RIT Developing an Audit and Certification Program for Color Printing

ROCHESTER, NY—Feb. 2, 2010—Most printers in Europe prove compliance of quality color printing standards through a rigorous auditing process, but there exists no such certification process for printers in North America.

To ensure North American printers achieve a color reproduction workflow that meets international printing standards, Rochester Institute of Technology will develop and offer process audits and certification services to North American printers.

“Industry leaders in the printing area have been asking us to take the lead on becoming a certification body due to the lack of any rigorous, third-party assessment in North America,” says Robert Chung, Gravure Research Professor in RIT’s School of Print Media. “RIT is an autonomous organization with the reputation and the know-how to fill this much-needed demand.”

The program will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase involves RIT conducting a printing standards survey to determine the extent printers conform to well-defined printing standards.

In May, the university will launch an Internet-based survey and host a free printing conformance clinic. Participants will take an online survey, download test forms, conduct a press run and submit color acceptable sheets to RIT for a free “check-up.” Upon color measurement and analysis, RIT will offer feedback to the participant, similar to a medical lab report, in terms of value, aim point and tolerances.

Once survey results are compiled, RIT will present its general findings (no specific company and scores will be mentioned) to the Printing Industry Center partners at its annual meeting in November 2010.

“The U.S. printing industry has been left with a huge void in the area of standards and process conformance,” says Chuck Koehler, color expert at Heidelberg USA. “This is a perfect time for RIT to offer this type of program to the printing industry. The program should also incorporate training components to educate the U.S. Printing Industry in standards and specifications and their implementation.”

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