Bengaluru, India August 2014 – Esko is pleased to announce the successful implementation of the Esko Equinox extended gamut solution by Pragati Offset in Hyderabad, India’s pioneering print innovator. Equinox is Esko’s solution for the implementation of extended gamut – or fixed inkset – printing.
Equinox Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) technology is Esko’s patented technology for converting packaging graphics from CMYK and spot color to a seven-color process. It is applied in the prepress department when preparing jobs for press.
Converting entire files results in extremely close matches to spot colors, improved pictorial images, and the ability to print more colors than available ink stations on the press, resulting in improved image quality and brand impact. The major benefit, however, is realized in the pressroom as jobs print more economically and more consistently.
Pragati Director, Mr. Harsha Paruchuri speaks about his early interest in this solution, “I saw this solution in an early beta stage at the EskoWorld Conference in Tampa, Florida about 4 years ago. It struck me as very interesting even at that stage. Taking a large 7 color gamut and having the software convert an artwork with any number of Pantones or RGB images to those 7 colors (or 6 or 5, depending on what you want) sounded interesting.”
Since the CMYK color space lacks in the green, orange and blue-violet areas, adding these three inks to expand the color space makes sense. A 7 color strategy is made after measurement of the test forms. The set up and maintenance of the profiles and strategies are the main work. Equinox conversion can be done in Esko’s prepress editors with the ability to manually interact and change some of the conversions - or it can be set up in the ticket and done automatically by the RIP during the normalization. There is also a Adobe®Photoshop® plug-in for interactively converting images to 7 colors.
Mr. Paruchuri explains how Pragati Offset uses Equinox, “Once the profiles are made, it is almost a push button solution as far as spot colors are concerned with the images processed automatically to create a 7 color separation set. And since we have a complete Esko workflow, Equinox fits seamlessly into the workflow.”
Mr Paruchuri shares the thought process that went into installing two new 7 color plus coater offset presses at the end of 2013, “We thought an additional unit would give us more flexibility as we already print a lot of 6 color jobs and there were times when we felt an additional color would improve the quality and consistency. Equinox also played a part in our thinking when we ordered these new 7 color presses.” Shrihari Rao, Esko’s sales director for India is pleased that Equinox has found resonance with one of the world’s most innovative printers. Rao says, “It is only fitting that Esko Equinox -which received a prestigious Intertech Technology Award- this year, is in the capable hands of a printer who continues to win awards and enormous global recognition for its quality and innovation.”
Benefits of expanded color gamut reproduction
The ability to create an infinite number of colors from 7 process colors promotes “gang” press runs – and the economic savings can surpass a million dollars per press each year. Customers using Equinox ECG technology report that they use 7-color process profitably in a production environment for offset cartons as well as for flexible packaging and labels. This has enabled many of the world’s largest consumer product companies to convert entire product lines to expanded gamut.
In the past 17 years, Pragati Offset has become one of the leading packaging and label printers in the country, winning many national and international awards. While the company sees the use of Equinox as hugely advantageous for offset printed cartons and label printing on its 8 color flexographic presses, it feels that Equinox is the right solution for any project with high gamut requirements from garment catalogues, coffee table and paint swatch books, and even calendars and diaries. “We’ve also recently used it for a wedding card that included a reproduction of an MF Husain painting that contained rich oranges and blues,” says Paruchuri.
Mr. Paruchuri is very clear about the benefits of using this innovation to match a wide variety of brand and spot colors including many Pantone shades with a fixed set of 7 inks and without having to wash up a press for every job. “A lot of time and money can be saved by not having to wash a million dollar press for 15 to 20 minutes to get the correct shade. The productivity gains by not having to wash-up and change inks are significant, especially if there are a lot of shorter run jobs,” says Harsha Paruchuri in conclusion.