Innovative French software manufacturer Caldera has teamed up with Alwan Color Expertise, the colour management and standardisation specialists, to create an innovative ink saving module for the latest edition of the Caldera RIP (v9). Named InkPerformer, the option promises users the power to monitor and optimise their ink comsumption, giving commercial printers a significant environmental and economical advantage over their competitors.
Caldera InkPerformer harnesses Alwan's award-winning profiling technology within the context of the adaptable and powerful Caldera RIP engine to provide an average 20 percent reduction in ink consumption across all types of wide-format production. At a time when raw materials costs, and therefore ink prices, are rising dramatically, this significant saving allows all types of wide-format digital print house to decrease their expenditure significantly, typically achieving ROI within weeks.
InkPerformer sits in the workflow before the file is RIPped and does not require the creation or adjustment of output profiles to implement cost savings. The intuitive user interface allows for the control of two key variables: the BlackStart level, which is the threshold at which black is allowed to replace other ink colours, and the level of ink economy required. The operator can choose the desired setting from Low, which offers a modest ink saving with practically unnoticeable effect on the colour reproduction, Medium, and High, which provides a considerable reduction in lay-down. There is also a Maximum option to prioritise economisation completely over colour, which, while losing some gamut in shadows, is nevertheless suitable for applications to be viewed at distance.
The module, which can be provided with licenses for three, five or more than five devices, calculates a new combination of colours for ink lay-down to retain visual fidelity within the user's chosen threshold. A supplementary feature in InkPerformer allows the user, if desired, to RIP and then compare the original image with the adjusted, ink-saving image, and even send both jobs to print. This working mode allows for the rapid comparison of jobs and calculates the percentage of ink saved, giving businesses the power to decide for themselves how much lay-down is required for each job.
"With the strong development of digital ink-jet printing systems and applications, we decided that it was time to extend our technology in this market, where we see ink consumption and costs becoming a critical matter for print service providers," explains Elie Khoury, President and CEO of Alwan Color Expertise. "Caldera is an undisputed leader and innovator in the wide-format print sector and already incorporates very powerful technology in its software, such as the Adobe Print Engine. This collaboration allows Caldera users to join Alwan customers in saving tons of ink and millions of dollars every year for the benefit of the planet and of their profits."
"InkPerformer joins EasyMedia, EasyColour, CostProof and CostView as one of the many optimising functions offered across the Caldera suite," adds Joseph Mergui, Caldera's CEO. "Alwan's leadership and experience in the field of colour management and ink optimisation is the perfect complement for Caldera users who are seeking to control their overheads and improve their margins."