09 June 2019 Digital Printing Technologies

Ghent Workgroup tackles digital flows for large format

The digital workflow body has released a specification for preflighting PDF aimed at display graphics print.

The Ghent Workgroup has kicked off the beta test phase of a new specification designed to enable sign and display printers with large format inkjet to offer a preflighting service.

This will improve the integrity of digital files through to print as a step towards full automation in this part of the part market. At Fespa this year there was a strong focus on colour management with a steady flow of visitors through a colour management education area. The documentation for the specification is fully available with preflight profiles from the likes of Enfocus and Callas software.

The GWG work has resulted in a specification that is available for workflow specialists to use to take a further stride towards standardised quality control, ensuring consistency in handling digital files and from there to management of output quality.

It is one of a number of recent initiatives to improve the predictability of inkjet printing. Global Graphics has recently announced ScreenPro and PrintFlat to improve the visual uniformity of large format inkjet, using German large format print group Ellerhold to prove that it is possible to balance printheads for consistent output over time and from site to site and so solve a banding problem.

There is a huge range of variables in wide format display printing creating greater challenges for the developers of the specification, David van Driessche, executive director of GWG and CTO at Four Pees, says: “The sign and display market segment covers everything from banners, over car wraps to billboards.

“Each of these products has its own technical requirements and capturing all of them in one specification was no easy task. After some research, it became clear we would have to introduce two key variables – viewing distance and scaling factor – to derive one specification.

“We could have created different specifications for each product type in sign and display, but that would have been very complex to create and maintain, instead we incorporated the concepts of viewing distance and scaling factor and end up with one set of rules for the whole market segment.”

A key difference to other specifications that GWG has created, is that it allows a number of colour spaces to be used in the PDF file. This includes inclusion of calibrated RGB and Lab descriptions inside the incoming PDF file.

By Gareth Ward

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