration and automation solutions for the graphic arts industries, has made its first foray into software development with the launch of Virtual InkBooks™, a powerful colour management tool for creating Cloud-based custom ink libraries that can be tailored to any job.
     
    Designed to work in conjunction with Esko’s WebCenter and Automation Engine, Virtual InkBooks™ enables users throughout a printing or packaging operation to view Pantone and custom ink libraries in real-time, and allows production teams to easily customize and record job-specific ink data in the Cloud. These libraries can be used for repeat work downstream or across multiple jobs or output devices, reducing make-ready costs and improving and augmenting color consistency across multiple platforms.
     
    According to Marc Raad, CEO of Signficans Automation, the entry into the world of software development was a natural progression for the company, which has enjoyed a tremendous track record of improving production efficiencies and automating workflows for its clients throughout the Americas.

    https://significans.com/virtual-inkbooks/
     
    In fact, Virtual InkBooks™ was first conceived after a conversation with one of our packaging clients, Bay Cities, which expressed a desire to reduce the variables, manpower, and costs associated with managing color consistency, particularly with re-orders,” explains Raad. “Over the next couple of months we worked closely with Bay Cities to develop a solution to address these specific needs, and the result was a robust piece of industry software.”
     
    Headquartered in Pico Rivera California, Bay Cities is a leading expert in printed corrugated displays and packaging operations. With the addition of Virtual InkBooks™, the company is now able to track and accurately reproduce colors.
     
    According to Bay Cities’ Director of IT and Automation, James Hawton, the company needed to make it easy for designers and pre-press staff to enter the color data in WebCenter to ensure it could track its colors and accurately reproduce them again on future orders.
     
    Hawton explains: “A lot of times when you go to press, you still need to make tweaks to hit a specific colour as closely as you can, and the biggest problem you run into is how to store what you’ve done on that specific machine after the initial run is complete.”
     
    With Virtual InkBooks™ we now have a specific location where we can store the color information and the LAB values that we worked on for a particular machine to get the result that we wanted,” adds Hawton. “So now whenever any graphic artist is going to work with that color, they will be working with the same variable. Significans Automation really delivered a great solution for our needs.”
     
    The software allows users, regardless of their location, skills, or printing application, to easily:

    • Mix and match Pantone and custom colors;
    • Enter color data in LAB or Spectral formats;
    • Save and reuse libraries for future projects;
    • Export libraries to Adobe Illustrator;
    • Enjoy the benefits of cloud-based remote access.
     
    According to Andreu Carroll, graphic designer with Bay Cities, prior to the completion of the software, the information for custom brand colors would often be lost from project to project because too much time had elapsed, or new people weren’t aware that a custom color had already been created, or someone may have given a newly created brand color an odd name that made it difficult to know what brand it belonged to.
     
    Carroll explains, “Now that we have Virtual InkBooks™ it helps prevent the graphic artist from having to recreate custom brand colors each time, and it streamlines the naming convention, saving design time, and improving our turn arounds on color management.”
     
    Based on the success of the Bay Cities pilot and initial feedback from others who have tested the product, Raad says that Significans Automation is planning to develop more software tools to round out its offerings and help customers further improve efficiencies throughout their organisations.






  • Color-Logic, a world leader in metallic colour systems and print embellishment--has added 644 new colours to the Color-Logic metallic colour system. The new colours bring the total Color-Logic colors to 924, of which 55 are golds. A key element of the gamut expansion is the inclusion of the blues, greens, violets, and browns so popular with brands today. All 924 Color-Logic metallic colours can be printed using only five inks or toners: silver ink or toner with CMYK on conventional substrates, or white ink or toner and CMYK on silver-based metallic substrates.

    Because graphic designers prefer to work with proven colours, Color-Logic provides licensed printers, at no extra cost, files with which they can produce their own Color-Logic swatch books. Providing Color-Logic swatch books to graphic designers, agencies, brands, and corporate marketers lets them see and select any of the 924 metallic colours that can be produced without trial or error.

    Discussing the new colours, Color-Logic Director of Sales and Marketing Mark Geeves said: "Together with Color-Logic embellishments, our 924 metallic colours provide graphic designers with unlimited ways to differentiate their clients in print. Already, Color-Logic licensed printers provide brands with economical, quick-turnaround work, and these new metallic colours only broaden the possibilities."

