„Perfect color measurement and artificial intelligence
with the new Prinect Easy Control and Color Assistant Pro
on a Speedmaster CX 75 four-color press.”

The implementation of Artificial Intelligence and integration of the press into prepress workflow offers unique benefits and facilitates autonomous and navigated printing throughout the entire printing process. Intelligent assistance systems such as Intellistart 3, Wash Assistant, Powder Assistant and Color Assistant Pro reduce manual operator interventions to a minimum and boost print shop performance.

When Ebner started thinking about a new printing press, the advantages of the Speedmaster CX 75 from HEIDELBERG were quickly identified. The company wanted to invest consistently in future-proof technologies. Christian Ebner, who is responsible for the entire production process in prepress and press, explains: "We were planning to purchase a four-color press in the 53 × 75 format. The aim was to double our capacity. With such a productive press, manual operating steps must be reduced to a minimum. That only works with appropriate workflow integration, artificial intelligence and spectral color measurement technology."

The third-generation family-run company found the AI-based assistants from HEIDELBERG and the Prinect workflow just as helpful. For example, the Wash Assistant, which uses a wide range of parameters to determine the most efficient washup program.

Jürgen Sporrer (printer) is very happy with the new color measurement system Prinect Easy Control.
Jürgen Sporrer (printer) is very happy with the new color measurement system Prinect Easy Control.

Jürgen Sporrer (printer) is very happy with the new color measurement system Prinect Easy Control.

The Powder Assistant works in a similar way, always calculating the lowest possible amount of powder. This ensures that nothing is deposited, the machine stays clean for longer, and the next stage in the production process is completed quickly.

Jürgen Sporrer, the operator of the Speedmaster CX 75 four-color press, impressively explains what else the AI can do: "After optimizing ink presettings using the Color Assistant Pro, we are now already in PSO standard after 30 sheets approximately. The Color Assistant pro considers changing printing conditions for the next job. At the same time, it also monitors ink foil wear in the ink fountain and informs about the optimum time for a change."

The prepress department has been working with Prinect products for a long time. Recently the production workflow was converted to the latest Prinect technology. This means that, together with the new press, Ebner is using all the presetting and reporting options of the Prinect system. All papers are stored in the print substrate database, the CIELab color values in the color library for prepress and press. The Calibration Manager provides the appropriate imagesetter linearizations and the print characteristic curves. This means that not only the new Speedmaster CX 75 4-color always receives plates with the optimum tone value curves, but also the additional Speedmaster SM 52 2-color press.

Another highlight is the Prinect Easy Control color measurement system that HEIDELBERG has been offering since April 2022. Like all HEIDELBERG devices, it works based on spectral measurement and colorimetric control of the ink zones. Jürgen Sporrer comments: "Density measurement has not been an issue for us since 2010. Our customers demand the exact reproduction of their desired colors or compliance with the PSO. And this is only possible with that technology. Since 2010 we exclusively have measured spectrally and pass this on to our customers in color measurement reports."

The fact that the new Speedmaster CX 75-4 had to be equipped with spectral measuring technology and automatic control of the ink zones was beyond all question for the management. For production reasons, however, it was necessary to be able to place a 4 mm (0.157 inch) print control strip on some jobs, which was not possible at the time with the Prinect Easy Control color measuring system. Christian Ebner requested HEIDELBERG and was pleasantly surprised: "Even before the press was installed, I received a call from the responsible product manager Bernd Utter from Heidelberg. He asked if we would agree to test a new prototype that could also measure small strips. We didn't think twice about it and of course agreed." From today's perspective, a classic win-win situation. After the quick installation and instruction of the Prinect Easy Control, the device was immediately used for every job. Till this day, Christian Ebner and Jürgen Sporrer are in regular communication with HEIDELBERG. "The staff there is open to our suggestions and requests. And the cooperation with development department, service and product management is running to our utmost satisfaction”, Christian Ebner is pleased to report.

Bernd Utter (Product Manager from HEIDELBERG) and Jürgen Sporrer (left to right) talking at the Prinect Easy Control system.
Bernd Utter (Product Manager from HEIDELBERG) and Jürgen Sporrer (left to right) talking at the Prinect Easy Control system.

Bernd Utter (Product Manager from HEIDELBERG) and Jürgen Sporrer (left to right) talking at the Prinect Easy Control system.

In the meantime, the Prinect Easy Control has now reached series production status and is indispensable for daily business. Compared to its predecessor, the new device offers many add-ons. The DIPCO Micro print control strips are measurable that saves space on the sheet. For applications outside the press, the actual measuring device can simply be removed from its holder and used immediately as an adequate handheld measuring device. For example, in the Prinect Color Toolbox or in the color library with the Prinect Production Manager software. Rollers under the measuring device allow fast and precise measurement of a tone value strip or an ECI GrayCon strip for process control.

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