Koenig & Bauer and System Brunner have been collaborating within a close technology partnership for more than ten years now. And now the two companies have agreed to extend and intensify their cooperation to the benefit of sheetfed offset users. System Brunner’s core expertise when it comes to colour management in all phases of print and media production will thereby remain closely integrated with sheetfed offset presses from Koenig & Bauer in future. At the same time, there are new product features in the pipeline.
System Brunner’s key product is its software package Instrument Flight, which has now been used for years for evaluating a multitude of print process parameters to implement AI-assisted colour control in accordance with grey balance, and has essentially automated colour management in industrial printing. Instrument Flight integrates seamlessly with the QualiTronic and ErgoTronic measuring and control systems for Rapida sheetfed offset presses, thereby realising end-to-end colour management from pre-press through to job production. The software is supplemented by the training/consulting package Print Expert to ensure optimal integration of the presses into the overall colour workflow.
PSO-Match and G7-Match are two further products that Koenig & Bauer and System Brunner offer, featuring a less extensive scope of functions that nonetheless provide similarly useful options for Rapida presses.
High ecological benefit and sustainability
Alongside quality aspects and savings in terms of time and material consumption, Instrument Flight colour management delivers increasingly important ecological benefits. After all, it reduces rates of waste significantly – during both makeready and subsequent production. AI-assisted algorithms automatically compensate process fluctuations and colour drifts in a manner akin to human colour perception. The risk of customer complaints leading to reprinting of a job is reduced accordingly. For print companies, this means not only lower substrate costs, but also a reduced consumption of ink, process media and energy per job.
Ongoing further development
System Brunner has continued upgrading Instrument Flight over the past few years. On the current ErgoTronic consoles from Koenig & Bauer, the control system features a separate monitor and its own PC, but is otherwise fully networked with the console. This allows for even more flexible implementation of customer requests and new developments.
The current software release is the first to use an end-to-end ICC colour management workflow. It permits generation of a completely new job report, which assesses print production statistically based on selected visual criteria and, for the first time, distinguishes between compliance with a specified print standard (target match) and visual colour stability over the length of the run (consistency). This is an absolute novelty in the print industry.
New products – including ones for further print processes
Instrument Flight EXG is already in the pipeline as a version of the system that will allow extended gamut printing with the seven process colours CMYK+OGV. More projects are planned within the framework of the partnership between Koenig & Bauer and System Brunner. This also involves exploring whether other print processes could benefit from the system.