DIGITAL digest

System Enables Printers to be Self-Calibrating

WEBSTER, NY—Printed colors have been one of the toughest things to get consistently right because there are so many variables in the production process, whether it is digital or traditional offset. Scientists at Xerox Corp.’s Webster research center now claim to have invented and patented an ultra-fast, low-cost spectrophotometer that they expect to streamline and simplify color printing.

The spectrophotometer is said to cost less than one-sixth the price of current models. It can be embedded inside a digital printer to take color measurements on each passing page in a few milliseconds. As the paper moves at the printer’s rates speed, the measurement device shines light of different colors from several LEDs onto tiny printed color patches, analyzes the reflected light and determines its color makeup.

Using Xerox-proprietary control algorithms, the printer controller can compare the color of each patch to the original image. It then can make minute, automatic adjustments at the engine’s printing speed. The technology, in the research lab now, is expected to start showing up in next-generation digital color printers within two years. It is also available for licensing. (www.xerox.com/ innovation)

On Demand Takes AIIM

NEW YORK CITY—Bolstered by being “co-located” with the AIIM 2003 Conference & Exposition, the recent 2003 On Demand Digital Printing & Publishing Conference & Exposition saw its attendee numbers jump to 27,200 registrants. Some 438 exhibitors were said to be represented on the combined show floor.

The gains appeared to be attributable to the combining of events more than anything else. AIIM bills itself as the “Enterprise Content Management Association.” The inverted show guides printed as a single book proved to be a fitting representation of the current level of integration between the audiences and systems.

Along with product introductions, On Demand 2003 brought announcements about new business initiatives and relationships, with Electronics For Imaging (EFI) and Xerox figuring heavily into the latter. Conspicuous by their absence were direct imaging (DI) or on-press imaging systems.

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