Hey folks looking into possible use for Equinox. Anyone using it in their workflows?
I can't speak to the Equinox product itself, but I can speak to the concept it (and similar systems) represents - namely replacing spot colors with an extended process color inkset.
Originally Posted by zman
The concept works, and it works very well. It adds profit margins to the printer (by reducing production costs) and is a great differentiator for the printer because it lowers productions costs for the brand owner while at the same time providing them greater flexibility in their inventory control.
Here are some of the value/ROI impacts:
• The printer drives the production specification - not the print buyer. This makes it harder for competitors to take the business away
• More efficient press utilization and ability to use less expensive presses with fewer units
• Greater efficiency via simpler combo sheets and maximizes sheet usage while minimizing wastage
• Virtual elimination of makeready since all jobs print with the same inkset
• Provide more creative options by eliminating the restrictions on the number of spot colors that can be used on a package
• It brings long run cost efficiencies to short runs enabling more marketing options for the brand owner (e.g. enables packaging localization)
• Enables just-in-time inventory control for the brand owner
• Align color across various printing methods or media (E.g. match the plastic cap color on the product label or offset color on flexo)
• Simulate arbitrary colors (e.g. presswork done by a competitor or unique brand colors)
• Facilitate aligning real world product-to-print color recipes
• Create multi-printshop “safe” colors
• Extended gamut also available for contone images
Yes, we currently have a cust. using extended color scheme or recipe color for spot and process label work...I would put their success at 75 to 80% depending spot color requirement, substrate press conditions and most importantly client tolorance.
thanks for your response. We have another vendor looking into printing this way and has reached out to us in regards to Equinox.
Are you a printer, or prepress tradeshop, or?
Originally Posted by zman
Resurrecting this thread, we are looking into preparing files for extend gamut printing and I was wondering what systems are available to automatically convert PDFs with normal CMYK process + various Pantone's to a PDF using a extend gamut colour set. We would not be printing the files themselves, they would be supplied to third party printer of our customers choice.
Would Equinox do the this?, do you have to be a 'colour scientist' to use it and are there any other alternatives out there ? Thanks
Kodak Spotless and Esko Equinox are the two main systems for extended process printing.
I don't believe that these systems output a PDF that can then be sent to a print shop for output at their location (I may be wrong but that is my understanding).
Typically the set up for extended process printing is done in the workflow of the printer that will be doing the job.
No special knowledge is needed on the part of the person who creates the files. The skill is in the printer selecting the appropriate extended process colours (which are job, substrate, process dependent). Usually the printer does an audit of the customer's spot color usage, and based on that a set of extended process colors are identified. These are then tested and confirmed on press. So you can't just create an extended process color PDF and toss it over the wall to any printer - even if the could separate the PDF.
We have a packaging customer (converter/printer) that uses Kodak Spotless. They did not buy the system from us, however I know a little about their process from supporting their Kodak Matchprint inkjet proofing. Spotless is an integrated part of their Prinergy Workflow. The fingerprinting, profile creation and setup of the whole process is done with Kodak when they buy the solution. Artwork containing CMYK+spot colours come in to their system and Prinergy refines these into trapped CMYKOV composite vector/raster PDF files (CMYK + orange & violet as they have to match a lot of blue brand colours). Jobs are ganged up for plating and then then output as 6 separation plates using Staccato FM screening.
I know that Gordo has a deep knowledge of this product from his Creo days.
Last edited by Stephen Marsh; 11-23-2012 at 05:37 PM.
Just so there's no misunderstanding, Spotless can work with 0, 1, 2, or three extended process colours. The hue of those inks is not preset. They are defined by the colour usage of the customer (in Stephens example orange & violet were used as that specific customer had to match a lot of blue brand colours).
You don't have to use FM screening - but, for a variety of reasons FM is usually the best way to go.
Spotless is mostly used in packaging and labels (flexo and offset) but it's also used for things like credit cards, hotel key cards, and store gift card as well as greeting cards.
I was part of the Spotless development team for Creo/Kodak as well as its marketing manager but I am no longer associated with Kodak.
Last edited by gordo; 11-23-2012 at 06:57 PM.
In the case of the site that I know, I believe that they offset print on flatsheet metal using UV inks. Paint cans are a big part of their work. Some of the sheets are pre-printed for a white basecoat, other times they print white as a 7th colour so that the metal substrate can be used as part of the package design (in either case the white is not very clean).