I was speaking with a new customer last week and he shared with me how he has been using ColorMetrix software to monitor his pressroom. His goal is to get his proofs to match his press sheets. This customer has a 54” not so new printing press and he is using ColorMetrix to monitor print quality all the way across the sheet.
Now, I know the seasoned ColorMetrix veterans are saying that this guy may have bitten off more than he can chew. Let’s face it measuring a 54” color bar one patch at a time with a hand-held instrument is not my idea of fun. But then he finished the thought and light bulb went off for me. He is only going to do this exhaustive measuring for a short period of time. His goal is to identify the channel (ColorMetrix can break the 54” cross sheet dimension into 6 channels or zones) prints the worst. He will then monitor only this trouble zone on a day-to-day basis, and the rest of the sheet on a less frequent basis.
Is this ideal or perfect? No, but neither is measuring by hand across that sheet size everyday. So, given the choice of not measuring, or concentrating on the known problem area I am going with the later.
The unstated goal here is to prove the value of measurement to senior management. I have no doubt the improvements in productivity and profitability this constant and consistent measurement have will not go unnoticed. Then, my new customer can requisition a 30-40 thousand dollar automated scanning device, and begin to measure the entire sheet on every job.
In conclusion, sometimes writing a short e-mail nugget is good enough. After all, I am in Phoenix, it is Friday night at 5:54pm, and it’s time for dinner!
Keep an eye out for possible updates at www.JimRaffel.com while I am at the Color Management Conference. I plan to get a few camera phone pictures up as early as Sunday. I will also post anything I find newsworthy during the conference.