April 22, 2022

Compare Tracks

Compare Tracks

 Compare is one of the foundations for expert analysis of the reproducibility of print devices.
To use this function it is essential to understand what is being compared. Data captured from two or more devices should be collected under similar conditions - preferably using the same test forms/control strips, identical or very compatible paper is used (this allows the Substrate Inspector) to be used and the colorimetric targets are identical.
It should also be remembered that the use of colorimetric substrate correction (SCCA) actually changes the colorimetric targets so that a great deal of care should be taken in the selection of data for comparison. The identical paper is the easiest leveling procedure.
The track is a term that should be understood as a printing condition, so the comparison should include two printing devices on the same substrate with the same colorimetric target.

The scope of analysis.

  • E-Factor - Essential for general understanding, graphically plotting relations between two devices relative to each other simultaneously with respect to the colorimetric target
  • Primaries
  • Overprints
  • Greys 
  • Tints  divided into highlights, mid-tones, and shadows

E-Factor bulls-eye plot

It is very effective way to demonstrate how 2 output devices are close one to another. 



Setting compare parameters

Setting comparison parameters is very important, we can choose to compare the last measurement only, the more recent measurement group or the last 5 measurements. This is important because it allows us to examine not only deviations but also variances of printing.


Warnings — there are some situations where the plots aren't rendered:


  1. Aimpoint mismatch — two compared devices have different goals — comparing apples and oranges
    If one track is set to Gracol, another to uncoated paper  (two different ICC profiles)  or SCCA caused strong intervention into colorimetric aims comparison may bring an unreal picture. 

  2. Questionable results! If Deviation or variation is above 10 there is a very limited sense to make any comparison. The device is in very bad condition or just measurement fails for any reason. Examine track.

  3. Measurement condition mismatch — don't mix Mo. M1, M2, and M3 data.

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