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Schawk launches cloud-based print-quality management

2012-10-15 19:51:16

Brand development and deployment services provider Schawk has launched ColorDrive, claimed to be the industry’s first cloud-based, print-quality management platform.
Schawk claims ‘ColorDrive aligns measured and calibrated visual scores throughout the packaging development supply chain process to achieve the highest levels of consistency currently possible in the reproduction of a brand’s colors worldwide’. It is said to enable marketers to objectively measure the success of meeting a brand’s color standards accurately and consistently on packaging by formalizing, simplifying and integrating quantitative and qualitative color measures.
ColorDrive creates a universal print-quality management platform that allows brand owners, pre-media partners and printers to communicate color using the same technical language to convert visual assessments into numbers. This enables participants to deliver brand-accurate colors consistently and improve internal processes.
Robb Frimming, print services director, Schawk, said: ‘ColorDrive has been road tested by three of the world’s largest consumer goods companies and has undergone significant development and refinement over the past 10 years. We are excited to be able to release it to the market and are confident that it will deliver exceptional value to consumer products companies and printers operating multiple plants. ColorDrive is the only commercially available print quality management platform that is brand-centric and synchronizes color communication between marketer, pre-media group and printer.’
Marc Levine, print quality group manager, Schawk, added: ‘Technically, one of the key characteristics that sets this product apart from others is its print quality scoring. ColorDrive ingests the data points most important to a particular brand and company and uses the information to create a print quality score with one number. This dramatically simplifies process management and sets clear guidelines for quality improvement. A high score means that the printer printed closely to the brand’s standards; variability measures have more meaning and continuous improvement plans have greater focus. Quality control just works better. An increased confidence in performance measures and responsiveness to variation translates into faster time-to-market with higher quality and lower overall production costs.’
Stephen Kaufman, chief technology officer at Schawk, added: ‘ColorDrive also differentiates itself in the marketplace because it’s been developed by a company – Schawk – that actually creates packaging deliverables. While the ColorDrive platform combines software and services, and does not require that Schawk be the pre-media partner, we applied more than 50 years of technical knowledge about color management and packaging to the process of developing the product. Our deep insights into the brand challenges that consumer products companies face every day in developing and deploying their brands around the world was invaluable in identifying a gap in the marketplace for a product like this. ColorDrive helps put print quality management back into the hands of brand owners with confidence.’
ColorDrive collects and reports data from a variety of commercially available quality control tools. For a completely integrated quality control client, Schawk selected MeasureColor as its development partner. MeasureColor is a proven solution for quality control on press, giving the ColorDrive print supplier a host of tools to help them manage their internal quality control process. MeasureColor supports a wide array of color measurement devices, helping printers leverage their measurement investment, and provides a true client-server architecture that can scale from one to many locations. It also provides bold graphical feedback that instantly advises the printer on performance. With the ColorDrive client module, MeasureColor lets printers know exactly how they are ‘scoring’ on their brand work.
ColorDrive is currently in use at several Fortune 250 consumer products companies, delivering benefits such as improved shelf impact, brand recognition and speed to market, ease of deployment, low cost of ownership and faster response time, better end product, design integrity retained, confidence in continuous improvement efforts, confidence in supplier deliverability reduces waste and cost, reduced waste of substrates, inks, and energy, as well as consistent proof of performance, the ability of printers to confidently identify opportunities to improve internal processes.
The product is also in use at 15 packaging printers in 30 locations to manage the print quality of the packaging for more than 35 brands in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.