Manage Color Libraries to Ensure Color Accuracy Across the Color Supply Chain
In this video, X-Rite Pantone Senior Color Scientist, Edward Hattenberger explains the many benefits of rationalization and mapping of color libraries.
Over time, a printer’s color libraries grow organically because of the unmanaged processes of adding colors at one plant or when separate factories add new colors without coordination. This can quickly evolve into an unmanageable number of colors, which can result in inefficiencies, as well as uncertainty as to which colors to use for each job.
All of this results in:
Difficulty in on-press validation of accurate color.
Accrual of costs in excessive ink inventory.
Ink recipes that may be inefficient to reuse (press returns).
Difficulty in transferring jobs among factories.
Difficulty in executing split runs (same job run at the same time in separate plants).
X-Rite’s PantoneLIVE Rationalization Service was created to make these libraries more manageable for printers and converters. This service analyzes the entire color library and consolidates colors that have variations so small they are effectively the same.
Part of the Rationalization process includes a Color Mapping Service. Client colors are mapped to standard Pantone® Matching System (PMS) colors and also to PantoneLIVE dependent references, so that the entire packaging supply chain can easily make use of both master and dependent libraries within the PantoneLIVE™ ecosystem.
Sometimes, due to the realities of production materials and processes, the desired Master Standard color cannot be fully achieved with the target substrate and printing process. Dependent Standards are expressly designed to represent desired Master Standards, while taking into account the effect on color outcome of using various different substrates, inks and printing processes.
The analyzed colors are presented to the converter in a report that displays the original color library count and the potential redundant colors; this allows converters to choose which colors to keep and which colors to eliminate.
Benefits of Color Mapping and Rationalization for converters
Leaner palette of colors – The digital library allows converters to take a step back from the frantic daily production schedule and easily see where they have amassed duplicate colors over the years across their client base.
Smaller inventory of colors – Reduce the ink room inventory by ordering larger volumes of a smaller variety of inks, which are all pre-qualified and known to run on the converter’s press.
Waste reduction / efficiency – Inks NO longer become a unique, bespoke client color, and a smaller number of inks means fewer wash ups and color changes, so efficient production planning becomes easier too. The saving is not just in ink and time; it is a greener process due to the use of less substrate to complete the order as well as less waste ink.
Consistent offer to brand owners – By using a smaller palette of known good colors, converters can offer reliable and achievable colors to their customers. This sets a realistic expectation from the outset and brings color consistency and security.
Want to better manage your color libraries and work more efficiently? Contact us