September 23, 2021

Defining a Roadmap

ChromaChecker offers a service for defining your roadmap. The initial consultation is included as part of onboarding in the first 30-days and establishes the data collection methods followed by an analysis. This analysis is used to define a roadmap for your quality assurance program and will include the organizational goals as well as roles and responsibilities for the specific tasks to reach defined milestones. With ChromaChecker these are tied to quantifiable outcomes for measuring progress.

Your roadmap first communicates the primary goals for the quality control program and answers the “why” an organization is implementing a color conformance program. Next, the roadmap defines the major steps or milestones to progress towards reaching those goals and is based on the gap between the current state of the organization and the defined organizational goals. It can take the form of a high-level document or presentation that answers the questions related to “how”, “when” “where” and “who” -- allowing for a managed and flexible implementation tied to the vision for the organization. It’s important to mention that for a color quality control program using ChromaChecker, the road map is greatly simplified since the procedures for collecting and analyzing data are provided in an intuitive and simple-to-use interface pinpointing required milestones to reach the organizational goal. Automated KPI reports provide feedback for management and operators evaluating progress.

For organizations getting started, the roadmap will:

  1. Establish procedures for data collection
  2. Define initial color quality boundaries using E-Factor along with other production metrics related to G7, substrate, instrumentation, lighting, and environment.
  3. Roles and responsibilities are established along with specific task

 

Establish your policies and procedures

These are defined for each area of the organization. Including procedures for providing data for analysis as well as a method for reviewing reports in a meaningful way. For example one of the first policies to implement for the organization is the reading of color control strips. The policy is for the organization -- while the procedure for accomplishing the task may vary based on instrumentation and printing devices. The roadmap will define accountability for who is accountable, where it will take place when it is required, and how it is completed. Performing the quality check supports everyone in the organization that benefits from quality reporting. This procedure is defined using current instrumentation that exists in production such as handheld instrumentation, inline or near-line instrumentation. 

 

Color Quality Boundaries

Goals for profitability and quality are defined by leadership and directly relate to the requirements set by your client. Care must be taken to align the type of print job, with the client's expectations. As we know, printing is an imperfect manufacturing process so it is our job with quality control to set realistic expectations based on the printing process being delivered and the client’s understanding of color quality. Leadership determines the target market and quality requirements for all aspects of the printing environment including equipment, materials, and most importantly salability targets (E-Factor).

 

Short-term goals are set to achieve the long-term goals allowing for analysis to ensure that the changes implemented are progressing the organization. Most importantly the short-term goals are defined to be achievable and validate a decision that has been made previously. These decisions may be in infrastructure or supply chain purchases such as substrate, ink, instrumentation, lighting, color management, etc. Just a few examples of short-term goals can include:

  1. Maintain a 100 percent corrected E-Factor tolerance
  2. Maintain a 90% G7 compliance
  3. Lighting maintained to ISO standards
  4. Provide reporting for the salability of each printing device
  5. Establish a Substrate Library for the organization
  6. Establish a Color Library with LAB values

 As a reminder for color, we are using Delta E and E-Factor to evaluate the process since they directly relate to what the eye sees when evaluating color with the understanding that the reproduction process, materials, environment along with the eye have imperfections that can be narrowed and controlled but not eliminated. Productivity is realized when quality maintenance is performed at the right time in a proactive fashion. 

 

Define Steps and Milestones

The roadmap shares the destination (organizational goal) along with the directions to follow for the first rest-stop (Milestones). Sticking with our initial example, getting started requires some basic infrastructure including spectrophotometers for reading the data and production equipment such as a printer. The milestones can include ensuring instrumentation is baselined and functioning correctly, substrate evaluated related to price/performance, ink analysis, workflow changes defined, and environment evaluated. The milestones will be evaluated on completion to determine how to best proceed.

 

Typically milestones will be tied to organizational changes and/or investments that will be made to advance the organization. Continuing with the example of an organization get started, changes to policies and procedures can be implemented through defined job responsibilities, investments can be defined to enable those job responsibilities such as instrumentation, and clients may be included in the new quality initiative. As you can see, many staff benefit from the changes and relate to the return on investment.

Related Topics

Contact ChromaChecker Support

Additional information and Support Form is available for logged users.