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HP Latex 3000 Printer - Color Consistency among different printers

This document explains how to get the best color consistency among different Latex 3000 printers when using the same substrate.
Before using this procedure, upgrade your printer to FW release "HPLatex3000_03_xx_xx.x" (released November 2013) or newer. Check www.hp.com/go/latex3000/downloads
Pre-requisites
The only requirement is that the substrate preset used cannot be a Generic preset or an HP default one. The preset must be a custom preset, created from scratch (with the wizard), cloned, or downloaded from the Media Solutions Locator.
If the substrate preset to be used is a Generic one or an HP default, clone it first and follow the steps below from step 2 onwards.
Process
Select one of the printers as the "master printer" and follow the steps below.
In the "master printer":
  1. Create the new substrate preset. Create it from scratch (with the wizard), clone an existing preset, or download it from the Media Solutions Locator. Take the usual precautions:
    • Good printhead health
    • Good printhead alignment
    • Check the OMAS for good substrate advance
  2. At the end of the preset creation, perform the first color calibration in this "master printer".
  3. Export the preset using the Presets Management page. This process creates a file with extension ".oms". Rename it to an appropriate and recognizable name, for example, "selfadhesive_ custom.oms". The color calibration targets are exported with the ".oms" file.
  4. Create the ICC profile from the RIP or Color Management software in the same "master printer".
    In the other printers:
  5. Import the preset using the Presets Management page: browse and select the ".oms" file ("self-adhesive_custom.oms" in the example) and click on "Update". The color calibration targets are imported with the ".oms" file.
  6. When the preset is imported, load the corresponding printing material and perform a color calibration. Take the usual precautions:
    • Good printhead health
    • Good printhead alignment
    • Check the OMAS for good substrate advance
  7. The preset is ready in the other printers. Use the same ICC profile for all printers in the RIP or Color Management software.
Closed Loop Color background
Unlike the HP Latex 800 and 600 series (formerly LX800 and LX600 series), the color calibration is not a process that tries to match an ideal factory printer with an ideal substrate for the category. In the HP LFP Customer Assurance 3 HP Restricted Latex 3000, the "ideal" printer/substrate combination is whatever the printer status is when the first calibration of each preset is done. In detail:
The color calibration process measures the L*1 for each color at each ink level.
When the first color calibration is performed:
  • In an LX series printer, the L* measurements are used to modify the linearization curves so that they match the L* values of an ideal LX series printer
  • In a Latex 3000 printer, the L* values of the first calibration are simply recorded. They are not used to do any processing.
    It is like taking a "picture" of the status of the printer; later on, we will try to match this "picture"
In subsequent calibrations, for example when a printhead is replaced:
  • In an LX series printer, the L* measurements are used once more match the L* values of the ideal LX series printer
  • In a Latex 3000 printer, the L* values of this subsequent calibration are used to modify the linearization curves so that they match the L* values of the first calibration
HP Latex 3000 – First calibration after a new preset is created
For each ink density, the linearization curves are set appropriately. The first calibration sets the L* target values.
1 The real parameter is a combination of L* and Chroma. L* is used for simplicity.
HP Latex 3000 – Subsequent calibrations
The subsequent color calibrations adjust the linearization curves to maintain L* equal to the target values obtained from the first calibration.
Considerations for the Latex 3000 color calibration
The usual recommendations are very important in this case, especially when the first color calibration is performed:
  • Good printhead health
  • Good printhead alignment
  • Check the OMAS for good substrate advance
Since there is no "ideal" printer for all printers to match, the way to match printers is the one described in the "Process" section:
  • The L* targets are exported from the "master printer" in the ".oms" file and imported to the other printers
  • When we perform the color calibration in the other printers, the preset already has a set of targets to match, i.e., the other printers have now an ideal printer to match
One advantage of this procedure is that the L* targets are taken from the real printer with the real substrate, and not from an ideal printer with an ideal substrate for the category. This means that the targets are much closer to reality, and that the consistency and matching is more accurate.
Also, if the L* readings are coherent, some materials that cannot be calibrated in LX series can be calibrated with Latex 3000, enabling higher consistency. This may include some textured or translucent materials. Bear in mind however that not all materials provide good readings to pass the calibration.

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