House of Print Installs First X-Rite Rutherford Closed Loop System In South Africa


The first X-Rite Rutherford closed loop press colour control system in South Africa was installed at House of Print. This system will give the company greater control over the colour they produce on their flagship KBA press.

This means that customers can expect even higher colour quality standards in the printed jobs. It will also allow the company to be more productive with less waste, which relates to faster turnaround times and lower costs for customers.

X-Rite recently introduced the product, which combines proven pressroom measurement devices such as IntelliTrax, EasyTrax and eXact Scan with the Rutherford press control system. DigitalView is the X-Rite appointed sole distributor of the system in South Africa.

Combined with X-Rite measurement devices, Rutherford offers automation for the press ink key settings. Before the press is started, the CIP3 or TIFF files of the job from prepress provide all the information that IntelliSet needs to automatically preset the ink keys. This saves operator time and as a result saves money as the press can be more productive. The press operator simply chooses the print job and paper type on a touch-screen monitor and IntelliSet does the rest. No more manual adjustments at the press console.

Some key features of IntelliSet are:
• Auto-Learning by Paper Type – the system stores a preset-accuracy history file of each paper type.
• Preview – presets the bar graph of computed presets overlaid on the plate image.
• Ink – sweeps are shown numerically.
• Auto-Key Compensation – ink key settings automatically compensate if sweeps are manually changed.
• Preset Accuracy Reports – preset accuracy can be viewed remotely using a web browser, by job or historically by press.
• Adapts to almost any prepress job-naming convention – job numbers displayed at the press match those shown on operators’ job tickets.

Once the job commences, the press operator scans the colour bar of a press sheet to obtain the spectral and density data and IntelliLoop sets the ink keys. The operator will not have to manually adjust ink keys. During the press run, periodic scans of the colour bar feed colour data into IntelliLoop. The software informs the operator of any adjustments needed to keep colour consistent. IntelliLoop ensures fast colour correctness, every time.

Key Features of IntelliLoop:
– Reads key settings and sweeps immediately following scans – assures effective key moves for rapid attainment of colour standards.
– Roll-Back-Key – opening and sweep settings can be rolled back to the settings that resulted from any previous scan.
– Key Opening Bar-Graph – displays actual ink key openings in percentages. Sweep settings are displayed numerically.
– Preview Key-Moves – after a scan, the system displays the effect of the new key openings.
– Key Move Aggressiveness – dragging an on-screen slider changes the aggressiveness of key-moves in getting to colour.

Being the first system installation in the country, Andre Bam, Managing Director of House of Print, insisted on a ‘try to buy’. He set a number of installation criteria. First, the system needed to deliver the promised benefits and results of quicker turnaround of jobs, more accurate colour and a healthy return on investment. Second, House of Print is an extremely busy shop and, as a result, could not afford to take the press out of production. Two weeks after installation, the results had already spoken to the effectiveness of the Rutherford IntelliPress system.

‘DigitalView promised that installation would not interfere with production on the press. Within an hour the system was installed and running. Within the first two days, my press production staff were already seeing the benefits of having the system. After two weeks, I called DigitalView to confirm the order. We had already seen dramatically reduced makeready times. Getting up to colour quicker means that our makeready waste has been cut almost in half. The return on investment for the system is amazing – we will see a break-even in just a few months,’ said Bam.

‘I was rather sceptical in the beginning at Rutherford’s claims on how quick and easy the implementation of the system is. It was amazing. There was virtually no downtime for the press and operators were comfortable with the software in no time at all. I have had experience installing other closed loop systems and have seen how long it can take for a system like this to settle down. The hardware installation itself took about an hour without stopping the press, including computer and measuring device set-up,’ said Laura Minter of DigitalView.

‘The press interface to the KBA Rapida 106 took about 15 minutes without stopping the press. Thereafter, we were able to start running production with the system. The operators were able to work by themselves within an hour with very little assistance. Minor issues, such as colour bars not being centred, were resolved quickly. We really were impressed with the ease of implementation and, the benefits to the customer speak for themselves. Reducing makeready time and waste by more than half, makes installing this system is a no brainer,’ added Minter.