A. McLay and Co. Ltd was the 150th customer worldwide to be awarded certification to firm ISO standard 12647-2 by Heidelberg as part of its System service offering.

More and more print customers, primarily in industrialised markets, are demanding evidence of quality for colour standards and process control from their service providers. This is where ISO standard 12647-2 comes in. An increasing number of print shops are keen to use this standard as proof of quality and as a tool for their marketing activities.

Richard Kyte, Manufacturing Manager at McLays said, ‘Our top priority is to deliver quality products and services that exceed our customers’ requirements and expectations. The ISO 12647-2 certification not only demonstrates our commitment to quality, it ensures accurate colour reproduction job after job.’

Print shops benefit from a complete package from a single source that covers everything from consultancy and prepress/press system settings to inspection, certification, documentation, and training.

Customers can also rely on the comprehensive expertise of Heidelberg service
specialists, especially with regard to colour management. Unlike many other providers, Heidelberg does not demand that its customers purchase special software or consumables to fulfill the criteria for certification.

For over ten years, customers have had the option of standardising their print processes using the ‘Print Colour Management’ service package from Heidelberg. In most cases, their goal is to satisfy the requirements of ISO standard 12647-2. As more and more customers were interested in having this process verified in the form of a certificate, Heidelberg decided to introduce certification to ISO 12647-2 in 2010.

With this aim in mind, print and prepress experts at Heidelberg completed special training courses. Additional courses are held whenever changes are made to the standard. Heidelberg staff contribute their own expertise to the development and maintenance of ISO 12647 and other standards through their work on various committees and councils.

The actual certification process, from standardisation of the print process through to printing usually takes a week and involves two tests carried out by Print Colour Management experts from Heidelberg.

One test takes place on the customer’s premises, the other at the company’s headquarters in Heidelberg. On passing both tests, customers are awarded certification that they can use for marketing purposes. They are also named as ISO 12647-2-certified companies on the Heidelberg website. The certificate is valid for 24 months, after which time another test is required.

‘Working in partnership with Heidelberg really made the difference,’ said Kyte. ‘They helped us generate the ICC colour profiles, our equipment was recalibrated, our workflow was fully optimised, and our staff received on-site training where necessary. When the process was complete, everyone had a better understanding of colour, how to achieve the best results, and how to get the most out of our equipment. It wasn’t just a certificate on the wall.’