    Color-Logic develops colour communication systems and software tool sets for a variety of special effect printing applications. Color-Logic provides brand owners, product managers, corporations, and their advertising agencies the ability to differentiate themselves and their clients with a simple print production process that yields dramatic results. Color-Logic decorative effects utilise the existing workflows of printers and designers, yielding dynamic results without the use of special equipment. Color-Logic supports the value of print and works with designers and printers to enhance their printed media. For more information, visit www.color-logic.com





  • SA International (SAi), the leading provider of software solutions for the signmaking, digital printing, textile and CNC machining industries, has today announced the launch of FlexiDESIGN for macOS for sign and printmakers.

    SAi FlexiDESIGN is the leading design software for the sign and print industry. Now available in both PC and Mac versions, FlexiDESIGN is the perfect addition to any shop looking to add additional design seats.

    SAi’s popular FlexiDESIGN program that was previously available for PCs only, is now available for Mac users. Unlike other software, SAi’s FlexiDESIGN software was engineered from the ground-up for the sign and print industry, so it includes unique tools that make every aspect of job preparation and production faster.

    FlexiDESIGN for macOS is packed with features including:

    Native 64-bit application
    The ability to send to remote Windows production manager
    Variable data
    User data backup
    Vector erase tool
    Crop marks for manual trimming
    Color palette libraries
    Easy-to-define cut lines
    Free e-mail and phone support
    Free software upgrades
    Standard vectorizing tools*

    FlexiDESIGN for macOS is now available globally as a subscription. To purchase the design software visit www.thinksai.com or contact your authorized SAi reseller.





  • Latest Esko AVT innovation for print inspection at packaging converters delivers measurements “hundred times faster” 

    Packaging converters can now benefit from faster and more accurate inline colour inspection, with the launch of the latest innovation from Esko, AVT SpectraLab XF.


    Unveiled at the recent Esko Innovation Summit, AVT SpectraLab XF is a unique inline colour measurement solution based on a new, super-fast X-Rite sensor. With XRGA-compliance, AVT SpectraLab XF delivers the ability to measure during make-ready and production, ensuring colour and quality consistency across the entire print cycle.

    “When it comes to brand recognition and value, colour consistency and quality are absolutely crucial,” said Guy Yogev, Esko AVT Senior Director of Product Marketing. “The uniformity of a brand’s packaging color inspires trust and loyalty among consumers. But achieving perfectly reproduced brand colours for packages and labels requires converters to print to the numbers and monitor colour accuracy - all while manufacturing at high speeds and volumes.

    “Meeting this standard can be challenging, especially with increasing demand for shorter production runs as brands seek to grow market share with targeted campaigns, brand extensions and limited editions,” he said. “Using handheld manual measurement falls short of this challenge - measuring only a few points per roll is insufficient, time-consuming, and requires frequent operator intervention. AVT SpectraLab XF has been developed to help converters meet these brand expectations, through effectively measuring and monitoring during run-time and make-ready and ensuring converters print to colour target.”

    Delivering accurate and automated colour measurement for the full array of packaging applications, AVT SpectraLab XF incorporates a new X-Rite spectral sensor and can measure a complete vertical colour bar in a single repeat. Smaller, 4-5mm patches can be supported depending on press speed and a new LED lamp with M0, M1, and M2 correlates to offline inspection standards.


    “AVT SpectraLab XF is fast, accurate, and saves converters valuable time,” said Guy. “This new solution is capable of measuring colour targets and in-image colours in a much faster run time, delivering measurements one hundred times faster than before, with higher frequency and many more measurements per roll,” he said. “The technology delivers much better targeting and accuracy, and importantly can work with very flexible materials.”

    Guy explained that as AVT SpectraLab XF also enables measurements during make-ready, converters can save significant, valuable time in ensuring colour accuracy, as well as reducing job change time. “With the support for as small as 4mm targets or patches, users can also enjoy a saving on material trim area, while the optional data import/export option gives the ability to send data to various colour reporting systems, as well as ink-room interfaces such as X-Rite IFS.”

    Incorporating AVT SpectraLab XF into the inline inspection system not only saves time in setup, but it also maximises operator efficiency. “The system provides both visual inspection as well as colour measurement and enables every aspect of process and quality to be monitored. Using the BestMatch optional module, AVT SpectraLab XF suggests possible actions on press and saves time as well as reducing the workload further,” said Guy.  “It measures L*a*b*, Delta E, density and dot gain on flexible packaging and folding carton applications, comparable with offline devices, but all at point of print with no press stops, for maximum efficiency.

    To find out more about AVT SpectraLab XF, visit the Esko website. For details of the full range of Esko solutions, visit the Esko Innovation Hub at innovation.esko.com.

