Case Study

Standard Register – PRESS MATCHER

CGS ORIS Technology has Critical Color Consistency to Build and Protect It’s Customers’ Brands

When one’s business involves helping other companies build and protect their brand image, accuracy and the highest quality go hand-in-hand. Standard Register is leveraging its investments in digital color production and color management to deliver the highest level of critical color production and distribution available in the marketplace.

Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and with facilities throughout North America, Standard Register has a long history (since 1912) of facilitating business effectiveness through innovations in document technology and information management. It also developed a long-term, consultative relationship with its clients and their brands. With the advent of digital color printing, the company saw the opportunity to transform its transactional document business into a high-value color communications and marketing service for major brands.

The combination of high-end color production equipment and technology, management systems and superior quality standards makes Standard Register an ideal “brand identity steward,” in the words of Steve McDonell, vice president of engineering and sustainability.

Standard Register clients rely heavily on consumer recognition and loyalty to their brand. Among the many elements that define a solid brand, the visual elements—especially color—are extremely valuable. Preserving those visual elements across a myriad of product labels, collateral, and other media, is an ongoing challenge.

 “Demand for color quality has increased,” McDonell said. “Our clients depend on Standard Register to deliver branded materials, in any quantity, on demand, at multiple locations, and to extremely high color quality standards. Consistent color—matching digital-to-offset and digital-to-digital throughout every plant—is an absolute requirement.”

McDonell could not disclose the names of Standard Register clients, but indicated that they were very large corporations with highly-visible consumer brands.

The Color Management Imperative

Over the past two years, Standard Register has invested in digital color production equipment, adding high-production Xerox iGen and Hewlett-Packard Indigo presses to its existing Xerox 5000 and 8002 color systems. The investment supports the company’s strategy of advancing customer reputations, helping them effectively manage critical communications while keeping logistics costs down. Color management of all these devices, in concert, is vital to the success of this effort.

The color gamut of the newer Xerox and HP presses is impressive, matching and even surpassing that of offset printing. Each device’s internal color management potential is also robust. However, inconsistent color from different plants, different types of digital presses, and even different devices of the same type, was a challenge. Manual color calibration or “tweaking” was not a cost-effective option. To overcome this obstacle, Standard Register turned to a trusted partner of both Xerox and HP: CGS ORIS, and its Cross-Fleet Color Management solution, using PRESS MATCHER.

The CGS ORIS Solution

After evaluating several color management systems, the CGS ORIS solution emerged as the best overall solution to Standard Register’s brand color needs. By using CGS ORIS’ patented process, Standard Register operators were able to match digital press output to offset, and to maintain color consistency on the device over multiple runs. Device-to-device color match—particularly for critical spot colors—was achieved not only for similar devices in different locations, but also between different devices from the same manufacturer, and even between devices from different manufacturers. The CGS ORIS solution also dramatically reduced the amount of manual labor involved in calibrating devices and tracking device performance. PRESS MATCHER uses an automatic, iterative process, scanning a standard color target printed on the device, resulting in automatic device calibration to a defined normal state. CGS ORIS CERTIFIED is also used to measure color accuracy. The system is largely self-monitoring, with alert emails generated when a potential problem is detected.

Benefits and Forward-Looking Plans

The initial CGS ORIS integration is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2012, but Standard Register management is already excited about the results. “Having this level of critical color accuracy over a multi-site network gives us a tremendous advantage,” McDonell said. “About 60% of our clients are within a 1-day ground delivery zone from one of our production facilities, and more than 90% are within a 2-day delivery zone. That means we can offer high quality and rapid response, at a competitive price. CGS ORIS filled in the critical color piece, so we could do it all.”

Standard Register has helped many of its clients maintain their brand identity in powerful and cost-effective ways. By implementing CGS ORIS for hands-free color management of its digital print operations, the company has clearly transcended the role of being a mere commodity provider. Standard Register has invested in the tools and technical savvy that have made it an integral supply chain provider for high-end marketing and brand image communication.

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