GMG’s colour management expertise has been well respected for years, especially among prepress specialists. Its proofing and conversion solutions are industry-leading across the globe. GMG used its decades of experience in colour to develop an award-winning solution enabling the creation of digital ink drawdowns.
Exactly the sort of solution for the internationally-successful printing ink manufacturer Siegwerk, with 180 years of experience. The fact that innovative processes are part of the long-standing success story is also reflected in the decision to switch from analogue to digitally-created ink drawdowns with GMG ColorCard.
When looking at the work done in the colour department – for example, at the Siegwerk factory in Büdingen, Germany – it becomes clear that one thing counts above everything else: precision. The team of colourists creates recipes for brand and spot colours that must correspond exactly to the respective specifications. A trained eye is just as much part of the basic equipment as digital measurement technology. Colour cards are the binding reference for inks developed by the Siegwerk ink specialists; they accompany the job on press and are the agreed target to match between clients and printers.
Jens Zehnder, Print Engineer and Developer at GMG is still amazed today: “It’s hard to believe that this important medium was still being produced manually until recently. The colour card is the central tool for colour communication, especially for brands in packaging printing. The colour card is the common reference that everyone involved in the process has approved. For example, if you want to create cards for ten contacts, our solution can do it in just a few minutes – and they all look identical. This level of accuracy used to be virtually impossible to achieve and the manual process was extremely time-consuming.”
Melanie Frey is Regional Application Technology Manager at Siegwerk and oversaw the implementation of GMG ColorCard at the Büdingen site. She confirms: “GMG ColorCard is definitely an added value to our customers. The manual process is very time-consuming and when it comes to consistency, it often proves very challenging. Printing a larger area with identical ink coverage requires a great deal of skill. With the digitally-created colour references, our customers get maximum precision in seconds.”
At Siegwerk, the introduction of GMG ColorCard is also part of a global sustainability strategy to reduce environmental pollution and increase resource efficiency. Reducing waste is a huge topic in all business areas. Therefore, the aim is to switch to digitally-created colour cards at other locations too and to offer customers the advantages of GMG ColorCard. The digital solution is currently being implemented in England, with other Siegwerk locations waiting to follow. They are all eagerly following the developments, receiving regular updates and reports.
The technical implementation itself is comparatively simple. The hardware, such as printers and computers, are often already available, and the software is straightforward to use thanks to its intuitive user interface. The data of existing ink recipes is imported, the substrate is selected, and the appropriate layout is chosen. Of particular interest here is the possibility of depicting defined tolerances in addition to the actual reference colour.
“The response from our customers is consistently positive,” summarises Melanie Frey and adds: “digitally-created cards not only look better and are more efficient, they also have a clear advantage in the long run: the lightfastness of the digitally-printed colour is significantly higher compared to the analogue version.”
More information at www.gmgcolor.com/solutions/colorcard
Image caption: Digitally-created ink drawdowns at Siegwerk. Pietro Torsiello, Melanie Frey and Karima Belkasmi (from left) are as excited as their clients are.