Comexi, QuadTech collaborate on closed-loop colour control

Since 2016, Comexi and QuadTech have joined forces in the investigation and development of new colour control management technologies for the flexible packaging industry. After years of research, this close collaboration between the two companies has pursued the adaptation of QuadTech’s Color Control with SpectralCam, and its extension from paper and label printing to the printing of flexible packaging.

11 Dec 2017 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

The Color Control with SpectralCam system brings significant advantages for standard applications on various flexible films. The two global enterprises have made progress on increasing brand owners’ awareness about the benefits of this technology.

Early on, Comexi and its offset business unit team recognised the clear advantages that the closed-loop colour control system brings to press operators and converters in the flexible packaging printing industry. As flexible packaging printing typically runs reel-to-reel, it is not possible for press operators to take a printed sample for exact colour check. That was one of the main requirements that the two companies recognised, and this drove the implementation of Color Control with SpectralCam for flexible packaging printing.

QuadTech’s system brings automated precision for achieving colour targets. Spectral-based, closed-loop colour control means faster, easier colour OKs, reduced makeready time and enhanced productivity.

The innovative SpectralCam is a 31-channel spectrophotometer that accurately measures spectral response over micro colour bars, then calculates L*a*b*, ΔE, Density and ΔDensity… all at full press speeds. The patented web stabiliser uses ISO-conforming black and white reference tiles — a constant, known backing — that moves with the camera to provide consistent spectral response. Short bursts of pressurized air are used to bring the substrate into close proximity with the ceramic backing tiles for precise colour measurement.

Patented adaptive control methodology adjusts the press to maintain accurate control over four-color process, extended gamut and spot colours throughout the run. On Comexi’s Offset CI8 running seven-colour process, also known as ‘extended gamut’ printing, a spectral system that measures colour is preferred over a density measurement. SpectralCam is QuadTech’s third-generation spectrophotometer.

“It is a pleasure to collaborate with one of the most technologically innovative companies in the flexographic, offset and gravure printing industries,’ said QuadTech president Karl Fritchen. “Comexi’s reputation and commitment to innovation is perfectly aligned with QuadTech’s vision and expertise. Both companies continually invest in the development of pioneering technologies and solutions for the market.”

“We are continuously investing in development, research, knowledge and innovation,” added Comexi CEO, Jeroen van der Meer. “We have become a market-reference in this field and we are really glad that the strategic collaboration with QuadTech has resulted in the development of new technologies that broaden the sector, its possibilities, and facilitates customers’ day-to-day production.”