October 28, 2021

Defining Salability: E-Factor vs Score Card

Some process control programs use a score carding approach to assess if the color quality is salable or not. This does not always work.

The leading problems with a score card approach are:

  1. The score is not relative to different buyers expectations. Scoring an 85% on varying jobs, often doesn't reflect consistencies in the level of differences
  2. The score is a sum of the passing individual process control metrics. It doesn't necessarily define the level of closeness or match to reference (old school way to attempt to quantify difference)
  3. The score does not assess the amount of variation within a sheet, between multiple sheets or between jobs, as it relates to customer expectations. 
  4. The score is specific to a single printed sheet. Simply because two sheets from one or two printers have the same score does not mean they match one another.• Sheet 1 scores a 100% pass for solids, but 0% pass for TVI which equals a 50% overall score. Sheet 2 scores 0% pass for solids and 100% pass for TVI which also equals a 50% overall score. No way the two sheets would look the same. (No score card system works exactly like this, but this example highlights the limitations)
  5. Scores are calculated per vendor specific metrics. If someone use HP Color Beat on the Indigo and get an 85% score, it has no relevance to an 85% score on an HP Latex printer using PressView. There is no way to assess how close two different printers are matching to one another using score card approach.


E-Factor evolves around the customer's color matching expectations, not process control metrics. It dynamically quantifies and evaluates if the final product reflects the color match expected, not how it was printed.

*E-Factor requires a target with at least 80 unique patch values to provide an accurate result due to statistical analysis. 

E-Factor = 95th percentile
Median = 50th percentile 

  1. E-Factor is 100% relative to buyers expectations. If the print devices E-Factor is less than buyers expectations- then you know buyer will accept. This is a two step process, the printing company determines what level of accuracy they want to deliver to meet customer expectations using the Personal E-Factor exercise, then the printer applies this resultant value to the production chain which allows ChromaChecker to report if the printer is printing to those expectations. 

  2. The E-Factor is a scientifically proven metric that defines how visually close one print is to reference (ie GRACoL) and how close any printer is to another… It works because it guarantees that 95% of the colors are within tolerance, which represents expectations.

  3. ChromaChecker automatically assesses the variation within the sheet based on E-Factor to help you understand how much difference there is on a page, or between any pages from the press. There is no score that defines the precision within a page, between pages, or between presses.
  4. With E-Factor, it is possible to see that you have two printers both 3.5 to GRACoL (potentially acceptable) but 7.0 to one another (NOT Acceptable). This allows you to align all your printing devices no matter the manufacturer, to one another and know with confidence that you have color matching.• Since this metric is non-proprietary (unlike most score boarding apps), you can be sure it is vendor independent and works with any equipment and vendor.
  5. The E-Factor is vendor independent, and it is possible to benchmark printing devices and substrates before putting in production to understand how many ICC Profiles or G7 Curves can be shared between multiple devices and substrates cutting down tremendously on the set up and maintenance of printers of any make and model.


In addition, ChromaChecker can assess paper variations on the fly alerting the company to changes in the paper characteristics which will change the printed result (paper is the 5th color in 4 color printing). We have had numerous customers share with us that this has saved them tens of thousands of dollars by alerting operators at the beginning of the press run that the paper is not correct due to the supplier providing an inferior product due to supply chain issues. ChromaChecker’s substrate inspector flags this out of specification immediately and provide proof to the paper supplier that they need to change the way they supply paper to the ChromaChecker customer.



Contact ChromaChecker Support

Additional information and Support Form is available for logged users.