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Achieve Color Perfection via the Internet

July 31, 2001
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Formulator's Forum: NetProfiler patented, Web-enabled software helps achieve color perfection throughout the entire supply chain at speeds only the Internet can deliver.

NetProfiler patented, Web-enabled software from GretagMacbeth, New Windsor, N.Y., helps achieve color perfection throughout the entire supply chain at speeds only the Internet can deliver. The system consists of B2B Web service, software and certified standards that allow users to automatically test, measure and profile instruments remotely over the Internet to GretagMacbeth's standards lab.

NetProfiler provides the constant assurance that the quantification of every color is the same for an entire global network of instruments. In addition, the software identifies and corrects typical and routine problems -- keeping instruments running at peak and desired performance while minimizing downtime. It ensures that color-measurement systems are remotely tested, checked and certified to work within the desired quality-control specifications.

The user's results are compared via the Internet to the color standards, and a profile is created to bring the system to a virtual-zero color difference. This profile is inserted into the user's measurement software via the Internet and acts to maintain the consistency of future measurements to the virtual standards. In addition, reports are generated from the Web via NetProfiler showing the performance and trends of every instrument in the global color-management network.

"Whenever an instrument drifts off-spec, a NetProfiler run will identify the problem and fix it via the Internet," said Jim Vasconcellos, GretagMacbeth's product manager for NetProfiler. "Now you can be confident that your color production in Location A is a match with the production in Location B, achieving an unprecedented degree of color consistency whether produced across town or around the world."

This new solution ensures accurate color measurement, speeds the color-approval process, proves that colors are within tolerance, reduces rejects and scrap, and improves profitability and customer satisfaction.

NetProfiler provides the constant assurance that the quantification of every color is the same for an entire global network of instruments.

New Version Offers More Capabilities

Comprehensive management and maintenance of color-measurement instruments is even better with the software's new version -- NetProfiler 1.3. New driver upgrades include GretagMacbeth's ColorEye 2180 and ColorEye 2180UV, in addition to the already existing ColorEye 7000A driver. Even more significant is the addition of drivers for DataColor's SF-600 series of spectrophotometers.

In addition to the new drivers, NetProfiler now provides an enhanced reporting capability with multi-level administration accounts. The enhanced reporting system allows users to create global instrument groups to organize and monitor their NetProfiler maintenance programs. Advanced administrative rights allow selected users to monitor the profiling frequency of individual instruments.

"NetProfiler is improving the color-management process for many of our customers and their supply-chain partners. The addition of these drivers reflects the continuation of our open-architecture philosophy and enables customers to benefit from NetProfiler, even if they presently have color-measurement solutions that are based on old, proprietary systems," said Jim Davis, vice president and general manager of GretagMacbeth.

GE Plastics Realizes Benefits

GretagMacbeth has supplied GE Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass., with the NetProfiler system. This agreement was driven by the corporate objective of GE Plastics ColorxpressSM Services to maintain and monitor its spectrophotometers and manage its electronic color standards on a global basis, to eliminate inter-instrument bias/offsets, and improve instrument agreement between all spectrophotometers.

NetProfiler gives GE Plastics the ability to achieve in-house color communication in addition to obtaining monthly color certification, as opposed to yearly, and has also improved the company's inter-instrument agreement between spectrophotometers.

"The NetProfiler System broadens our ability to communicate electronically with our 70 color-resin facilities all over the world," said Ed Tucker, global Colorxpress Services technology manager. "The program offers designers working with colored plastics better tools and information to manage their color needs globally."

For additional information, contact GretagMacbeth, 617 Little Britain Rd., New Windsor, NY 12553; phone 845-565-7660; fax 845-565-0390; or visit the company's Web site at www.gretagmacbeth.com. Or Circle No. 71

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