    About Esko
    Esko is a global provider of integrated software and hardware solutions that accelerate the go-to-market process of packaged goods.
    For each stakeholder in the process, Esko solutions enable them to work efficiently and deliver right-first-time packaging and marketing content on time, every time.
    Our goal is to make it easier for CPG and pharma businesses to manage their packaging, labeling, regulatory and marketing content. With our packaging management platform, brand marketing and packaging teams can increase their productivity, reduce costs, and save time.
    For packaging and label trade shops, premedia service providers and printer converters, we digitize, automate, and connect the entire print production process with software and hardware solutions for CAD design, prepress processes, flexo platemaking and print inspection.

    Facts & numbers

    • Packaging for 9 out of 10 major brands is produced by our customers
    • We are headquartered in Gent (Belgium)
    • Worldwide, we employ about 1,600 associates from 40 nationalities
    • We serve 25,000+ customers in 140+ countries
    • 61% of our staff are customer-facing daily
    • Our global sales network consists of 300+ direct sales staff and 120+ resellers

    For further information, please visit www.esko.com





  • NUtec Digital Ink has announced its latest UV-curable ink developed for Epson® DX4™, DX5™, DX6™, DX7™, I3200-U1™ & XP600™ printheads, adding to the company’s growing range of inks optimised for LED lamp curing.



    The Ruby R10-HYB is a general purpose, hybrid, UV-curable ink designed for rigid and roll-to-roll applications and is optimised for LED UV lamps. The company’s latest UV ink addition exhibits impressive flexibility for roll-to-roll applications while also providing excellent adhesion on a wide variety of rigid substrates.



    The R10-HYB performs well in a demanding, high speed printing environment and is designed for compatibility across a broad range of substrates including plastic, metal, wood and glass. Featuring a superior colour gamut for brighter, more vivid images, the R10-HYB is ideal for indoor point of sale signagedurable outdoor advertising and branded or custom promotional goods.


     


    The R10-HYB packaging configurations include 0.5L bottles, 220ml cartridges or 500ml cartridges. Colour options for an expanded gamut include CMYK, Lights and White plus a Varnish option for protecting your prints or adding texture and special effects.



     

    The R10-HYB printed images will last for up to 24 months provided the inks are used in regular applications using suitable substrates, while all NUtec inks are covered by the company’s Ink Delivery System (IDS) warranty.







  • Xeikon America today announced VariOne, a new variable data generation tool for Xeikon’s X-800 digital front-end. This integrated software innovation can immediately generate and print unique creative designs, based on an image or on vector graphics, in endless complex patterns. Xeikon’s VariOne is a true differentiator and has been developed and designed to add value and benefit brand owners, designers, illustrators, printers, converters and consumers. VariOne can achieve the highest levels of variable imagery possible today. Demonstrations can be run by appointment and the new VariOne will be commercially available as an option for systems running X-800 version 7.00 or higher.

    “Print is becoming more customised and valuable,” said Xeikon Director Product Management Jeroen Van Bauwel. “With VariOne, Xeikon is taking a significant leap forward in its research and development and now offers completely new horizons for differentiation. With VariOne it is possible to create thousands of unique and individual clips from a base design. With our new integrated variable data solution built into Xeikon’s digital front-end, the possibilities for producing unique images are limitless on both our dry toner and inkjet presses. The Xeikon strategy is to extend the capabilities of its X-800 workflow even further and expand the range of possible applications.”

    Differentiating products to meet consumer demand is a continuous challenge for brand owners. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for personalised goods, and they are on the lookout for products that uniquely express their personality and that can be shared on social media such as Instagram and Pinterest. In the fight against counterfeiting, which can impact consumer safety, brand owners are looking for new software technology solutions with extra image and text capabilities, and with hidden techniques to track and trace items such as unique patterns and images, hidden codes and guilloches. VariOne can be used as a tool to add an extra layer of security.


    With Xeikon’s VariOne, personalised image creation can be fully automated within the printing process. The software functionality achieves random selections from zero to millions. This variable data application offers endless uses and endless variations. What sets this innovation apart is the immediacy of the process. VariOne can immediately process, format and print unique creative designs featuring variable patterns with random elements and the widest gamut of colour combinations. Unique designs can be created on the fly and in minutes in a variety of unique patterns. This new innovation is a breakthrough and a complete game changer.

