The Process control module is the foundation of MeasureColor. It holds a major number of features like Job setup, adding custom colors, process color sequence, data analysis & correction. So, whatever you want to do with MeasureColor, it most likely starts with the Process control module.
When you enter the module, the first thing you will see is the client and job list overview. When a Client is selected, all jobs for that client are shown. The buttons below each list only correspond to the list directly above. The left add button only adds a Client, the right one only adds a job.
After clicking on a job, the whole interface will slide to a view of the selected job and its measurements. You will notice that the buttons will slide along as well.
Each column can be filtered. Just click on the column header and you will see a filter-arrow appear. Click again to change the filter direction. With the ‘Search for ’ function, you can search any keyword. The pull-down preselector allows you to search for jobs (default), Clients or Measurements.
The search result will show you all the jobs, clients or measurements, that comply with the keyword you entered. This result is also divided per client, so it reads the same way as the standard client-job list.
To view measurement results for a job, you can either navigate to a specific measurement and hit the View button or you can double-click the job name or double-click a measurement from the list. Double-clicking the job name will always bring you to the last measurement for that job.
Depending on the settings of that job you can expect to see one of the specialized views: Ink zones, balance, traffic light or flexo view.
Please take a look at the orange numbers 1-5 in the image above.
Depending on the color bar definition, the balance for highlight, midtones and shadows can be displayed. In this case, we will be looking at the same job as we did before (midtone display): Like the word ‘balance’ is already explaining, an even amount of pigment intensity is needed to print a stable/neutral grey or ‘black’. The upper picture is currently showing the next information:
The same in G7 view:
Use the Balance buttons on the left to toggle between the different Balance views. The little CMY-column graphs on the ink keys are shown by default. Hit the ‘HR Balance’ button to view the selected balance option per primary, see below.
There can be reasons to lock out certain ink zones from ink averages and scoring. You can do that by clicking the wrench tool and then selecting Lock:
In this screen you can simply enable / disable patches in a color bar. Locked out patches are shown with a little lock.
These locks appear in the normal Ink zone view like this:
Note: When a patch measurement is close to the substrate measurement (less than 2 Delta-e), MeasureColor will deem the patch not printed and will automatically disable it. It is not possible to lock them out, as they are already disabled.
The Flexo view is selected when a Flexo press is selected in the job and three inkzones are prepared in the Color Bar for Left - Center - Right measurements and shows you an overview of the solids and midtones deviations. Currently Chromatrack is not available for Flexo view.
Please note that the Flexibles module, which is a specialized module for monitoring Flexo presses does use ChromaTrack for it's analysis.
The traffic light view was designed for digital press operators. The light had three states: the assuring green meaning all is well, the orange indicating a recalibration should be carried out and the red: ask for assistance.
Besides the traffic light the TVI graphs and color balance indicators enable a overview of all important properties of the printing process.
Like we mentioned before, the landing page for viewing the measurement details, depends on the kind of job. Every kind of job holds a gamut view, what makes the gamut view one of the most used views we offer in our software. This view shows you the most details of a measurement and lets you examine individual patches as well.
In the options for ‘Gamut’ you can set the default gamut graph (outline of the measured gamut) to a spider graph, displaying the individual patch-measurement results. The actual measures values are represented by the blue lines and the reference is represented by the white lines. The bigger white circles in the graphs represent the tolerance.
Next to the bigger solids and midtones-graph, you can also find some other statistics. For Solids and TVI we have column-graphs with the measurement scores and tolerance lines (in this case based on Offset ISO 12647-2). In the picture above you see two TVI values (40 and 80). In case a color bar holds more patches for TVI, another TVI graph will appear in this view. In this case the color bar only has two patches.
The four smaller, full color graphs show you the measurement results for Paper, Highlights, Midtones and Shadows. The individual patches, provided on the bottom of the gamut window are clickable and will show you a much more detailed representation of this color for this measurement. Without reading the actual measured values, you can interpret the scoring compared to the reference by looking at the symbols beneath the measured values.
The color patches for Solid, Overprint, Substrate and Balance are all clickable. This view shows you the measured delta-E and the pass/ fail indicator based on the jobs reference. Clicking on on of the patches brings you to a more detailed view of -in this case- the Cyan (C) Solid patch. If you hold one of the Solid patches you can select any of the TVI tints that are present in the job.
Based on the measured color bar you either see a single spot detail or a detail view where all individual samples are shown. Click on a single patch to show more details or double click to show it’s results for that particular patch.
Note: The Lightness indicator shows Black on top which is more logical to press operators. The scientific correct way would show Black on the bottom and White on top. To switch to the scientific method, you can change the behavior of the Lightness bar indicator from the LocalConfig Editor application.
In the CIE-ab diagram, the bottom right corner, a ‘zoom’ symbol is shown. By clicking this symbol, you will zoom out to a gamut overview. You can also use your mouse-wheel to change the scale of the diagram.
MeasureColor has a unique feature that helps you achieve the best color match with ease. ChromaTrack will analyse the measured color patch and it’s spectral behavior on the substrate. It will then display the expected behavior of the ink when changing ink film thickness (changing the ink density). This way, you will know exactly how to correct a certain color, making sure you hit the best color match every time!
Delta-E is a 3-dimensional ellipsoid, composed of CIE-L, CIe-a and CIE-b color differences. Displaying a 3D ellipsoid in 2-dimensions can be tricky, as sometimes a measured color patch might be in tolerance if you only look top-down (CIE-ab), but actually fails because of the delta-L (Lightness). That is why MeasureColor shows you the 2 white lines indicicating the maximum difference allowed. The outer, thinner line represents the size of the ellipsoid when delta-L = 0, the inner (thicker) white line represents the CIE-ab tolerance based on the measured delta-L. The illustration below clarifies this visualization.
