Mutoh America, Inc. has been awarded US Patent No. 8,279,441 for its SpectroVue VM-10, a compact on-printer spectrophotometer developed specifically for sign shops to aid with color calibration and linearization. The patent will be issued on October 2, 2012. This tiny device, which is available as an option that attaches directly to the print head of Mutoh ValueJet 1324, 1624, 1638, and new 2638 printers and comes standard with the Mutoh hybrid ValueJet 1608HS, automates the tedious task of printing and measuring color targets to create custom color ICC profiles.
Just one of Mutoh's many Smart Printing technologies, the SpectroVue VM-10 is unique because it is an on-printer spectrophotometer that when combined with compatible RIP software helps you streamline workflow, achieve optimum color reproduction and consistency, enhance image quality, and improve productivity.
"This device provides a way for sign shops to identify color reproduction problems before printing," says Gary Rudnick, director of sales at Mutoh America. "It's a way to improve color consistency and reduce production costs by getting prints right the first time. It can also help you cut back on waste and reduce the number of re-dos caused by color issues."
The device's patented design incorporates Mutoh's own DP1 spectral imaging chip, a high-resolution "digital prism" that converts visible light to a digital spectrum. It works with rolled and rigid media and reports both spectral and colorimetric values for any one of 18 pre-programmed standard light sources or any standard daylight light source.
"You need to establish a baseline of color data," says Rudnick. "To do this you first load a media in printer and select media type (up to 30 available "user" media types can be defined). Next, you print ColorCheck "jellybeans" from the printer's front panel. This activates the spectrophotometer and sets baseline color data for each unique ink/media combination.
"Once the baseline data is stored in the printer you can print a linearization chart, measure and set the ink limits and print your ICC color profile. All this can be managed by third-party RIP software or a Windows print driver. It can also be used with Mutoh's ProfileWizard app.