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Application of Digital Imaging to Measure Print Quality

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The printing industry has placed a major thrust to understand and manipulate print quality. One of the important aspects of poor print quality in high speed printing is color density variation in solid areas, known as mottle. We describe applications of digital imaging for reproducible, objective measurement of mottle. We quantify the variations in print density using a digital image analysis system, which includes a Flatbed scanner, a Macintosh Power PC, and the NIH image program. Print mottle was correlated to the local standard deviation of the lightness values divided by the local mean of the lightness values.

One of the major difficulties in communicating the results of mottle measurement is that different detectors interpret color differently and light sources on the scanners vary, thus affecting the color consistency between scanners. Employing a Color Management system to the measuring technique allows the measurements of the digitized images to have universal values. Calibration of scanners allows different locations using different scanners at different times to obtain and compare mottle values using the same relative scale.

A number of field examples will be presented to describe the evolution and application of the technique.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1998

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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