The above visualization shows two spots (pass and fail). Even though the fail-spot falls within the 2D circle, the spot is a fail, because it is outside of the ellipsoid. This can be confusing when examining measurements, so always take the L-value in consideration first. In this case both C and M are in the upper half of the ellipsoid, meaning that they are both more bright than the reference.
This view for Dot gain or TV (Tone value)/TVI (Tone Value Increase) is one of the views we overhauled for the better. The gamut graphs show you the balance for highlights, midtones and shadows. The curves graph and the -color separated- raw list on the right show you all you need to know about the CMY dot gain of your current measurement. The tabs directly above the raw list let you toggle the different colors and you can compose the graph yourself. The three checkboxes and the patches beneath the graph enable you to select or deselect the items to show. You can look at individual color curves, with or without the target and or tolerance, or you can look at all of them at the same time.
Note: Please note that the scale autosizes depending on the Tone value method selected in the Measurement condition.
In the extension of dot gain, the CTP view enables you to view curves, correct curves and even compensate linear or existing plate curves. This view is also composed of a curve graph with show and hide items and a (color separated by tab) raw list on the right. Again you can click on the individual patches and checkboxes to show or hide items from the graph.
Note: This view isn't available for G7 jobs
This view holds a tool that is still very basic. It is used to compare or verify a single spot-measurement. If you have reason to verify any of the earlier measurements, or if you just want to measure a single spot, this tool does the job quick and easy. The measurement modes on the lower right side give you the possibility to spot measure against one of the jobs colors. MeasureColor automatically matches the measured color to the job reference. By default ‘only search important colors’ is used. It will search for colors used within the job at hand. If you choose to just compare a color, use the Measure reference and Measure sample options.
Next to the preview of the reference and the sample, the CIElabgraph shows you the gamut difference between the two values. In this case the value was deliberately set far apart. The CIElab-graph only shows you a line. The origin of the line (center of the graph) represents the reference and the fact that the line extends beyond the graph’s display area, tells you that there is a big Δ-E between the two measured spots.
The lightness column on the right side of the CIElab-graph displays the difference between the two measured spots In this case, the sample is clearly lighter that it’s reference.
Using the zoom tool -on the lower right of the graph-, you can see how far the measurements are apart. This zoomed-out stage of the CIElab-graph shows you the same that the lightness column was already showing you before, but appropriately within CIElab. Looking at the other tab of the graph, you can find the remission curves for both measured spots. The 2D remission curve indicates the spectral power of the colors and the nanometer composure.
This part of the Process Control module is most suitable for overviewing/evaluating measurement results. Working with different dropdown menus, you can setup this screen in various preferred combinations, based on the color bar-definition (content) of this job.
The two red lines in the dot gain graph show you the max Δ-E, again, based on the current job settings. The little white dots in the colored, spiked lines are the measurements.
The white dots are clickable. Once clicked on a white dot, you will see the vertical black line snap to the same position. Use ‘View’ to look at the details of the selected white dot (measurement). Click on the ‘Show colors’ patches at the bottom of the window to deselect or select. All run-colors are shown by default.
From version 16.3 and later MeasureColor supports opacity measurements for users with a Packaging or Flexibles license. It will calculate the white ink performance by measuring the white backing ink over a white and a black reference.
The opacity view only appears if a few requirements are met:
After this a extra view button will appear in the bottom row of your Process Control or Flexibles module.
Clicking the button will get you into the Opacity view which lets you measure your print first over a white and then over a black reference to calculate the opacity. The opacity samples will be listed with a time and date stamp.
You can delete individual opacity measurements using the minus sign. Please note that the 'white ink performance' graph only shows the values when the measurement is in Production mode.
Since version 18.1, MeasureColor is capable to analyse if a print complies to IDEAlliance G7. MeasureColor is capable of checking both G7 'Grayscale' (NPDC) and G7 'Targeted' (NPDC + solid/overprint colorimetric values).
To use G7 the used Color bar, Tolerance set and Reference should be G7 compliant. When they are an extra G7 button will appear in the Process Control screen, while the CTP button disappears.
The G7 analysis shows you either the Overview or the NPDC graphs. Here, we show the Overview that displays important information on that job measurement.
The NPDC view shows you the traditional G7 curves. Please note the 'Average all production measurements' switch. An empty graph will show when no production measurements are made and this switch is on.
More in-depth information on the G7 and MeasureColor can be found here: G7
From version 19.1 and later it is possible to register visual defects from within MeasureColor and use them in the Scoring evaluation.
Clicking the button shows you the defects already selected for that measurement sheet. By pressing the edit button you can set or reset all defects:
More information on the setup of the visual defects registering and scoring can be found here: Visual defects setup
From MeasureColor versions 19.1 and later an improved automatic measurement import tool is added to Process control that is designed to grab measurement files from various systems and import those into MeasureColor jobs for storage, evaluation, scoring and PQM/reporting tasks.
Every user group can be set to use the recorder by changing the job measurement workflow to 'Auto import':
The recorder can be set up for different workflows:
Note: before setting up the recorder, set-up folders for the measurements and make sure a file with the same name is available.
When used at the press the measuring software might overwrite the same file again and again, in this case, you need to set up the recorder for a specific file name.
This would be the preferred set up when a system adds timestamps to the name, or when processing full directories with files for QC or reporting.