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Image Enhancement: Better Files, Cost Savings

(February 2013) posted on Tue Mar 12, 2013

Mandel discusses how to conserve ink and make image files easier to print by replacing CMY elements with black.


By Rick Mandel

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Alwan has a solution in which the printer purchases a server product with the software. Alwan says its CMYK Optimizer ECO edition (ACE) is a unique solution that allows printers to significantly reduce ink and toner consumption of their presses without any visible change to the printed colors. ACE is designed to preflight, ensure the highest possible color-ink reduction and printability while maintaining color, recognize printing conditions and ICC profiles, and optimize black generation for the destination process.

The goal of Alwan, like others, is to maximize the color gamut, while also decreasing ink usage. The server method actually alters each file before the file is processed through the RIP of the printing device. Could this be a liability issue if the print does not reflect the client’s expectations? If the project were conventionally printed, and not digital, I would say yes. As the digital printers also contain light magenta and light cyan, or orange and green to increase the gamut, our final prints have not equaled the native file for quite some time.

Another solution is through OneVision. OneVision is a global provider of software solutions designed to secure, optimize, and simplify complex production workflows. OneVision believes they have an industry-leading correction, optimization, and normalization—as well as data-conversion—technology for PostScript and PDF workflows. The company says comprehensive analysis and data verification provide secure file conversion, optimization, and error correction in a LAN environment (local area network, software residing on your computer or server).

OneVision is a server-based solution and has a number of different module options. The component Speedflow Plus has been expanded by the ability to reduce a significant amount of ink. To achieve cost savings, CMYK print data are re-separated. Black (K) replaces expensive chromatic colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow). The amount of ink usage throughout the whole document can be reduced without visual variation, which is the goal of all software.

OneVision also touts a proprietary solution that is not directly termed GCR/UCR. OneVision elaborates, “The PlugINKSAVEin module provides Asura and Speedflow Check Plus the ability to re-separate CMYK print data. This helps reduce high ink coverage and consequently saves ink without running the risk of color changes. Customers who do not need to follow a particular printing standard can save an even higher amount of ink. In this case, however, slight color variations between the original and the resulting image might become apparent.


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