Over the last few months, we at Proof.de have been thinking about further improving our already very good colour measurement technology in terms of speed and measurement precision. Relatively quickly it became clear that only two devices would come into question: The KonicaMinolta MYIRO-9, the successor of the former FD-9, or the X-Rite ISIS 2 XL.
The starting point: Since we at Proof GmbH have 5 proofing devices, the calibration of targets for profile optimisation is a time-critical undertaking for us. Therefore, we had been looking around for an upgrade of our previous X-Rite i1-iO measurement device for the last few months, because here we always had the difficulty: When we started an iterative colour measurement for profile optimisation, we always had to measure two measurement targets per measurement run. And the calibration on the i1-iO means: Click three times on the target and then click again to start the measurement. After a few minutes, the first target was measured, which then had to be removed from the measuring table, the new target placed on it, clicked three times again, then clicked on “Measure” and at some point an IT8 chart with 1617 or, with a modified target, over 1800 measuring fields was measured. The whole thing was then optimised, and then went into the next print, measure and optimise round, and – depending on the result of the optimisation – this was repeated 3-4 times per printer and per proof substrate. Since the iO also has to scan each line twice for M1 measurements, the measuring speed was reduced even further for all proof substrates containing OBA.
Our choice: The KonicaMinolta MYIRO-9
After some deliberation, we decided on the KonicaMinolta MYIRO-9.
Why? There were some clear reasons for the X-Rite ISIS 2 XL: We would have stayed further in the X-Rite world, the device is fast and has a low deviation from meter to meter and from measurement to measurement … and due to the good alignment within the X-Rite family, we would have surely come to very good results. But the MYIRO-9 is simply a notch better in speed and measuring precision than the competing device from X-Rite.
It measures around 1500 colour patches in only 4 minutes, and that in M0/M1/M2 in one measuring run. In practice, a target with 1617 patches can be completely measured in about 5 minutes. With a short-term repeatability of ΔE00 0.05 and a device agreement of ΔE00 0.3, it also measures extremely precisely.
Excitingly, the MYIRO-9 not only travels down the measurement line, it stops extremely briefly over each field, takes a measurement, and then moves on to the next field and the next measurement – and at an extreme speed. And although we were a little sceptical at first: Even with textured surfaces like canvas, it has so far taken all measurements precisely and well, and delivered fast measurement results.
And it has another advantage: it has temperature compensation, which compensates for the warming of the measuring device, especially during longer assignments. Since we have to measure around 100,000 fields of our proof printers during one round of measurements of our common proofing papers alone, compensation for temperature drift is a comprehensible argument here.
After some discussions with Claas Bickeböller from KonicaMinolta and Jan-Peter Homann from Homann Colormanagement, we decided to buy the device despite some of the uncertainties described: The extra speed and precision were simply too tempting.
The MYIRO-9: Fits perfectly into our proof measuring world
In the meantime, our MYIRO-9 has been in use for a few weeks and has already undergone several tests. First, we checked the fit to our previous i1-iO measurements with our two X-Rite i1 Pro-2 and five X-Rite ILS-30 measuring devices to analyse how well the KonicaMinolta device would fit into our measuring world. Since all our proof printers have Spectroproofer, the calibrations and linearisations of the individual proofing devices are always carried out by the built-in ILS-30 measuring devices in the proof printers, also the ICC profiles of each proof substrate are created via the ILS-30.
Then we started with a profile optimisation on each proofer and compared the proof results of the new optimisation visually and metrologically with the previous proof results using our test forms. When it was clear that we could change over without any problems, we finally subjected all proofing substrates to profile optimisation on all proofers with the MYIRO-9 over several days and then cross-checked the results again. And after we couldn’t find any difficulties there either, we switched all workflows to the new MYIRO-9 profile optimisations at the beginning of October.
In the first run alone, the MYIRO-9 had to measure almost 200,000 fields to convert all workflows to the new profile optimisations, which the device did without any difficulties. We will continue to convert more specific workflows for customers and projects in the coming weeks. But it is already clear that our new measuring device was the right choice for us.
The network team player
An important criterion for our decision in favour of the MYIRO-9 was also the network capability.
Since the measurement by the MYIRO-9 is noisier than with the i1-iO from X-Rite, which are also fanless, due to the “jerky” measuring head caused by the single-field measurement, we set up the measuring device in the proof room, where it is far away from our EFI and GMG servers. But because the MYIRO-9 can be easily added to the network via Ethernet, it is available to all our applications regardless of location. Whether Fiery XF, GMG Colorproof or the Colorlogic products, some of which we use from the workstation: All of them can rely on the MYIRO-9, as no USB connection is required.
For us, the following things were decisive for the purchase:
- Speed: An optimisation run of our most important proof substrates now takes only days instead of weeks. For one thing, the MYIRO-9 is much faster, and for another, we need fewer targets because the MYIRO-9 can measure more patches per target in one sweep.
- Precision: The MYIRO-9’s short term repeatability and inter-measurement deviation are much better than our previous measurement solution. All our customers benefit from this higher precision, as we can produce proofs within even lower tolerances.
- Connectivity: The network connection allows us to easily connect all our proofing software and profiling solutions to the MYIRO-9, as it does not require a USB connection to a single server or workstation.
The MYIRO-9 has really fulfilled our expectations. We primarily benefit from the higher speed, our customers primarily from the higher precision of the MYIRO-9 compared to our previous measuring solution.
Are there also downsides? Small ones: Admittedly, the MYIRO-9 is not cheap. But of course it is also technically more sophisticated than many other devices. Another downer is that the features of the free software components of the KonicaMinolta MYIRO Tools are not so lavish: But at least they bring a display calibration (which of course does not work with the MYIRO-9, but only with the MYIRO-1), have a Fogra media wedge licence included and can measure charts, compare measurements and perform a homogeneity evaluation. Those who need more features and do not have Fiery, GMG and Colorlogic software that works with the MYIRO-9, as we do with other manufacturers, will have to budget a little extra for the software features of the MYIRO Tools “Basic” and “Advanced” in addition to the MYIRO-9.
For us, the conclusion is very positive: the KonicaMinolta MYIRO-9 was definitely the right investment for us and supports us with its speed and precision. In this respect, the MYIRO-9 fits very well with Proof GmbH’s claim … 🙂