Techkon USA has launched SpectroDens4, a spectrodensitometer. It is the fourth in a series of combined densitometer and spectrophotometer handheld color measurement instruments developed by the company.
SpectroDens 4’s features include OBA-CheckTM and visual opacity measurement functions. According to the company, these functions join a list of capabilities that also include: measuring solid ink density, CIE LAB density, printing curves, and dot areas; checking G7 conformance; and performing ink checks, or best color matches.
Optical Brightening Agents (OBA), which are used frequently in paper production. OBAs have a significant effect not only on how one perceives paper under different illuminants, but also on the results of putting ink down during the printing process. SpectroDens 4’s measurement function, OBA-Check, provides precise information about the intensity of the optical brightening agents used and the shade of the paper (often referred to as 'the fifth color'.)
Measuring for visual opacity is a need that’s become more prevalent, as it is now referenced in an ISO standard for graphic technology. ISO 23498:2020 is a specific visual opacity guideline regarding a measurement characteristic of printed white ink.
According to the company, SpectroDens 4 is the first color measurement instrument to offer a visual opacity of printed white ink measurement function. It allows a user to measure and monitor opaque white ink's 'hiding power', as it is commonly referred to. Opaque white ink is widely used in flexographic and offset packaging printing. Measuring it requires that (four) unique measurements are made of the ink drawdown on a black and white contrast card. These (four) measurements are interpolated by the SpectroDens 4 spectrodensitometer, says the company, and provide the user with the white ink's ability to minimize the factor of the substrate material in the printing process. If this information is not available, press operators are often guessing incorrectly on color corrections because they’re not factoring in the white ink’s impact.
Additional features of the SpectroDens 4 include:
- A high-definition spectral sensor that samples color in approximately 3 nm increments (from 400-700 nm)
- InkCheck feature that instantly shows delta E and provides a press operator the specific density adjustments needed to achieve the best possible color match
- GrayGuide feature that displays G7 pass/fail indication and the specific CMYK density adjustments needed
- Displays M0, M1, M2, M3 color measurement conditions in accordance to ISO 13655
- Ergonomic design for easy one-handed operation, and rolling wheels for scanning
- Capable of scanning a control wedge in seconds to confirm proofs against 12647-7 and known datasets like GRACol, SWOP3, SWOP5, IFRA, UGRA/FOGRA, G7, and other alternatives
- Ability to create, edit, and manage color libraries, import/export color data, generate pass/fail QC reports, and manage the instrument, all with the onboard software
- Uses true Wi-Fi to connect with a PC for faster communication speeds, enhanced security, and broader network connectivity and range
- Designed so you can change the measurement aperture (1.5 mm or 3 mm) yourself quickly.
- Engineered for durability and flexibility. Designed with a cast aluminum body and limited moving parts. 1.5 mm or 3 mm apertures are easily exchanged by an operator on-the-fly
According to Techkon, SpectroDens 4 is calibrated to standards that are in accordance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
It is available at (three) price points ranging from a basic model (primarily density-oriented measurement functions) which is $5,450 USD, an advanced model for $7,300 USD (adds the ability to measure M0 through M3 conditions and delta E of CIE LAB, and conduct ink checks), and an $8,900 USD Premium model (conducts delta E on CIE LChab, and measures whiteness, OBA and visual opacity, automatically conducts an ISO check and pass/fail tolerances, creates a metamerism index, and more).
According to the company, each model comes with Techkon’s device utility software SpectroConnect. Optionally, customers can also tap into Techkon’s cloud-based color management software platform, ChromaQA for additional features. ChromaQA allows for storing and sharing insightful job and color data across the enterprise for maximum production efficiency and corporate profitability. ChromaQA provides press operators deeper insight on ideal corrective actions to take during make ready and production, and quality managers the ability to centralize ink management and create powerful job reports and shift performance analysis. Also, included in ChromaQA is the ability to manage an entire fleet of SpectroDens devices and other Techkon color measurement instruments globally.