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VGL adopts a confident approach to colour matching

VGL adopts a confident approach to colour matching
Large format print business VGL is a technology-driven company that required a more mature and streamlined approach to colour, particularly across its retail and transport application, where it needed the reassurance that the colour would be reproduced accurately, as well as consistently, over time.

Accordingly, it turned to GMG ColorServer Digital in order to keep colours consistent across a dozen large format digital devices as well as a small format SRA3-size Indigo.

Founded in 1976, VGL is located across three sites in Reading, where its digital and screenprinting operations produce printing for applications including retail, transport, outdoor media and displays. The GMG software is used at its two digital printing sites at Elgar Road and Smallmead.

The initial driver for VGL to install GMG was colour control, with VGL Managing Director, Daniel Field, referring to GMG as “a brand respected for decades in colour”. It soon became apparent to VGL that the software would also make it more efficient, both in terms of time and process waste.

Daniel Field continued: “Consistency over time of brand reproduction is essential for us across all the sectors we deal in. When you’re recreating retail brands, you’re a custodian of those brand colours, and the ability to produce them accurately time and time again is paramount. With a commercial fleet, you have multiple vehicles that all need to be uniform in colour”. VGL has several roll-to-roll machines printing transport vinyl liveries, which all run the same jobs on the same materials, thus making this a focus area for colour consistency Other VGL areas of application include printing onto textiles using dye-sublimation printers and printing onto rigid boards with flatbed printers.

When reprinting damaged fleet graphics, VGL previously found it difficult and time-consuming to achieve precisely the same hues as those of the original graphics. However, GMG ColorServer has not only sped up the whole process, it’s also delivered more consistent results too, providing VGL with the reassurance it needed that replacement panels will accurately match the original work. This is due to the built-in and accurate calibration function offered by the GMG SmartProfiler, which enables VGL to quickly and easily recalibrate to a reference condition for stable print behaviour, and to compensate colour drifts for variations of substrate colour/white points and different print modes.

With its retail POS print, VGL’s production spans different processes, presses and, crucially, multiple materials – including cards, plastics and recycled boards. VGL’s Technical Director, Rupert Dadd explained why it needed to manage colour and automate the process in this area. He said: “The old way of doing it pre-GMG was to run test prints for presses where you are printing similar materials and make manual adjustments for each of those machines to get them all aligned. Now GMG does all that work beforehand, so it doesn’t need to be done on every single job. The GMG system is easier to use with fewer steps to create a profile; Traditionally, you’d be losing a machine for significant periods, whereas with GMG, it’s undertaken at speed.”

The majority of jobs print within VGL’s 1 Delta E target tolerance the first time, presenting substantial time and cost savings. Using GMG ColorServer has also delivered significant efficiencies in prepress for VGL. When any changes are made to the file input data, GMG ColorServer automatically converts RGB, CMYK, spot colours and mixed data for all presses and profiles, without VGL’s prepress team having to manually tweak colour data. Built-in spectral profiling from GMG OpenColor also provides superior spot colour separations and allows for precise prediction and optimised test charts for the business’s digital printing.

When asked to list the advantages of working with GMG, Daniel Field summarised: “From the first conversation to the point of implementation, training and aftercare, it’s been an effortless relationship. The GMG team showed confidence in the products and offered them on a sale-by-results basis. Very early on, we knew GMG was going to completely deliver against the brief we’d provided.”

GMG Sales Manager, Paul Williams, was the main contact for VGL’s implementation of GMG software. He commented: “We were introduced to VGL as it had been asked to match to FOGRA39 print conditions. It soon became apparent that it would also benefit from matching colour across devices and substrates, and that ColorServer Digital would solve both challenges. It’s been a pleasure helping VGL to achieve its colour goals.”

For further information on GMG ColorServer Digital, visit: www.gmgcolor.com

For further information on VGL, visit: www.vgl.co.uk

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