    The advantage of VariOne lies in the complete uniqueness of each design, which can be driven by the database or randomly created from bitmap or vector-based images, creating new and unusual designs in millions of shapes, styles and surreal effects. Brand owners will be able to utilise this opportunity in a variety of sectors with different applications for fashion magazines, retail catalogs, tourism marketing, promotional materials for football competitions or film festivals, as well as high-end label and packaging applications.

    For decades, cost has been the differentiator in our industries, but with the ever-rising costs of consumables and labor, it has now become virtually impossible to be successfully competitive based on that variable only. The focus has shifted to efficiency gained through automation. The new functionality of VariOne is the next step in efficient and sustainable variable data production, and VariOne also enables big savings in time and cost, both in prepress and in the pressroom. Van Bauwel said, “Xeikon is taking mass customisation to new levels with an explosion of creativity which will add value for everyone in the supply chain. Xeikon’s VariOne has taken a complicated prepress process and made it immediately fast and flexible.”





  • New features and functionality support business transformation and growth

     

    Packaging businesses can today benefit from more speed, efficiency, sustainability and quality across workflows, as Esko releases its newest innovations.

     

    True to its aim of continuous improvement through innovation, the global developer of leading integrated software and hardware solutions for packaging and labels customers has unveiled Esko Release 21.11. The update delivers a host of new features, functions and updates that further digitise, automate and connect processes to accelerate the go-to-market process of packaged goods. It also expands upon significant advances in software development and delivery to enable customers to achieve previously unattainable levels of connectivity, usability, and integration across workflows.

     

    “As a long-term partner to our customers, we are committed to innovating to ensure our solutions remain up to date and relevant, empowering and enabling anyone using them in the packaging value chain to benefit from operational efficiency, quality and sustainability improvements,” said Jan De Roeck, Esko Director of Marketing, Industry Relations and Strategy.

     

    “Many of the updates are focused on enabling customers to leverage the benefits of cloud technology,” said Jan, “which will boost connectivity, deliver further operational efficiencies and drive productivity across their entire workflow. Whilst further enhancements point to improved usability and the introduction of more automation and advanced reporting tools. These additions will further accelerate the business benefits Esko solutions have been delivering to users worldwide.”

     

    The new Esko Release 21.11 will be launched at a live Esko Innovation Summit, held in the UK, on November 18. Highlights include:

     

    Automation Engine - SaaS users can reduce data storage costs significantly with a new cloud storage facility, while enhanced integration and new performance tools help optimise workflow processes for users and ensure a completely connected workflow with more MIS partners.

     

    Flexo Engine – Included as part of Automation Engine, this new solution merges functionality, automation and a host of features developed to increase flexo plate room productivity. A new intuitive dashboard also helps to simplify operations. Auto Plate Cut further drives efficiency by automating the set-up of staggered cut plates – saving operators around 15 minutes per job. 

     

    PlateID – Part of Flexo Engine, this feature eliminates the need for handwritten labels and etching by automating the plate marking process, accurately imaging vital information with no additional hardware or steps to the workflow. PlateID ensures clear, permanent marking and removes the risk of ink loss in addition to the risk of manual error during marking. Operators can spend less time looking for the correct plates, leading to efficiency gains, and waste is minimised as the software calculates and identifies the ideal position for marks, to optimise plate utilisation. 

     

    ArtPro+ – The new Layout Edition of ArtPro+ includes basic step and repeat functionality as well as CAD-based sheet layout for improved speed. It features crucial prepress functionality to validate received artwork, such as Preflight, Inspectors and QA viewing, plus tools to create barcodes, new reporting and VDP templates, and dynamic marks. 

     

    WebCenter – As with Automation Engine, the latest WebCenter release features new simplified dashboard views. New usability enhancements and feature walk-throughs also make managing tasks and workflows easier than ever, and simplified deployment means users can now benefit from simpler and easier upgrades to newer WebCenter versions across sites.

     

    AVT SpectraLab XF – This new spectral measurement tool delivers inline absolute colour measurement at high press speeds. It measures L*a*b*, density and dot gain on flexible packaging and folding carton applications, comparable with offline devices, but all at point of print for maximum efficiency. With standard design and easy correlation to offline handheld instruments through a special calibration process, it is as simple to use as it is accurate.

     

    “The pandemic has accelerated existing packaging megatrends and added a fresh impetus for innovation,” said Jan. “This latest release underlines our commitment to working with customers to develop solutions they need to meet the challenges faced today while anticipating future needs.”

     

    The highlighted features represent just a sample of the latest innovations release. For more information about these features and the full range of Esko software solutions, visit the Esko Innovation Hub at innovation.esko.com.