X-rite/Pantone, Inc.

IntelliTrax News Auto-Scanning System

X-Rite, Incorporated is introducing a new solution in color management that can bolster the bottom lines of newspapers by reducing ink usage, press time and paper waste, while improving the quality of printed color images.

Called the IntelliTrax News auto-scanning system, the newly developed hardware-software package makes it quick and easy for personnel to monitor and control two variables that are essential for newspapers to improve profits and pressroom quality: color density and gray balance.

The ITX News system with newly developed spectrodensitometer is an essential tool for newspapers working under tight profit margins that want to step-up their game in four-color web printing, said Scott Harig, X-Rite Product Manager, Pressroom Scanning Solutions. Some early adopters of the system are large regional newspapers that want to improve the control of their printing processes to match the tight quality standards of national newspapers.

"With prior systems, newspapers had to manually align gray bars of printed sheets to take measurements, which creates extra steps and opportunities for errors if press operators don't position everything correctly," said Steve Mattingly, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Southern Lithoplate Inc., a Wake Forest, N.C. manufacturer, distributor and provider of digital plates and associated products for targeted print markets. "With the ITX News system, our customers will get accurate, consistent measurements in a single pass, giving them a high level of confidence and managing waste in an industry that is continuously challenged to track, manage and lower costs."

With a minimum of training, pressroom personnel can use the ITX News system to scan the gray bar of a full broadsheet in about 10 seconds and generate graphics that summarize data so it can be easily understood and used to adjust ink flow at press consoles.

By using the ITX News system, newspaper personnel can closely monitor the density values of cyan, magenta, and yellow inks on any of the columns being run on newsprint to reduce the time and paper needed to produce sellable copies. The graphics shown on the system's touch-screen monitor for gray balance allows press professionals to quickly make the necessary adjustments to maintain process control throughout the press run.

In addition to reading C, Y and M values, the instrument concurrently can read black patches embedded in the gray bar so pressroom personnel monitor both color and black text with one measurement. An earlier version of the product could not measure both color and black values on the same sheet at the same time.

With the touch of a button, the system's look-at sensor automatically tracks where the graybar is on a newspaper page to give accurate readings of ink density, gray balance and colorimetric data on any of the page columns. The ITX News system is designed to interface easily with commercial printing consoles.

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