Learn about the various programs that ink manufacturers offer for tracking, mixing, and organizing inks and find out what improvements have occurred since our last review of ink-management software in the May 2001 issue of Screen Printing magazine.
By Lori Leaman
ColorStar Nazdar's ColorStar color-management system software is offered in three versions. ColorStar Pro 2.0, the base module, allows users to retrieve and/or create and store ink formulas. A total of 20 UV and solvent-based, Pantone-approved Nazdar ink lines are supported by this module. With its open-architecture format, users can integrate other ink lines as well. An ink-prediction calculator field allows users determine the amount of ink needed based on mesh count, coverage area, number of prints, and the percentage of ink coverage. Batch pricing is automatically calculated when individual ingredient costs have been entered.
ColorStar Manager, the next level, contains the features of ColorStar Pro 2.0 plus additional tracking features. Users can store detailed information about raw materials, adjust and track inventory, record reorder information, initiate purchase orders, and calculate inventory cost updates (Figure 4). VOC information for each ink also can be input and tracked by printing press and date.
ColorStar Manager supports retrieval and printing of cross-reference reports based on all designs or single-customer designs and also generates reports of raw materials by vendor, usage by press, and press downtime. Users can view formula lists by ink series, track individual operator production, and monitor production by color. A work-off function allows unused mixtures to be recycled into another formula for later use.
The final version, ColorStar CheckWeigh, is a turnkey system that includes a PC, software, laser printer, and scale (available in numerous sizes). As each component for a color formulation is weighed, the program's audio and visual indicators alert users when the targeted weight has been reached. An AutoCorrect feature notifies the user when an ink-mixture target has been missed and shows how to adjust the other ingredients to compensate. Other features include sort capabilities for reports, formats for report printing, an inventory work-off function, and several label-printing functions. ColorStar CheckWeigh also can be connected to a spectrophotometer for color management and interfaced with an automated dispensing system.
The ColorStar line is available in English and Spanish. Nazdar offers instruction sheets and technical assistance for all three programs. The Manager and CheckWeigh programs include installation and on-site training. For more information, contact Nazdar, 8501 Hedge Lane Terr., Shawnee, KS 66227, 800-767-9942, fax: 913-422-2296, Web: www.nazdar.com.
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