How HDCC ensures efficient colour management
The same colour all over the world. This sounds simple, but often it is not. A team of hubergroup employees has therefore put a lot of thought into how to change that. The result was our colour management system HDCC. It has been launched four years ago and has since ensured standardization for many of our customers. Together with Patrick Hübel, Head of Colour Service Europe at hubergroup, we took a closer look at the system.
What is HDCC?
HDCC stands for hubergroup Digital Colour Communication and is a colour management system that hubergroup developed together with the software developer ColorConsulting. In HDCC, we store all the colours and recipes that we develop in the sheetfed offset sector. In the meantime, we have already more than 140,000 colours! But HDCC is more than just a recipe database. The software can search for a colour recipe on the basis of certain parameters. If no suitable colour is found, a recipe can be calculated with the help of the linked software from Inkformulation.
How does the work with HDCC work in concrete terms?
Customers send us their target colour – this may be digitally or an analogue sample such as a cloth or even a lipstick. Before a colleague starts working on a recipe, he searches HDCC to see if the recipe already exists. To do so, he enters the target colour and selects the substrate, the printing process, the finishing as well as any specific customer restrictions. Based on this, HDCC searches the database for suitable recipes. If a recipe is found, a print folder can be created. If no suitable recipe is available yet, a new recipe can be created directly via the connection to the ink formulation software.
What is the big advantage for hubergroup customers?
HDCC enables us to ensure our customers the same colour all over the world. Patrick Hübel explains: "HDCC is a standardisation programme with which we ensure that our customers receive the colour they want for their specific printing condition – all over the world. This is possible because all locations have access to the same, verified information."
What is the difference to other software solutions on the market?
Unlike conventional databases, HDCC takes existing data into account and ensures that it is not duplicated. The software finds connections that exist between colour tones and colour recipes and even includes colours that deviate slightly but are below the defined tolerance limit. Patrick Hübel gives us a striking example: "If you want to have green on a yellow paper, you print with blue ink. If the recipe for this blue ink already exists, HDCC recognises this and displays the corresponding recipe." As a result, we can work faster and more efficient for our customers as there are no repeated elaborations. This also allows faster production and more flexibility for our customers.
Another advantage is in quality control: with production at several locations, it is often difficult for customers to ensure the same quality everywhere. Therefore, we make a press proof on a highly stable standard paper during the finishing process of the ink, in addition to the customer proof. This proof is electronically measured into the HDCC as a standard. Each production site can then also print the recipe on the standard paper on site and measure it against the electronic standard in the system.
What does the future of HDCC look like?
The next step for HDCC is the connection to the software for digital print folders. This interface will enable digital print folders to be printed directly from HDCC. But the team around Patrick Hübel is also working on further developments – you will hear more about this shortly.
Patrick Hübel, Head of Colour Service
Europe at hubergroup