Instrument Flight® is a comprehensive quality assurance system that increases productivity and ensures a high degree of cost savings. Core of the Instrument Flight application is an innovative software for color control and regulation that reflects decades of printing process knowledge that is continually expanded.

The comparison with aviation is no coincidence. The correct course of an aircraft is influenced by many external parameters and, without intelligent software, the pilot would soon be unable to cope. The printer is in a similar situation. The indirect image control Instrument Flight with color/gray balance process technology ensures optimal color stability in the production run despite many influencing variables that can lead to color variations. Instrument Flight also ensures repeatability and features a high level of automation. The system safeguards the print results in accordance with international standardization concepts (Globalstandard®, ISO/PSO, G7®). 

The limits of process calibration and conventional density control

One often feels it is enough to occasionally reset standard printing conditions with the aid of process calibration in RIP (e.g. for a certification) and then control production according to solid ink densities in order to achieve consistent color results.

Unfortunately, due to the many influencing variables in the printing process (substrate, ink, fountain solution, temperature, press settings, etc.), this is a fallacy. Besides, a process calibration can always only project results from the past into the future, which leads to false results if the process has changed.

Therefore, printers must continually correct the nominal target values according to their visual perception during the run and from job to job, in order to achieve credible color consistency in halftone printing. In other words: the printer only makes marginal use of the measuring device to control the color of the job.

This is where System Brunner process technology has significant advantages.

Instrument Flight safeguards color management between prepress and printing at the most expensive cost center in the production process: the press.

Unique Instrument Flight functions

Balance Navigator®

is the unparalleled function for fast and predictable color corrections in closed-loop mode. The print result does not always automatically match the proof. Sometimes the customer wants to make a last-minute color correction… "somewhat more red" or "a bit more punch overall", these are the suggested corrections. But which color is the best for carrying out the correction to avoid over-inking or under-inking?

Balance Navigator® relieves the printer of this decision. At the screen, the color balance is simply shifted in the desired direction or the contrast slightly increased – the software module Balance Navigator takes care of the rest, automatically, more reliably, and faster than the printer generally can.

Balance Control Priorities™

Balance Control Priorities™ provides an even more precise match of color control to the individual standardization concepts, image contents or separation methods. Five different balance control priorities can be easily set. The priority “ISO/PSO” controls the solid ink densities in accordance with the L*a*b* targets, the tone value increases in the mid-tones, and the mid-tone spread. However, the priority “G7®”controls the process with a strong focus on the CMY gray balance in the mid-tones and shadows as well as the gradation (tonality).

You can find more information in the brochure “Why Instrument Flight?” available as a download.

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System Brunner image analysis as basis for control strategy

INSTRUMENT FLIGHT® controls the print result in the same way as a print professional perceives color variations in the image. The INSTRUMENT FLIGHT® control strategy utilizes the findings of the System Brunner image analysis that examines human color perception with diverse process variations in printing.
As a result, INSTRUMENT FLIGHT® does not only control every BCMY color independently of the others and not only in the solid areas, but uses a multidimensional control strategy and establishes a relationship between the individual colors according to human color perception. Instrument Flight keeps the entire image in “balance” and perfect. 

Optimal color stability

While conventional density measurement and control systems only control the individual solid tone areas, INSTRUMENT FLIGHT® records and controls more than 30 print parameters that influence the color of the image. Over 80% of a picture consists of screen dots in different tonal value steps, single-color, two-color, three color and black. With solid ink density control, these areas are not even taken into account. Which means: with Instrument Flight one achieves more consistent color with a higher degree of automation without continual manual intervention. 

Quality evaluation relative to the print standard with the 5-Star Score®

Even the best press operators cannot cope when they have to decide at the press within seconds whether the print result is perfect within the tolerances, or unsatisfactory in terms of the targeted print standard.

System Brunner quickly realized that colorimetrical evaluation with Delta E*ab is unsuitable as a gauge for perceived color variations in halftone printing. This is why the exclusive star rating system was developed. All the measured influencing variables are evaluated and weighted in accordance with the defined standard and rated with stars. The highest quality level has five stars  ★★★★★® which indicates total conformity with the defined print standard or the visual OK.

With the patented 5-star quality evaluation from System Brunner one sees at a glance, with every measurement and in every inking zone, how well the current result conforms to the selected print standard or the OK sheet. This rapid evaluation saves time and is proof of quality. A 3-star rating corresponds to “commercial” quality and means that the print result lies within the tolerances of international standards like ISO 12647-2 or the Globalstandard System Brunner incl. gray balance.

The most comprehensive printing process diagnosis

With every measurement, the print professional immediately gains a detailed analysis of the printing process diagnosis. At a glance he can see and evaluate the color/gray balances, tone value increases, and solid ink densities, together with the overprint behavior of the CMY colors, and also correctly classify the L*a*b* values according to the reference. He thus observes momentary changes to the materials such as ink, paper and dampening solution. With some experience, he can determine whether the press settings may be the reason for varying results. Thus, optimal material combinations are established and permanently monitored. The communication with suppliers becomes more objective, problems are recognized sooner and resolved, which saves time and costs.  

Copyright: System Brunner AG