X-Rite has announced the immediate availability of version 6 of its InkFormulation and ColorQuality software packages. Developed for ink manufacturers and printers who formulate their own ink, X-Rite’s InkFormulation provides a fast, accurate and consistent ink formulation, formula creation, storage, approval and retrieval solution for offset, flexographic, gravure and screen-printing inks. InkFormulation 6 and ColorQuality 6 give ink suppliers and printers more flexibility over recipes and assortments, improve basic materials handling, automatically determines the right ink film thickness and helps to eliminate hazardous waste. InkFormulation 6 and ColorQuality 6 are now also XRGA compliant.
Thanks to a sophisticated math engine that provides better prediction of ink interactivity with substrates, InkFormulation 6 is able to rapidly calculate the optimal and most cost-effective recipe based on the printing process, ink, illumination, pigment pricing, and number of components and materials to be used. InkFormulation 6 helps printers and ink suppliers speed up the ink formulation workflow process (including liquid inks and special inks), with consistent, reproducible results on a broad variety of substrates and ink film thicknesses, including transparent films and metalized substrates. It also increases color accuracy, helping to meet color specifications better than ever before.
With version 6’s newly improved Basic Material Module, users can work with a variety of additives within one assortment, allowing them to change a single additive in a recipe without having to re-do the draw down or create a completely new assortment. This new enhancements of this module significantly simplifies the handling of assortments and recipes, giving users more control over their ink database.
The new Film Thickness Calibration Module allows users to quickly and precisely determine the right ink thickness for flexo, gravure and screen-printing. Users no longer need to re-measure known recipes for different line screens or rollers and adjust the film thickness manually; they can simply enter the roller or screen volume as a parameter. The software will automatically calculate the required film thickness and apply it to the whole assortment.
InkFormulation 6 and ColorQuality 6 now both support the new X-Rite Graphic Arts Standard (XRGA). Databases in both applications contain XRGA data, and data being imported from connected instruments will automatically be converted, if necessary. Version 5 databases will be automatically converted as well when imported into version 6.
X-Rite’s renowned Leftover Management feature, also included in InkFormulation 6 allows leftover inks to be reused in new recipes during the formulation process. InkFormulation provides recommendations on how to reduce the amount of leftover inks and allows for any surplus to be reworked into new formulations, reducing inventory and waste, lowering disposal costs and providing a rapid return on users’ InkFormulation investment (typical ROI for spot color printers, especially in flexo, gravure and screen printing is less than 6 months).
InkFormulation 6 offers unsurpassed flexibility of data exchange with networked databases and Internet communication features so ink suppliers and printers can efficiently share color data with locations across the globe. The new version now also supports the latest generation of CxF (Color Exchange Format), the universal file format for color communication, allowing them to accurately and unambiguously communicate all commercially significant aspects of their ink’s formulation requirements. At each step of the process, colors are defined and stored as CxF files so that they can be seamlessly and faithfully exchanged between instruments and applications throughout the printing workflow.
Current users of X-Rite’s Color Master software who choose to switch to InkFormulation 6 to take advantage of these new ground-breaking features will also be able to easily import their existing databases.
InkFormulation 6 also features a number of usability enhancements including: more flexible sorting criteria for recipes; direct and simplified substrate database access; a new Print Layout Editor to allow users to define and customize their print layouts (logos, images and labels can be inserted and printed to label ink cans and simplify inventory creation); a new ‘undo’ function to allow users to return to the preceding step within the formulation workflow rather than having to begin all over again; simplified user administration tools.
InkFormulation’s advanced matching algorithms improve results, especially in highly opaque applications or when formulating for use on different substrates such as metallic foils and transparent films. Final color correction is quick and easy, and can even be done on-press.
InkFormulation 6 now also features a digital library pack including the new PANTONE PLUS SERIES (C, U), PANTONE Goe System (C, U) libraries, the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (M) libraries and the HKS (E, K, N, Z) libraries. The libraries provide data for No-filter, Pol-filter, D65-filter and UVcut-filter (PANTONE libraries only) measurements.
InkFormulation is available in four versions:
A cost-effective system designed for small to medium sized printers. Users can easily and quickly formulate custom inks, working with a database supplied by their preferred ink manufacturer. Configured with an X-Rite Color Handheld device, this solution is ideal for the printers who previously could not justify having in-house formulation capabilities.
Formulate custom inks without creating and maintaining a colorant database. You can import and work with colorant databases supplied by your preferred ink manufacturer. Includes ColorQuality software to guarantee precise measurement, continuous control, and consistent documentation.
A full version of InkFormulation designed for the Ink Manufacturer, providing the ability to create, store and modify a colorant database. This allows users to build and maintain a complete colorant database featuring all the inks they use.
A web-client solution for ink manufacturers and suppliers that allows their customers to access a centralized, easily-updatable database of ink formulation via the Internet. Printers who do not wish to install local ink formulation capability can easily access high quality ink formulation databases they can rely on for mixing and matching inks.