QuadTech expands Color Control System capabilities with move to ICON platform

Sussex, WI--February 2004--QuadTech® is migrating the successful QuadTech Color Control System™ (CCS), for commercial web offset printing, onto its new ICON ™ platform. This platform allows multiple QuadTech products to integrate seamlessly, and be controlled from a single operator console.

The migration not only delivers enhanced efficiencies and cost savings, but also provides a modular and upgradeable solution to future-proof current customer investments. In addition, the modularity provides the potential for CCS to move into other markets, such as newspapers and publications gravure.

The QuadTech Color Control System was originally designed to eliminate the need for subjective judgement of color during press runs. It uses video-based technology to automatically search for and track micro color bars. Reading these, at full press speed, CCS provides real-time information to control color accuracy, such as CMYK ink densities, while displaying important print attributes such as print contrast, trap and dot gain. CCS with Instrument Flight®, (CCS/I.F.) developed through a strategic partnership with color specialists System Brunner, provides automated 3-color and midtone gray balance control.

In all more than 30 attributes of color are measured and analysed by CCS /I.F., before appropriate ink key adjustments are made to deliver perfect color. This level of analysis makes the QuadTech Color Control System the most accurate and reliable system on the market. It also allows for the most comprehensive press optimisation, a key component to fully realize a true color managed process.

The new ICON -based CCS improves further on its predecessor’s performance by accessing the same advanced features through an interface that is already familiar to press crews – the ICON architecture allows CCS operation to be integrated into the control consoles of QuadTech RGS and RCS register controls.

On new installations, the new CCS can share the hardware of other ICON -based systems, reducing the total investment. With this type of integration, all QuadTech systems can be run from any operator console, allowing crews freedom of movement around the press, with the knowledge that they can monitor any process controlled by QuadTech equipment at various user interfaces on the press.

New features have been added to the new CCS to make it more efficient. These include set-up of the next job while the current one is running, faster and finer control by allowing adjustments during closed-loop operation and enhanced support for special colors.

In operation, The QuadTech® Color Control System™ provides closed-loop control, delivering accurate and consistent color throughout the entire print run. The target to which the job is to be run can be set automatically or visually in relation to the proof. The storage of previous job data further extends the system’s ability to improve pressroom profitability by reducing makeready times and waste.

“The ICON architecture provides a new roadmap for the future of CCS ,” states Greg Wuenstel CCS Product Manger at QuadTech. “Firstly, it allows us to build features as individual software modules, so that future commercial offset customers will be able to ‘pick-and-mix’ product functionality, and hence investment level, according to their needs. Secondly, adding new modules, possibly developed in conjunction with another partner like System Brunner, will allow the CCS to move into other markets.”

“The new CCS is another completed step towards our ‘Lights out pressroom’ concept,” confirms Sharon Quint, Director of Marketing. “We are striving towards complete integration of ancillary press systems to eliminate errors and minimize variations in the printing processes. We are looking forward to spreading the benefits of CCS color control to other users.

The ICON -based CCS system will be shown for the first time at Drupa 2004, with shipments available immediately. The new QuadTech Color Control System will maintain compatibility with “Process Aviator™” and “Instrument Flight®” from system Brunner and will be compatible with the company’s new QuadTech Data Direct System which supports the market need for “print factory” operation through higher levels of automation (see separate press release).

About BALDWIN | Vision Systems (formerly QuadTech)

BALDWIN’s Vision Systems division is the world’s leading innovator of advanced color and inspection technology for the printing industry. BALDWIN | Vision Systems sells its automated control systems in more than 100 countries to the packaging and converting markets, web offset newspaper and commercial markets, and publication gravure market. BALDWIN maintains a worldwide network of sales and service operations, and is privately owned by BW Forsyth Partner, the investment arm of multi-billion dollar global manufacturing and engineering consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller.


Craig Du Mez, BALDWIN | Vision Systems
Phone: +1 414 566 7500
Email: craig.dumez@quadtechworld.com

Clare Porter, Bespoke
Phone: +44 (0) 1737 215200
Email: quadtech@bespoke.co.uk