FQC/SWG Updates: Fall Conference 2017 & SWG Project Progress

Working Group 3

The process control and related metrology group saw updates to:

  • ISO/DTS 15311-1, Graphic technology – Requirements for printed matter for commercial and industrial production – Part 1: Measurement methods and reporting schema. This draft technical specification was approved by the U.S. TAG with some comments. Immediately a revision has been proposed, to add new metrics and to enhance the reporting of others. The revision was discussed in Toronto. A resolution will be proposed for the Plenary to change the name of the Technical Specification to “Print image quality measurement and reporting methods.” There was also a request to clarify units and symbols for many of the metrics. There was an extended discussion around the purpose and validity of the metric “pencil hardness”; no final conclusions were formed, but the consensus was that pencil hardness did not assess the hardness of the ink or coating
  • ISO/DTS 15311-2, Graphic technology – Requirements for printed matter for commercial and industrial production – Part 2: Commercial print output. This draft technical specification was approved by the U.S. TAG with no comments. But at the meeting in Toronto, there was still some discussion about the assessment of resolution using small typeface characters. A note will be added to indicate this is not really a resolution metric, but, as it is widely used, will be documented as a standard metric for commercial printing and a note will be added to ISO/TS 15311-1 indicating this use
  • ISO/FDIS 16613-1, Graphic technology – Variable content replacement – Part 1: Using PDF/X for variable content replacement (PDF/VCR‐1). This FDIS ballot was approved by the U.S. TAG with no comments
  • ISO 16684-1:2012, Graphic technology – Extensible metadata platform (XMP) specification – Part 1: Data model, serialization and core properties. This was up for systematic review. The U.S. TAG voted to reapprove with no changes
  • ISO/PNWI 21328, Graphic technology – Standard ink set for multicolor printing. This proposed work item is moving very slowly. Almost all of the preliminary work has been on offset inks and the results are anything but consistent

There were four new work item proposals made at the meeting at Ryerson University:

  • ISO/PNWI/CD xxxxx, Graphic technology – Assessment and validation of the performance of spectrocolorimeters and spectrodensitometers. This standard had been discussed in the two previous meetings, but no resources were available to work on this. Now that ISO 13655 is completed, Dr. Rich will take on the role of editing this new standard. The intent of this standard is to provide a method and tolerances for field testing of instrument gauges used in the assessment of the color of printed media
  • ISO/CD 12647-x, Graphic technology – Process control for the production of halftone color separations, proof and production prints — Part x: Metal decoration printing processes. This is to be a new addition to the ISO 12647 series. There is a lot of printing on metal packaging that is performed using energy-cured inks and either offset or flexo printing technologies. This standard will follow the format of the successful ISO 12647 series, but include the steps required to consistently measure the color of transparent ink on white coated metals and bare uncoated metals
  • ISO/WD xxxx, Graphic technology – Standard measure for determining ink opacity. All packaging printers, especially those printing on plastic film, know the issues involved here. The metrics applied to printing are taken from the paint and coatings industry, and are not very predictive of the ink use case. The task group intends to include both instrumental assessment and visual observation to develop a link between what can be measured in the pressroom and what is observed in the design studio
  • ISO/WD xxxxx Graphic technology – Standard method for dry-back (wet-dry) prediction. There are many proprietary methods for assessing the shift in color/appearance of a print as the inks/coatings cure and set, and as the solvent evaporates from within the film. This working group hopes to standardize at least one successful method for taking readings while the ink is wet and predicting the color once the ink has fully set/dried

Working Group 4

The media and materials group saw updates to:

  • ISO/NWIP/WD 18947, Imaging materials – Photographic reflection prints – Determination of abrasion resistance of photographic images. Uwe Bertholdt presented a proposal for a revision of ISO 18947, which is based on a FOGRA research project. The plan is to jointly work on the revision with ISO/TC 42 Photography. Since the meeting of ISO/TC 42 was not finished until after the Working Group 4 meeting, their intention wasn’t clear in Toronto. Dr. Bertholdt asked the group if it wanted to develop an ISO/TC 130 document on this topic, should ISO/TC 42 refuse to revise the standard. Wilco de Groot added that rub tests on plastics and foils should also be covered by an ISO/TC 130 standard. The group agreed to develop its own standard, if ISO/TC 42 will not agree to revise ISO 18947. As soon as the intention of ISO/TC 42 is communicated to the Working Group 4 convener, the secretariat will share it with the group and inform them about the next steps
  • ISO/NWI/WD 22934, Graphic technology – Communication of ink properties. This new standard is to be an ISO adoption of a German DIN standard. The convener of WG4 suggested the German standard, DIN 16526, Printing inks for graphic technology – Labeling of properties of sheet-fed offset inks for labels can be converted into an ISO standard with the title “Graphic technology – Communication of ink properties.” This new work item proposal is currently out for ballot. The U.S. TAG has recommended the ballot be approved as a Working Draft

Joint Working Group 7

The color management group, in conjunction with the ICC, had the following updates:

  • ISO/CD/DTS 21830, Image technology color management – Black point compensation for n-color ICC profiles. This draft technical report was reviewed after its first ballot. The comments were discussed and resolved at the meeting in Toronto. It was agreed to change the status to a draft technical specification and a committee draft version will be sent out for ballot
  • ISO/CD 20677, Image technology color management – Extensions to architecture, profile format and data structure. This draft standard passed the DIS ballot and needs to have the comments resolved and incorporated into a new FDIS ballot. This was to be completed by the end of July

Joint Working Group 8

The color measurement group, in conjunction with ISO TC 42 Photography, had one update:

  • ISO/DIS 13655.2 Graphic technology – Spectral measurement and colorimetric computation for graphic arts images. This standard has now been published and is available from the ISO.ch website, ANSI.org website or NPES standards website. It has tightened up the requirements for making reflectance or transmittance measurements and converting those measurements into color coordinates

If you would like to review and comment on any of the upcoming ballots on these standards, please contact FTA Director of Education Joe Tuccitto.

About the Authors: Jean Engelke is the chair of FTA’s Flexo Quality Consortium and a member of FTA’s Board of Directors and FFTA’s Board of Trustees. She has earned an AAS in graphic and design technology, a B.A. in printing management, an MBA and an M.A. in industrial engineering management. Jean started her career teaching printing and paper science at Western Michigan University. She has held positions in R&D, engineering and global product marketing with Appleton Papers, Alcan Packaging and Kodak. Currently she is the business development manager – packaging group for RR Donnelley. In 2017, she received the FTA President’s Award.

Dr. Danny Rich obtained a master’s degree in physics in 1977 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, VA. In 1998, he joined Sun Chemical Corp. to direct the Sun Chemical Color Research Laboratory in the Daniel J. Carlick Technical Center in Carlstadt, NJ. He has been awarded the Nickerson Service award from the Inter-Society Color Council in 1999, the National Printing Ink Manufacturers award for Technical Achievement in 2008, a Thomas Alva Edison award for innovation by the Research Council of New Jersey in 2008, the Robert F. Reed Medal from the Printing Industries of America in 2013 and the Mattiello Memorial Award from the American Coatings Association in 2015.