Significans Automation develops Virtual InkBooks for custom ink libraries

Significans Automation (Burlington, Ontario), a leading provider of integration and automation solutions for the printing and graphic arts industry, has entered the software development market with the launch of its Virtual InkBooks – a powerful colour-management tool for creating cloud-based custom-ink libraries that can be tailored to any job. Designed to work in conjunction with Esko’s WebCenter and Automation Engine, Virtual InkBooks enables users throughout a printing or packaging operation to view Pantone and custom ink libraries in real-time, and allows production teams to easily customize and record job-specific ink data in the Cloud. These libraries can be used for repeat work downstream or across multiple jobs or output devices, reducing make-ready costs and improving and augmenting colour consistency across multiple platforms.

Marc Raad

According to Marc Raad, CEO of Signficans Automation, entry into of software development was a natural progression for his company, which has a tremendous track record of improving production efficiencies and automating workflows for its clients throughout the Americas. “Virtual InkBooks was first conceived after a conversation with one of our packaging clients, Bay Cities, which expressed a desire to reduce the variables, manpower and costs associated with managing colour consistency, particularly with re-orders,” Raad explained. “Over the next couple of months we worked closely with Bay Cities to develop a solution to address these specific needs. The result was a robust piece of industry software.”

Headquartered in Pico Rivera, California, Bay Cities is an expert in printed corrugated displays and packaging. With the addition of Virtual InkBooks, the company is now able to track and accurately reproduce all colours. According to Bay Cities’ Director of IT and Automation, James Hawton, the company needed to make it easy for designers and pre-press staff to enter the colour data in Esko’s WebCenter to ensure that it could track its colours and accurately reproduce them again on future orders.

“A lot of times when you go to press, you still need to make tweaks to hit a specific colour as closely as you can, and the biggest problem you run into is how to store what you’ve done on that specific machine after the initial run is complete,” he said. “With Virtual InkBooks we now have a specific location where we can store the colour information and the LAB values that we worked on for a particular machine, to get the result that we wanted. So now, whenever any graphic artist is going to work with that colour, they’ll be working with the same variable. Significans Automation really delivered a great solution for our needs.”

The software allows users, regardless of their location, skills or printing application, to easily:

• Mix and match Pantone and custom colours

• Enter colour data in LAB or Spectral formats

• Save and reuse libraries for future projects

• Export libraries to Adobe Illustrator

• Utilize the benefits of cloud-based remote access

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