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Phone: 206.849.7770

QuickSet Ink Pre-Setting

“QuickSet Ink Presets have accuracy levels that far surpass the leading accepted technologies, including CIP3/CIP4.”
"QuickSet dramatically reduces paper waste while increasing print quality."
“Versatile: Works with any web offset press; works with any lever or remote console”

Only QuickSet has found a way to capture all of a press unit’s particular physical and mechanical characteristics and correctly apply them to achieve nearly perfect ink presets with every use. We take a series of detailed measurements from printed press targets that reveal every variable at every ink adjustment position. We also show you how to stabilize your press units, and then configure the software to automatically detect and compensate for any remaining variations. The detailed profile information is stored in databases in the QuickSet Console computer and used to correlate ink coverage to your press. Only QuickSet uses this approach (it took 28 years to perfect). The printed ink presets produced by the system are used by press operators to set levers or remote console controls. The system simply plugs into your current workflow. The result is one of the easiest systems to use and maintain, and accuracy levels that far surpass the leading accepted technologies.

See Below a detailed explanation and analysis, why and how, QuickSet is more accurate than CIP3 (CIP4 is same as CIP3):

The QuickSet Ink Pre-Set

QuickSet users will typically achieve proper density at 96%-100% of the ink-keys from an initial QuickSet ink pre-set, while CIP3 will often result in no ink-keys at proper density from the CIP3 ink pre-set. While some will state CIP3 gets them “70% of the way there”, what they are really saying is that CIP3 is better than starting blind. However, with CIP3, adjustments are almost always still necessary to get color just to an “acceptable” level. QuickSet ink pre-sets obtain True Color, which is actual proper density, and True Color is much higher quality in appearance compared to “acceptable” color.

 The key difference between QuickSet and CIP3 is the QuickSet Fingerprint. The QuickSet Fingerprint is a complete “mapping” of the ink-key values needed on the press to achieve proper density for any percentage ink coverage being printed. Every single individual press unit has a different fingerprint, and the differences between individual units are as unique as the differences between one person’s fingerprints compared to another person’s fingerprints. In fact, every single ink-key position has a different fingerprint from any other ink-key position. Surprisingly, the differences between ink-keys on the same ink fountain are as different as what most would expect if you examined variations between different style press units. QuickSet has the only process (QuickSet is the ONLY company that has successfully done this) to measure all the characteristics of a press (and of every single ink-key) and use the data to produce nearly perfect ink pre-sets. CIP3 knows nothing about the target press.

 QuickSet vs. CIP3/CIP4

 Every vendor except for QuickSet provides ink pre-sets through the CIP3 model. The CIP3 model merely obtains the percentage coverage for the strip of the image to be printed at an ink-key position, and then passes that percentage as the ink pre-set value. QuickSet takes the percentage value and projects the percentage onto its measured map of the ink-key to get the real value needed to achieve proper density. This is why CIP3 can never get to True Color, and why QuickSet does get to True Color.

 It is much easier to see the differences from graphical representations.

 First, let’s look at what CIP3 really does:


Since passing the percentage value without knowing anything about the target press is actually a very crude attempt at an ink pre-set, some companies have touted “CIP3 learning algorithms” as an exciting add-on to the CIP3 process. However, “learning algorithms” are not something to get excited about. The net effect from a CIP3 “learning algorithm” is that there is no overall improvement in accuracy. Even more disturbing, the most sophisticated learning algorithm ever used for CIP3 is to average the changes that were made by the pressman to get “acceptable” color on any individual ink fountain. So you can see graphically what happens, let’s look at a another diagram:


In example A above, a number of jobs were run at light coverage, and the CIP3 “learning algorithm” then adjusts the CIP3 ink pre-set upward, as seen by the dashed line. As soon as a job with heavier coverage is printed, it will be noticed that the CIP3 ink pre-set is then worse than before. This is the behavior seen with a “learning algorithm”. As the CIP3 ink pre-set is modified either upwards or downwards, you lose accuracy at as many levels of ink coverage as you gain accuracy. The purple line represents the actual values for one particular ink-key to achieve proper density at every ink coverage value. Notice in example B above, that no matter if the CIP3 ink pre-set is adjusted upwards or downwards, you see the same effect. The result is no real improvement of accuracy for varied print jobs.

The Advantages of the QuickSet Ink Pre-Set

Below we see how the Quickset Fingerprint provides a better ink pre-set:

In the diagram above, we see three different ink-keys located on the very same ink fountain. The QuickSet Fingerprint has determined the values needed on each of these ink-keys to hit proper density, and the mapping of those values is seen here. When the CIP3 ink pre-set comes through, it provides the value of 17. However, the value needed for each of the three ink-keys is actually very different than 17. In this example, 21 is needed on one ink-key to hit density, 37 is needed on another ink-key to hit density, and 49 is needed to hit density on even another ink-key. Please note this type of variation between ink-keys is commonly seen even on the very same ink fountain.

Closed-loop systems often take a long time to get to True Color from a CIP3 ink pre-set due to some of the ink-key positions being very far off from ideal density. The Closed-Loop systems cannot make large adjustments, or they overshoot continually. Therefore, Closed-Loop systems must make small adjustments and continually re-measure to converge on the desired density. Since CIP3 often has some keys that are very far away from the desired density, the Closed-Loop system is forced to use a process that results in high waste before getting to density.

The situation with a Closed-Loop system is much better with a QuickSet ink pre-set. The QuickSet ink pre-set will typically get 96% of ink-keys to desired density (so most of the work is already done), and typically only one pass of the Closed-Loop system is needed with a QuickSet ink pre-set to get the remainder of ink-keys to desired density.

The complete ink fountain profile

To see the difference one more time in a 3D view, let’s look at the complete fingerprint of an ink fountain profile. Remember, each ink fountain will have a different actual fingerprint. As a comparison, the CIP3 representation is also provided. Note the difference the value produced by CIP3 and the value produced by QuickSet for key number 23 at 90% ink coverage. The QuickSet value will produce the exact density desired, while the CIP3 value will not.

This example demonstrates how QuickSet goes beyond a crude approximation to reach the exact needed values.

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