Hamillroad has been granted US patents for two software components of its Auraia Digitally Modulated Screening. To earn the patents Hamillroad had to prove that its technology is not just new, but also non-obvious (that is involves an inventive step). The process is subject to rigorous examination by an independent patent officer.
Andy Cave, Hamillroad CEO said “We expect the impact of DM Screening to be substantial as it radically changes the traditional print industry with its disruptive technology.”
US Patent 8,654,400 is for reduced macro-dots and covers the technology that reduces or eliminates issues with dot gain (on plate and press), providing stability and consistency on plate and press. It also reduces related problems with noise in dot structures as dots connect and allows for improved control of shadow dot size. Most noticeably, this covers the fundamental technology used in DM Screening on violet CtP, especially for newspapers, where attempts to use FM screening have either failed or proven notoriously difficult to control.
The second patent, number 8,654,401 for 2×1/1×2 mega dots covers the technology that allows Hamillroad to eliminate the noise and bad transition areas traditionally experienced with FM screening, whilst also allowing for improved control of high light and shadow dot size.
The two patents together cover a significant portion of the underlying technology that provides the foundation for DM Screening. This combines the best characteristics of AM, FM, XM, GS and CS screening techniques, whilst avoiding their limitations and problems. By maximising the (lithographic or flexographic) plate and press properties of halftone screening, it enhances quality, stability and gamut, whilst offering ink savings over conventional technologies.
It’s mainly distributed in the UK by Prepress UK.
Hamillroad is currently beta testing a form of this screening for flexographic printing, called Bellissima, said to produce images that emulate the quality of a traditional 200-400 lpi screen. It allows for stable, consistent and reliable production of rosette-free, moiré-free and noise-free flat tints that equal or better the smoothness of conventional screening. This should allow for a reduction in the number of special colours printed, along with an expected reduction in ink consumption on typical packaging and label jobs.