Learn about the various programs that ink manufacturers offer for tracking, mixing, and organizing inks and find out what improvements have occurred since our last review of ink-management software in the May 2001 issue of Screen Printing magazine.
By Lori Leaman
Inovex Ink Management System Developed by Inovex Systems Ltd., Corby, UK, and available through Nor-Cote in the US, this program is PC-based and offers functions such as ink-formula calculation, inventory control, job costing, and ink recycling. The program supports screen printing as well as other printing processes and can be used with all Nor-Cote inks.
From the main screen, users can select from 13 function menus. Through these menus, they can store detailed data about inks, retrieve preset Pantone-approved formulas and create custom formulas, estimate ink volume and cost estimates, and recycle unused color mixtures. Nor-Cote's program also supports several color-management functions, providing fields for inputting colorimetric information, such as L*a*b* values (Figure 5).
When used with a spectrophotometer, colorimetric information can be automatically downloaded to the program. Additional functions for batch analysis and color assessment also are included in the program.
For more rapid job identification, the program's Design menu allows users to scan and import an image of the final product, which will appear on screen with other important data regarding the job. The image also can be imported to various reports, including a job history report. Additionally, the system offers a Management menu that serves as a "to do" list, allowing managers to communicate with employees and delegate ink-related responsibilities.
Ink Managment System software can be used as a standalone package or in conjunction with automatic dispensing systems. Combined with a dispensing system, the program offers optimized inventory-management issues, consistent reweigh of inks, and capability to interface between IT systems. The standalone package includes the ink-management software, a monitor, keyboard, and desktop printer, as well as Remote Access and Microsoft Word software. For more information, contact Nor-Cote Int'l Inc., 506 Lafayette Ave., PO Box 668, Crawsfordsville, IN 47933, 800-488-9180, fax: 765-364-5408, Web: www.norcote.com.
Ink Management Software (IMS) PolyOne Corp., which manufactures Wilflex screen-printing inks, offers IMS, a Windows-based program designed to support all Wilflex color-mixing ink systems for textile applications. IMS provides formula retrieval for matching with the company's ready-for-use inks, as well as its base-and-toner (pigment concentrate) systems.
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