Printer Performance and KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for graphics processes can cast a critical eye on many workflow stages and functions. But they can focus on more than the efficiency of your extended brand deployment team. A powerful subset of KPIs relates to the printing process and leverages data on quality characteristics like registration accuracy and dot-gain. Yeah, it’s not sexy – unless you think a better bottom line is sexy.

What does this data cover? Almost everything. An expert consultant in printer qualification will first do a “press characterization,” which leads to a certification plan of tests customized to the presses and the work at hand. These “fingerprint tests” give a clear assessment of the printer’s quality capabilities. From this, the consultant creates a customized reproduction profile for the printer, which allows the premedia supplier to fine-tune separations and proofs to the individuality of the printer’s presses. The profile also provides a reference point for reproduction specifications, and a way to measure final results.

There’s an additional layer. When capabilities are known, all parties can collaborate in documented procedures for monitoring quality and resolving issues, including procedures that allow the consultant to monitor print runs remotely – key for global brands.

What’s the common thread in this proven process of print management? KPI data that measures capabilities, points out issues and promotes solutions. Hey, in the right light, that’s sexy.