What if your press operators didn’t have to manually calibrate their machines multiple times a day?
What if you no longer had to plan that downtime into your schedule, or organize and prioritize jobs based on when the press was last calibrated?
Operating free from those constraints could be a huge win for your business: it could enable you to focus on customer needs, not calibration. It could increase your throughput considerably. And it could give you an edge in the competitive print market.
I’m excited to share how several color management complexities should become a thing of the past, thanks to the proprietary capabilities of a new solution, RICOH Auto Color Adjuster.
Why Color Matching and Repeatability Challenges Shouldn't Ruin Your Business: The Importance of Quality Color Management
Imagine a customer walks into your print shop with a printed piece. It’s very far from fresh off the press. You can tell it’s at least a little faded—there’s no telling how long it’s been sitting on the dashboard. The color integrity is questionable, and the customer can’t tell you exactly how it was printed or who printed it.
Despite all these factors, the customer wants a newly printed piece from you—and expects it to match perfectly.
Here’s another scenario that also hits close to home. Picture a returning customer. She walks into your shop with a book from last year’s large run order and mentions she plans to reprint 25 copies sporadically for her new clients, and—by the way—she expects each booklet cover to match in color and quality.
Situations like these are common: as far as the customer knows, these are entirely reasonable requests that should not be problematic. Of course, print professionals know differently.
Quality color management is key to increasing customer satisfaction. Doing it correctly and reliably has typically required costly color management software, highly skilled staff, and a prohibitive amount of time.
Closing the Gap: Overcoming the Skilled Workforce Crisis in Printing with RICOH Auto Color Adjuster
The skilled workforce in commercial printing is vanishing as a generation of experienced workers continue to retire, leaving a clear and obvious print staffing gap. Training new staff is an option, but in such a competitive labor market, it seems when you get someone trained to expert level status, they are more likely move on.
This is especially a problem throughout the print industry – whether the business is a commercial printer, in-plant, or pay-for-print. And the more specialized the role, the greater the difficulty in solving this staffing crisis.
Professional color management has historically required a significant investment in hardware, software, and staff. It’s a complex discipline, enough that some print shops look the other way and don’t offer any color-match or color management capabilities or guarantees. The complexities of color management have been a limitation for many print shops. The RICOH Auto Color Adjuster changes the game entirely.
Introducing RICOH Auto Color Adjuster: Innovative Technology That Changes the Color Management Game
Ricoh has created a new hardware/software solution to an old, troublesome problem: color management. The RICOH Auto Color Adjuster simplifies the complexities of color management so that print shops of all sizes and types can succeed despite increasing demands of color critical customers—even without having a color management expert on staff.
This advanced color management and color-matching solution is so easy to use anyone in your organization can:
- Create and install ICC profiles much faster than standard calibration
- Match color from pre-printed samples
- Run jobs across multiple systems with precise reproduction results
With RICOH Auto Color Adjuster, you’ll save significant time, reduce the need for hard-to-find labor, drastically improve your color-matching capabilities and results, and make more happy customers faster than ever.
“Ricoh Auto Color Adjuster is an innovation that can change the way the industry does color management.”
– Toby Saalfeld, US Director of Color Management at Ricoh Americas Corporation
The Current Challenge with Manual Color Matching
Even with high-end, traditional color management solutions, print shops are stuck with less-than-optimal methods for today’s demands. Some jobs—like the faded dashboard print—just can’t be guaranteed. Others can come close, but not without significant and time-consuming manual interventions.
Pressed with either holding other jobs on the press or not satisfying the client, they do their best. They try to manually adjust the color on the press itself - say, by manually editing tone curves. But this kind of intervention skews the look of the entire job. Adjusting the final file in editing software is a way to compensate, but it’s a trial-and-error process that wastes resources, blocks printing devices from producing sellable work, and takes time.
In addition, the final judgment is entirely subjective: it’s one staff member’s eye against another, and the customer might disagree with both.
The Solution: RICOH Auto Color Adjuster Solves Color Matching and Color Management
RICOH Auto Color Adjuster delivers unprecedented results in color management. Here’s a sampling of what this solution enables your print shop to do:
- Precise color matching: The Auto Color Adjuster hardware can identify and match colors from digital images, existing printed products, and both digital and offset printers.
