Based in Cardiff, UK, and with a workforce of 140 employees, cross media service provider A. McLay & Co. Ltd. is the 150th customer worldwide to be awarded certification to stringent ISO standard 12647-2 by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) as part of its Systemservice offering. More and more print customers, primarily in industrialized markets, are demanding evidence of quality for color standards and process control from their service providers. This is where ISO standard 12647-2 comes in. An increasing number of print shops are keen to use this standard as proof of quality and as a tool for their marketing activities. “Our top priority is to deliver quality products and services that exceed our customers’ requirements and expectations”, says Richard Kyte, Manufacturing Manager at McLays. “The ISO 12647-2 certification not only demonstrates our commitment to quality, it ensures accurate color reproduction job after job.”
Complete package for certification from a single source
Print shops benefit from a complete package from a single source that covers everything from consultancy and prepress/press system settings to inspection, certification, documentation, and training. Customers can also rely on the comprehensive expertise of Heidelberg service
specialists, especially with regard to color management. Unlike many other providers, Heidelberg does not demand that its customers purchase special software or consumables to fulfill the criteria for certification.
Ten years of experience in standardizing print processes
For over ten years, customers have had the option of standardizing their print processes using the “Print Color Management” service package from Heidelberg. In most cases, their goal is to satisfy the requirements of ISO standard 12647-2. As more and more customers were interested in having this process verified in the form of a certificate, Heidelberg decided to introduce certification to ISO 12647-2 in 2010. With this aim in mind, print and prepress experts at Heidelberg completed special training courses. Additional courses are held whenever changes are made to the standard. Heidelberg staff contribute their own expertise to the development and maintenance of ISO 12647 and other standards through their work on various committees and councils.
ISO certification within a week
The actual certification process – from standardization of the print process through to printing – usually takes a week and involves two tests carried out by Print Color Management experts from Heidelberg. One test takes place on the customer’s premises, the other at the company’s headquarters in Heidelberg. On passing both tests, customers are awarded certification that they can use for marketing purposes. They are also named as ISO 12647-2-certified companies on the Heidelberg website. The certificate is valid for 24 months, after which time another test is required.
“Working in partnership with Heidelberg really made the difference,” says Richard Kyte. “They helped us generate the ICC color profiles, our equipment was recalibrated, our workflow was fully optimized, and our staff received on-site training where necessary. When the process was complete, everyone had a better understanding of color, how to achieve the best results, and how to get the most out of our equipment. It wasn’t just a certificate on the wall!”
Singapore-based KPP Packaging, a leading paper packaging specialist with excellent green credentials, also opted for Heidelberg’s ISO certification: “Going through the ISO certification was a painstaking process,” says Josephine Low, General Manager at KPP Packaging, “and maintaining the standard requires discipline. But the benefits in terms of quality and productivity improvement make it definitely worth the effort. We experience less wastage and fast make-ready with the standardization of print color management. We can now provide visible proof to our customers that we have achieved the high standard in color integrity and repeatability.”
As quality requirements for print products are also increasing in emerging markets, demand for ISO certification is growing here, too. Commercial print shop Foli De Mexico based in Naucalpan, northwest of Mexico City, received its certification in November 2013. “The integrated efficient color quality standard in our business has certainly given us a stronger and better positioning in the market,” says Miguel Angel Arce Chazaro, Print Manager at Foli de Mexico. “Most importantly, we are now able to meet our customers’ exacting demands”.