Agfa has announced two software tools, InkTune and PressTune, which together should help offset printers reach ISO and G7 standards for better, more consistent results, whilst also saving on ink costs.
InkTune has been designed around grey component replacement (GCR) approach, and works by dynamically substituting CMY inks with black ink. It’s fully integrated with Agfa’s prepress workflows and uses existing Agfa technology such as Dynamic Ink Limit Control and Dynamic Device Link Generation to maximize ink reduction up to 30 percent, while maintaining colour fidelity, which saves money and shortens the drying time needed.
PressTune applies intelligent analytics to print and colour data obtained from the press to give real-time reports on the performance of the press. This allows operators to identify potential problems and to optimize the maintenance scheduling. It can also generate reports on the print quality and whether or not the print reaches the required standards that can be shown to brand owners for quality assurance.
These programs are part of Agfa’s Eco3 initiative, which itself is just a marketing-led promise to make prepress and printing operations cleaner, more cost-effective and easier to manage and maintain – all things that we can reasonably assume that most vendors are doing anyway.
Both InkTune and PressTune have been tested at a French printer, Imprimeries et Editions Henry, based in Montreuil-sur-Mer near Le Touquet. Not surprisingly, Agfa opted to work with an existing customer with this company already using an Avalon system, Azura plates and Agfa Graphics’ Apogee workflow. Nonetheless, Marc Henry, president of Imprimeries et Editions Henry says that these two programs led to better consistency across print runs, adding: “We have reduced our make-ready times, we use less paper and ink, and we can adapt printer calibration curves according to paper, print job or customer-specific demands. Agfa Graphics’ solutions have brought us a more convenient way of working.”