Unveiled at Hunkeler Innovationdays, held in Lucerne, Switzerland last week, the new website uses PrintFlat technology to generate a customised calibration that will mitigate the banding that occurs when a print-bar is first built and also as inkjet heads begin to wear or are replaced.
Users of the service can upload a scan of the print bar to the website via their user account and PrintFlat works behind the scenes to generate a correction that can be applied directly to the press by the ScreenPro screening engine, the second version of which was launched last summer.
Global Graphics chief technology officer Martin Bailey said: “PrintFlat is a new technology that is built onto the ScreenPro platform, which is embedded inside the digital front-end of a digital press by the vendor.
“Companies printing with digital presses, whether it’s formalised on their systems or not, tend to have some sort of metric in their head of the proportion of jobs that they cannot print digitally because of issues like banding.
“The whole point of PrintFlat is that it takes you from being able to print maybe 60% of jobs to close to 100%, if not 100%. Suddenly you’ve got a much more viable commercial model if you can say ‘yes we can print that’ rather than ‘let me have a look at it first’.
He added: “Printflat.com introduces a step-by-step process for calibrating an inkjet press. It can work with any press that has the ScreenPro engine installed.
“That means that any press vendor and their customers can benefit because ScreenPro can be applied to any print industry workflow, either to a press that is already on the market, or one that’s still on the drawing board. It can be used with any RIP software and any combination of inks, substrates, printheads and electronics.”
German print group Ellerhold has recently started to use ScreenPro with PrintFlat for its billboard work.
“Ellerhold, who use a press that they built themselves, told us that they were getting a lot of signs in that they could not print digitally because of banding. They are now able to print everything digitally,” said Bailey.
Ellerhold chief executive Maximilian Ellerhold said any residual visible banding has been removed and the quality is now “very acceptable, even for the most difficult jobs”.
“We’re now achieving 100% customer satisfaction and have increased our market share of outdoor advertising products in digital printing.”
Cambridge-based Global Graphics’ customers include HP, Canon, Durst, Roland DG, Kodak and Agfa.
Same graphic after PrintFlat is applied