Wednesday, 23 September, 2009

Procedure for Complying to the ISO 12647 standards

Procedure for Complying to the ISO 12647 standards
- By Ron Augustin (IPP - September - 2009)

We have already oultined the prerequisites for the application of the ISO 12647 standard in our previous articles in Indian Printer and Publisher and Packaging South Asia but are still briefly summarising these, before explaining the testing procedures used in the standardisation and certification process.

Before a company registers for ISO 12647 certification, it has to check that it has the required measurement devices and that it is capable of producing proofing and printing results within the tolerances of the standard. Usually, the certification agency (in continental Europe Ugra and Fogra certified partners, in Asia-Pacific several other certifying bodies are also coming up) will discuss and draw up a contract, in which the certification steps and examination tasks are to be described in detail. After a preparation stage, an appointment will be made with an auditor of the certifying agency, who will be present to supervise the final printing process and select both OK sheets and a set of sheets from the printrun. After an appropriate drying time, these will be controlled by the auditor and, depending on the agency, by an additional certifier. ISO 12647 certification has a validity of two years.

Audit and certification costs depend on the agency and on the kind of presses (sheet- and/or webfed) to be included in the process, but should not exceed INR 300,000 including both prepress and print production. A prepress-only certification amounts to roughly INR 150,000.

What will be tested:


1) The company has to show that it has standard for file acceptance and communication with customer for print quality and colour managed file exchange.
2) In data processing, it has to show its capability of processing, checking and correcting intake data for faultless print preparation.
3) In colour management, the company has to show that it is capable of handling colour profiles and that it has understood the principles of colour management and its implementation including control of output curves on its platemaking device.
3) In proofing, it has to show that it is capable of performing a print simulation consistent with customer specifications and that it is able to demonstrate its colour consistency metrologically.

Print production
1) In platemaking, the company has to show that it is able to create printing plates that are equipped with adequate control elements to be checked with suitable measurement tools. It also has to show that it is capable of maintaining consistent exposure results over a longer period of time and that it is able to compensate batch variations at any time.
2) In makeready, the company has to show that it can produce an OK sheet in a suitable setup process within the acceptable ISO 12647 tolerances.
3) In print run stability, it has to prove its capability of controlling, monitoring and maintaining a stable print run, keeping variations within the acceptable ISO 12647 tolerances.

1 comment:

  1. The procedure Ron describes is close to how FOGRA and UGRA do certification, and comes a long way. Sweden and UK has taken a slightly different approach. At the Beijing TC 130 meeting the coupling of Quality Management according to ISO 9001 and Colour Management according to ISO 12647-2 (and other related standards) was presented. This is tought to meet the highest expectations of customer care from print buyers, and is recieved with some interest in other countries too. Spain has come a long way in implementing a similar certification schema as the UK and Sweden.