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Canon Brings Auto-Calibration to Satellite Proofing

In Wide Format on April 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

ApprovedProof

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!

Independent Review

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.”

ENDS

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CS Labels Switches to Canon for Proofing

In Wide Format on October 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm

CS_Labels_small

CS Labels, Willenhall, West Midlands, the award winning digital label printing business, has announced details of its latest equipment acquisition – a Canon imagePROGRAF iPF 6450 large format printer. The machine has been added to provide colour accurate proofs for the company’s suite of Xeikon label printing presses. The printer was purchased from and installed by Canon reseller M Partners Wide, the large format equipment distributor based in Surrey, a division of M Partners Limited.

The new printer replaces an ageing Epson device. The Canon imagePROGRAF iPF 6450 provides up to twelve colour printing with a media width of 24 inches, and has been purchased complete with built-in spectrophotometer for a total colour matching solution.

Colour Quality from Canon

Commenting on the purchase, Neil Churchill, Studio Manager at CS Labels, said: “When the Epson finally broke down we were quoted a staggering £900 to get it fixed. We took the opportunity to look at the proofing market to see which machine we should replace it with. Having read good reports of the Canon products, we requested prints from some of our sample files. The results were outstanding. The colour quality from Canon was extremely impressive.”

CS Labels brought in M Partners Wide, the Canon reseller, for further discussions. “We were very impressed with their attitude and with what they had to say. They were able to install the product on an extended trial for us in order for us to test our various file formats and job types on the machine. It passed all of our tests.

“The M Partners Wide experts were able to produce profiles for us so that we could match the output from our Xeikon machines exactly – in fact they provided a range of profiles to work with the different stocks that we print on. At one time we would have proofed very colour critical jobs on the Xeikon label printer, but that is expensive, both in terms of machine time and substrates. Now it is a faster and 100% accurate solution to proof the work on the Canon,” explained Neil.

Neil was also impressed by the support provided by M Partners: “They use a remote log-in to call up our system and fix any software issues – we are back an running again in minutes. M Partners have been very responsive on the few occasions that we have needed their support and advice – it’s so much better to deal with a company where you can speak to individuals, and you know that they are UK based.”

Adding his thoughts with regard to Canon’s offering, Simon Smith, Managing Director of CS Labels, commented: “Neil was impressed by the quality, and that is important for our business. I was also very taken with Canon’s ability to provide machine-to-machine colour accuracy. It means that we could place a printer into a customer site and send them files to print out with total confidence.”

Canon Large Format from M Partners Wide

Commenting on behalf of M Partners Wide, Murray Lock, joint managing director, said: “I have known Simon and the CS Labels team for some time, so was aware of their needs for quality colour and an effective solution. I am delighted that M Partners Wide was able to provide the right hardware and back-up support package. The Canon colour quality is being recognised by an ever increasing audience – I am convinced that they have established a new bench-mark for large format colour.”

About M Partners and M Partners Wide

The creation of the M Partners Wide division is the latest development from M Partners, as the company seeks to bring its unique distribution format to the wide format market. The company recently announced its distribution agreement with Korean manufacturer DGI.

In 2010 M Partners took on the management of both sales and service for Mitsubishi Litho Presses in the UK and Ireland. In 2014 it has taken over the parts distribution centre for Mitsubishi products within the new Ryobi MHI combined printing equipment business. This representation joins established products such as GUK folding and inserting equipment, and Steinemann laminating products. 2011 saw the business expand into the digital market following an announcement regarding MGi digital printing and finishing equipment; and market-leading post-press inspection equipment from Mabeg.

M Partners offers manufacturers considerable marketing and business expertise across both the printing and packaging sectors and provides high-quality national coverage for sales, support and technical service.

The Joint Managing Directors established M Partners Ltd in 2006 after gaining many years of industry experience in senior management roles at a major press manufacturer and used equipment dealer. They were responsible for corporate and product marketing for pre-press, press, post-press and service, plus operational control for digital, consumables and used equipment divisions.

ENDS

Canon Ticks the Fine Art Box for Harwood King

In Wide Format on September 25, 2014 at 9:23 am

HarwoodKing_MPartners

Harwood King Fine Art Studio, market leading fine art screen printers, Newhaven, East Sussex, has replaced its primary large format printing devices with the Canon iPF 8400 and Canon iPF 815. The printers were purchased from and installed by Canon reseller M Partners Wide, the large format equipment distributor based in Surrey, a division of M Partners Limited.

The new additions to the Harwood King production line-up provide, respectively, high quality print and film output. The iPF 8400 is a 12-colour, 44-inch wide printing device, ideal for the company’s fine art print production and proofing. The iPF 815 is a 5-colour 44-inch device focused on film production for the subsequent creation of silkscreen originals.