- Device agnostic: Color produced by one machine can be reproduced regardless of system and is not limited or tied to a particular technology.
- Quick color adjustment: Automate the creation of ICC profiles to see consistent results. Easily match colors on multiple units by using profiles.
- Fleetwide consistency: Achieve true, objective color consistency across your entire fleet of devices, including digital, offset, sheet-fed, and wide-format printers.
- Verified results: The RICOH Auto Color Adjuster can make an automated “go/no-go” judgment that’s entirely bias-free. Replace subjective visual checks with industry-standard color verification.
- Color Sample Matching Technology: Revolutionary color sample matching technology – an unparalleled capability not offered by any other in the industry.
Traditionally, skilled color management professionals will edit tone curves to manually achieve a visually pleasing result. This is time-consuming and resource intensive—and again assumes you have access to a skilled professional. And even then, it’s highly subjective and often a futile effort, because tone curve edits always apply to all colors on all pages of the entire job.
Ricoh’s “Color Sample Matching” Technology expertly accomplishes the same task in less than five minutes by using ICC technology instead of tone curves. It takes mere seconds to scan the supplied proof. Our spectral technology doesn’t just read technical color charts (IT8) but can even interpret regular images to generate color simulation profiles (ICC source profiles).
And if you use Ricoh or compatible printers, “Quick Color Adjustment” can automate the creation and installation of new output profiles using a barcode system – in less time than it would take you to complete a basic printer calibration.
What Results Can You Expect After Implementation
Consider these as a start.
Precise color matching: Achieve accurate, repeatable, precise color matching in a matter of minutes.
Quick color adjustment: No more need to modify system settings to trial-and-error your way through, getting consistent output. With RICOH Auto Color Adjuster, you can adapt—with confidence—in minutes.
Better management and verification: You can easily manage daily calibrations (or even eliminate them!). You can also verify color against compliance standards (i.e., GRACoL), removing bias and subjectivity from the process.
With this unique solution, you can also gain the ability and the confidence to do those jobs you might’ve turned away in the past.
Toby Saalfeld describes the results this way:
“The time it takes to manually adjust press color to print buyer’s demands quickly ruins all profitability, but with RICOH Auto Color Adjuster, [Print shops] can finally take on those “impossible” jobs they’ve always tried to avoid. No trial and error. No blocking precious press time to troubleshoot. No color expert required. RICOH Auto Color Adjuster makes it easy to get the color you want!”
Unleash Your Color Potential with RICOH Auto Color Adjuster
The power and value of RICOH Auto Color Adjuster is in the expertise time saved and accuracy of results. With no practical limits on your color abilities, you’re free to go after any and all customers and job types. You can expand your customer base and take on new jobs that were previously out of reach. You’ll also eliminate significant time on calibrations, trial and error, and other manual steps, along with the wasted materials of all those trial prints and runs. Most of all, you gain objective confidence in your ability to match color across devices, formats, and file types.
The RICOH Auto Color Adjuster is a game-changer for the printing industry. It simplifies the complexities of color management and color matching, enabling print shops of all sizes and types to succeed with color management - without a color management expert on staff. You can achieve true, objective color consistency from previous print jobs or across your entire fleet of devices, including digital, offset, sheet-fed, and wide-format printers. Print shops can also automate the creation of ICC profiles to see consistent results, match colors on multiple units using profiles, and achieve industry-validated color verification.
RICOH Auto Color Adjuster is a must-have solution for anyone looking to improve their color-matching capabilities and results.
Ready to see Auto Color Adjuster in action? Contact us.
Meet the Author
US Director, Color Management at Ricoh Americas Corporation I'm a marketing and pre-sales professional with over 20 years of working experience in the production print industry. I've held positions in technical services, sales, marketing, and engineering. My main areas of expertise are developing and selling professional services products that allow businesses to fully take advantage of their hardware investments by exploring and enabling the vast amount of possible interconnectivity of today's complex technologies. I thrive in cross-functional and matrix management environments because I enjoy bringing people with different backgrounds together and to lead them into developing and growing new business opportunities.
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