Canon large-format printer re-seller and litho printing specialist M Partners, Surrey, has heralded the latest version of Canon’s Calibration Management Console (CCMC) software for its large format devices as the breakthrough that printers seeking the answer to accurate, consistent satellite proofing have been seeking for many years.
“Canon has delivered an auto-calibrating system for satellite proofing that the printing industry has long been crying out for,” said Murray Lock, Joint Managing Director of M Partners.
“Our initial engagement with Canon was due to the colour quality of the printed proofs that its engines were capable of producing. We had no idea of the capabilities of CCMC, but once we were introduced to it we quickly realised that it is the perfect solution for printers that need to install a satellite device for proofing at the site of major customers. CCMC ensures accurate colour reproduction on the remote device every time, and management of that calibration remains in the hands of the print company: it’s ideal!”
CCMC software allows centralised, automated colour management of all iPF series Canon printers on the network; remote monitoring of colour calibrations for the printers; determination of the media type loaded in each printer; and the ability to read accounting information from each production unit. The standardisation of ink across the range from 24-inch to 60-inch also aids multi-printer users to control the colour output from all devices ensuring consistency regardless of where various devices are located.
Historically, consistent long-term accuracy of an output device has been a thorn in the side of an effective satellite proofing solution. “The vagaries are everywhere: temperature and humidity of the office environment where the printing device is housed is a very good starting point, but manual calibration, as practiced by market leading devices, is rarely going to be as accurate as a satellite situation, and still takes a huge amount of time, and often further spend, to manage,” continued Murray Lock.
“There is potential in so many aspects of proofing for the output not to remain consistent. A great many printed products need proofs that are completely accurate, and not fall into the “good enough” category. We believe that CCMC is the only system currently available that has the potential to deliver the quality, consistency and accuracy of proof that certain sectors of the market demand. In short, we are not selling just another proofing device, but cutting out a major variable from the process.”
The latest Canon iPF6450 large-format proofing device features an optional spectrophotometer to support high-precision colour management, along with the Colour Calibration Management Console software, which is now supported on all models in the range. Tests are providing for a device accuracy of >2dE, which might be slightly higher when comparing device to device.
Combined with “Calibration Link” technology, users can manage colour consistency across multiple twelve-colour units placed in remote locations. “Calibration Link” significantly simplifies administration and system management. Additionally, in conjunction with a major third party RIP solution, users can conduct colour verification and create colour profiles automatically by using the optional spectrophotometer.
In addition to ticking the calibration box, Canon’s latest printer hardware is now both more productive and more economic, with throughput speeds up and running costs reduced by as much as 40%.
Going back to the capabilities of the software, Lock adds: “The ability to execute automatic colour calibration on multiple printers makes satellite proofing with Canon an accurate science – and something that no other proofing product suppliers can offer. An example where significant interest in this is being shown is the world of packaging, where ever-tighter deadlines do not lesson the critical nature of 100% colour accuracy.
“But in reality, any area of print where satellite proofing needs to deliver straight into the hands of the customer due either to time constraints, the need to incorporate very late changes to designs or text, total colour accuracy, or simply the distances involved between printers and customer, is a potential user of this technology. The combination of Canon technology and M Partners know-how is, we believe, delivering a market leading solution.”
The company is currently trailing the product with a number of leading print based businesses, and is receiving very positive feedback on the results being achieved, typically referring to the product as outstanding!
A recently published independent review of CCMC concluded: “We feel this is a very innovative approach to solving the issues of printer calibration and consistency, especially for larger corporate or fleet clients that need to manage a number of printers in various locations.”
The same report also praised the Canon print engines on a number of levels, concluding: “It simply prints day in day out.” Colour quality via the auto-colour mode produced by the Canon engines came in for significant praise when comparing output to that of an equivalent Epson device: “Prints on the Canon were neutral and very colour accurate when using this mode. Conversely, the Epson’s auto-colour mode did not yield very accurate colour.”