X-Rite and its subsidiary Pantone have announced a new solution with German company ColorPartner, a German company, to help automate color management for industrial inkjet applications.

The concept combines the ColorPartner ColorScout A+ automated colour measurement table and X-Rite’s Ci6x family of sphere spectrophotometers allowing industrial printers to accurately measure colour on metallic, wood, plastic, ceramic and textured materials. The companies will make the new Ci6X/ColorScout A+ solution available through a variety of rip manufacturers that support industrial inkjet output devices.

Jan Keller, vice president at X-Rite, says, “Inkjet technology makes it possible to print on a wide variety of materials, opening up new opportunities to industrial and commercial printers from fast fashion to flooring to packaging to home décor.

“With higher material costs, printers cannot risk color errors that may be inherent in a manual measuring process. The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution eliminates these potential errors and can quickly and easily pay for itself by ensuring less waste due to colour issues, increasing profitability and speeding time to market for brand owners and manufacturers alike.”

X-Rite says the popular 45/0-based measurement devices used in graphic arts applications, ideal for smooth or matte surfaces, have limited capabilities for textured or reflective materials. The company adds that, as the market moves to greater use of industrial inkjet, the need grows for an automated measurement solution that can quickly measure colour across flat, textured and reflective surfaces.

The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution, in A3+ size (other standard sizes: A2+, A1+; others on request) accommodates materials up to 515mm by 310mm and up to 30mm (60mm optional) thick. It suits measuring colour on surfaces that do not perform well with a 45/0 spectrophotometer. As a sphere spectrophotometer, the Ci64 can accurately measure smooth, matte, reflective or uneven surfaces such as metallics, special effect finishes and textures commonly used in industrial inkjet applications from small label printing to LFP. X-Rite says that integration with colour RIPs through X-Rite’s software development kit (SDK) will enable better colour calibration and profiling of industrial inkjet printing and deposition solutions.

X-Rite says its tests show the new solution measures up to twice as fast as manual measurements, saving as much as an hour per 1,000 measurements.

Ingmar Brumm, managing partner at ColorPartner, says, “The Ci6x/ColorScout A+ solution is truly rare in the market, as it incorporates a sphere spectrophotometer to handle thick and textured materials, as well as reflective surfaces. This will help packaging converters and industrial manufacturers achieve consistent color faster and with more repeatability.”

Jay Larsen of INX International, a manufacturer of inks for conventional and inkjet printing, and an early user of the solution, says, “The biggest benefit is the time savings and the repeatability of the measurement. The unit is very well engineered and well built – which should result in years of useful service.”

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