Pantone answers some important questions

gordo

Well-known member
A while ago Pantone hosted a webinar on their spot color printing system. It was very high level so I asked a few questions of Pantone that I thought forum members would have liked answers to.

Pantone answered today as follows...

Hi Gordon,

Please see answers to your questions below.

Is the press a waterless offset press or conventional offset press using fountain solution?
  • We utilize a specially-modified offset press which is capable of printing 28 individual spot colors in the same pass. We print dry offset, using ink densities which are tested for printability in a conventional wet offset environment.
What metric do you use to confirm that a color is within tolerance? I.e. Delta E? CIE 1976? CIE 2000? etc..
  • We use Delta E 2000.

What is your tolerance in the swatch books for deviation from the target?
  • We do not publish a set tolerance however using X-Rite solutions that were implemented in our production process of the guides, we are able to control the color as well as track the Delta E values to ensure the Pantone guides stay within specifications. These tools allow us the formulation of ink to achieve results within a tolerance of 1DE2000, with a goal to achieve less than 2DE2000 for all 28 colors on the page as measured on-press. This leads to better overall printed quality with colors and better visually aligned to the 2010 Pantone Master Standards. Our production process allows more tightly controlled, sustainable consistency with every production run and has shown over 90% of colors achieving the on press target in the Pantone Formula Guide Coated (Solid Coated colors). In recent press runs many colors measuring close to a 1.2 DE2000.
Is the tolerance the same for all colors or is it tighter for some colors than others.

-See above answer.

(Combined these questions) Is the OBA content of the coated papers the same for the different swatch book systems? Is the OBA content of the uncoated papers the same for the different swatch book systems?
  • Yes, we only have one paper stock used for Coated and one stock for Uncoated. Coated: #1grade 100 lb Gloss Text Stock (148 g/m2) Uncoated: Premium Grade 80 lb Text Stock (118 g/m2). The paper was selected as a representation of a highly common industry-used stock weight containing optical brighteners with an OBAs of 8.1 (coated) / 10.7 (uncoated) per ISO/FDIS 15397:2013.

Best regards,

Lucas Hedgecock

Applications Engineering & Technical Support

Pantone Applications SpecialistX-Rite Incorporated
4300 44th Street SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512 USA
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
Is the press a waterless offset press or conventional offset press using fountain solution?
  • We utilize a specially-modified offset press which is capable of printing 28 individual spot colors in the same pass. We print dry offset, using ink densities which are tested for printability in a conventional wet offset environment.
What metric do you use to confirm that a color is within tolerance? I.e. Delta E? CIE 1976? CIE 2000? etc..
  • We use Delta E 2000.

What is your tolerance in the swatch books for deviation from the target?
  • We do not publish a set tolerance however using X-Rite solutions that were implemented in our production process of the guides, we are able to control the color as well as track the Delta E values to ensure the Pantone guides stay within specifications. These tools allow us the formulation of ink to achieve results within a tolerance of 1DE2000, with a goal to achieve less than 2DE2000 for all 28 colors on the page as measured on-press. This leads to better overall printed quality with colors and better visually aligned to the 2010 Pantone Master Standards. Our production process allows more tightly controlled, sustainable consistency with every production run and has shown over 90% of colors achieving the on press target in the Pantone Formula Guide Coated (Solid Coated colors). In recent press runs many colors measuring close to a 1.2 DE2000.

Gordon, great follow up.

I suspected it was basically a dry offset approach. And yes, they could greatly improve their operation with a positive ink feed method. If they wanted to they could go to very tight tolerances that would be predictable. No chance they will though. :)
 
D

Deleted member 16349

Guest
I wonder what the impact of fountain solution is on press to swatch match.
From tests with positive feed on lithographic presses, there was little if any impact on density with the variation of the amount of fountain solution applied. This is with the same substrate.

When printing the same amount of ink on different substrates, such as coated and uncoated, there was a great difference in print density. The coated substrate had a much higher density than the uncoated substrate.

There might be a slightly bigger difference between dry offset and lithographic offset with the same amount of ink printed, due to some smoothness and /or uniformity of the ink film. I would guess that it would not be too great but I have no data to make any claim.

If one had a press with positive ink feed, these kinds of interesting questions could be investigated very easily.

IMO the problem with matching a pantone swatch to what the press prints is mostly related to the formulation of the ink. The ink has to be formulated based on how it looks on a specific substrate. Different substrates will need different ink formulations for the same Pantone colour. You need skilled people in the ink room to help with this.
 

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