Alwan Print Standardizer
Does anyone have any experience with this software? If so, please tell me about your experiences... both positive and negative ones are welcomed. I would like to know how different companies are utilizing this software.
I use it. You set up a queue for each press, ink and paper. Each queue has reference TVI and gamut boundary. TVI ref can be selected from ISO curves, generated from an ICC profile or you can use your own measurements, either importing manually or automatically via hot folder. Gamut is defined by supplied conditions or you can load your own ICC profile. Measurements can be input manually or automatically.
Depending on your printing system measurements can be input automatically or not. With automatic data collection press operators can see in real-time APS reports at the console via Alwan Print Standardizer Viewer. APSX can make a PDF report for each measurement and since it is job number aware, it also makes job reports.
RIP curves can be updated in time intervals between on a job basis to three months - as with anything else, either manually or automatically. In automatic mode it emails the curves to whoever is responsible for maintaining CTP reference curves. If you have Alwan CMYK Optimizer too then you can process PDFs instead of RIP curves for the same effect for a truly hands-off closed-loop tone reproduction system.
The product does what the makers claim so it's hard to say anything negative about it. This app has a lot of depth and attempts to manage a complex process. If you are already familiar with making and adjusting RIP curves then you can get up and running with the PDF manual and a webex from your reseller. If you lack the experience then I would work with a consultant on implementation and a follow-up session to ensure you are getting the most out of the product. If I could change anything about it I would want the job reports to have the option to be more G7-minded. There is a great deal of control over sheet reports but job reports not so much.
Keep in mind that just because it's ISO in a box does not mean that you will always match your proofs. It can be frustrating to have an APSX report tell you that everything is ok while at the same time you are not matching your proof as well as you would like. Depending on your inks, using TVI reference alone, may prohibit this product from being Gracol (or any G7 print specification) in a box. Also, this app will correct for problems that should be addressed mechanically. This is nothing to so with Alwan. In general it is not a good idea to make steep compensation curves to try to mask a press problem; doing so usually leads to gradient rainbowing and exaggerated banding.
I feel that by using APSX I have a better understanding of what is going on at the shop floor. Anything that connects me closer to the process is a good thing. The sheer amount of data that is collected and processed automatically is a great enabler in this regard.
- Matt Louis