Harwood King Fine Art Studio

Highly respected in its field, Harwood King Fine Arts Studio, giclee printmakers and silkscreen specialists, have been in the business of producing fine art prints for more than 30 years. The company has produced limited edition prints for artists and galleries from all over the world. Harwood King has always been an innovative art studio, testing new materials and techniques, particularly in silkscreen and giclee digital production. The business has not been afraid to redefine the traditional idea of a print, combining printmaking processes to produce truly collectable limited editions. As a fine example, in “Slipstream” by Dan Baldwin they combined giclee, silkscreen and hand embellished areas, using 22-carat gold leaf and coloured foils. In other example, in the “Apocalypse” series of prints they fired bullets through the prints and collaged bank notes within the printing.

On the subject of the new Canon printers, Quentin Harwood King, owner and managing director of Harwood King (above, right), said: “Our previous device had been a good servant for many years, but it was showing signs of age. We knew that we needed to invest, and whilst Epson is the “go to” supplier in the market place, I wanted to review other products as well. Canon, to us, was a revelation. They certainly appeared to be ahead of the game. The twelve-colour system is a huge boost for us – especially in the red area of the spectrum. Colour, for fine art work, is so critical. The colour gamut and the stability of the system were both immediate advantages for us.

“We also create films for stencil creation for screen printing. Our previous large format machine offered little stability for the media – we would often spend huge amounts of time manually adjusting distortion in the films. Canon’s iPF 815 uses motors to drive the material in and to rewind the film. This provides a far more stable and reliable platform for our film creation. It has already saved us a huge amount of work; a saving that has a double benefit as our operators can be producing chargeable work instead of fiddling with bits of film at our expense!”

Quentin Harwood King has found a number of features of the Canon devices that provide significant advantages to his fine art print production business: “The internal memory on the iPF 8400 is a huge boost to productivity. We are often in the situation where the final proof has been approved by our customer, and a number of large format prints are required. The fact that the Canon holds the RIPped file in its memory means that we can go straight into print mode and we know, 100%, that we have the right file and that it will print successfully – we can simply punch in the required number of prints and let the device do its stuff!

“Overall we are replacing old with new – but new with some great additional benefits for our business: the overall quality is better, its faster, and the colour accuracy is so good and reliable. The colour accuracy provides us with the biggest saving: we no longer spend hours fiddling with profiles to tweak them to get a colour just right. We simply don’t need to.”

With future possibilities in mind, Quentin was also hugely impressed by the machine-to-machine colour accuracy offered by Canon. “Canon proved to us the stability of their system from machine-to-machine, which means that we could install a second machine at another office, download our files, and it would print exactly the same as the first machine. That really gives food for thought.”

Harwood King offers one of the few silkscreen printing services for the fine art market anywhere in the world. Whilst much of the screen printing market is focused on crudely produced T-shirt and ceramic printing, this company take the skills to a whole new level. Fifteen to twenty colour printing is not uncommon at the Newhaven company as it produces what it considers continuous-tone silkscreen. The business has produced work with up to a staggering 95 screens.

Canon Large Format from M Partners Wide

Commenting on behalf of M Partners Wide, Murray Lock, joint managing director (pictured above, left), said: “Harwood King offers the most exciting setting for a large format printer! The work being produced by the company is both fantastic and a real challenge for any equipment. The Canon products excelled over the testing and selection phase: quite rightly, Quentin and his team wanted to push it to the limits, and it has been able to meet every challenge that they have thrown at it. Our team ensured that the customer has the right equipment for these demanding tasks.”

About M Partners and M Partners Wide

The creation of the M Partners Wide division is the latest development from M Partners, as the company seeks to bring its unique distribution format to the wide format market. The company recently announced its distribution agreement with Korean manufacturer DGI.

In 2010 M Partners took on the management of both sales and service for Mitsubishi Litho Presses in the UK and Ireland. In 2014 it has taken over the parts distribution centre for Mitsubishi products within the new Ryobi MHI combined printing equipment business. This representation joins established products such as GUK folding and inserting equipment, and Steinemann laminating products. 2011 saw the business expand into the digital market following an announcement regarding MGi digital printing and finishing equipment; and market-leading post-press inspection equipment from Mabeg.

M Partners offers manufacturers considerable marketing and business expertise across both the printing and packaging sectors and provides high-quality national coverage for sales, support and technical service.

The Joint Managing Directors established M Partners Ltd in 2006 after gaining many years of industry experience in senior management roles at a major press manufacturer and used equipment dealer. They were responsible for corporate and product marketing for pre-press, press, post-press and service, plus operational control for digital, consumables and used equipment divisions.

ENDS

 

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