Alwan Color Expertise & Company Background

Alwan was founded in 1997 in Lyon, France by President Elie Khoury. His choice to dedicate the company to Colour Management and Standardisation lead to the company becoming a leading force in both fields worldwide.

Alwan started its business as an engineering and consultancy firm committed to promoting ISO Standards and ICC-based Color Management for printers and publishers.The company’s engineers developed highly sophisticated tools, providing customers with easy, open, independant and affordable Color Management and Standardisation solutions, whilst keeping the complexity under the hood.

Alwan is based in Lyon, France employing eleven highly skilled persons, all chosen for their educational background and scholarship, successful work experience, creativity and motivation.

Alwan is member of many international scientific organizations (ICC, CIE, ECI etc.) and delivers software to the main players in the Graphic Industry: publishers, printers, OEMs and software developers.
Globalization is proving quite a challenge in the graphic industry and printing consistent colors in such a open production environment is more complex to manage than it has ever been.» says Elie Khoury. « A job can be initiated in one site, proofs approved by a client in a second site, with the printing being done on other sites scattered around the world. No matter how many sites are involved in production or what is being printed, be it ads, packages, stickers, magazines, newspapers etc.-, everyone- customers, printers, buyers, users…-must have accurate and matching colors » says Elie Khoury.

Moreover, with many generations and types of printing technology coexisting, one may have to work on conventional machines such as offset, flexography and gravure simultaneously alongside the more modern ones such as digital and large format presses .
One also has to take into account the wide variety of digital files received by the printers. The operators who create these files don’t always know on which press a job will be produced, nor which standards they have to comply with . Indeed, standards differ from one printing process to another and from one continent to another.

When files, proofs and the final printing processes are made compliant with standards, the results become consistent, predictable with a great improvement in profitability and quality.
« Since 1997, Alwan has committed to helping the Graphic Arts Industry adopt standards, firstly by providing users with services and standardisation tools, and secondly since 2003, by developing production software to enable printers to become ISO compliant »

Five years later, Alwan software is used by over 400 printers worldwide including many very prestigious names. In 2008, Alwan received a PIA/GATF Intertech™ Award for its innovational DynamicDeviceLinks™ technology. Luc Regnault- head of R&D at Alwan- was awarded the Chéreau Lavet Prize for his achievements throughout his engineering career and Elie Khoury presides over the Communication Technologies Commission of the French Standardization Organization AFNOR and represents France in International Standardization organizations. »

THE TECHNOLOGY
In everyday production, printers often have to deal with files received from different sources that do not print well. There are many reasons for this. It can be due to a mismatch between color separation and press profile, or between the black generation in the files images and the optimal black generation for the printing process to be used, or between ink values in the file and press and paper requirements. Very often too, designers and even printers do not know on which press the job will be produced and it isn’t possible for them to use the press profile for the CMYK separation on the pre-press system. The stock to be used for a job is sometimes chosen or changed at the last minute depending on price or availability, thus affecting color and dot gain reproduction quite dramatically.

Alwan technology was developed to solve issues relating to documents proving problematic the printers.
The benefits of Alwan Dynamic DeviceLinks Technology include :
Harmonization and standardization of CMYK files received from all sources.
Output files made compliant with the printing press.
Improved printability, easier and more stable printing
Faster make readies and finishing
Optimizing printing contrast without changing the colours in a job
Improved matching of print with the client’s proof
No more problems due to high inking
Substantial ink savings of more than 30% in some cases.
Embedded Alwan Dynamic DeviceLinks™ which received the PIA/GATF Intertech 2008 Award for its high quality Color Management.


PRODUCTS :

The CMYK OPTIMIZER RANGE
Launched in 2004 during Drupa, CMYK Optimizer provided the industry with its first Color Management and standardisation software. It also introduced an entirely new concept in digital color management and printing process control for printers. CMYK Optimizer is widely acknowledged as a reference software for color management and standardization in press oriented workflows.
While building on top of industry standard technologies such as the Adobe library and ICC profiles, CMYK Optimizer offers many technical innovations that are exclusive to Alwan software ; for instance, dynamic color control, analysis and calculation of optimal ink values for the press, XML reports. Moreover, users benefit from Alwan Dynamic DeviceLinks technology, which received the prestigious PIA/GATF Intertech™ Award in 2008.
The Alwan CMYK Optimizer range enables design agencies, publishers and printers to check and correct the color contents and TAC of the files before sending them to the printing press. It can be used with any CMYK process (with or without accompanying colors) and with any printing technology.

CMYK Optimizer is suitable for offset, gravure, flexo, screen printing, digital printing as well as large format printing presses.
Alwan software works with incoming/outgoing print queues hot folders or with CLI mode (commande Line Interface) and offers an automatic correction, dynamic color spaces, inking and black generation for optimized printing.


CMYK Optimizer Photo
CMYK Optimizer Photo is designed for photographers and small agencies. This software optimizes RGB and CMYK images that are to be printed in CMYK.
It delivers images that are compatible with CMYK ( espaces colorimétriques) standards, providing professional quality color separation, problem-free proofs and final prints.

CMYK Optimizer Prepress
CMYK Optimizer Prepress was created for communication and advertising agencies, publishers and for small printing houses. It prepares PDF files for standardized printing. This edition offers advantages such as proof reproducibility for the printers and problem-free printing of documents and advertisements. Colors are made compliant with ISO 12647 standards and the corresponding ICC Profiles. Colors of CMYK Optimizer PDF-generated files are made compliant with PDF/X1 and PDF X/3 standards.

CMYK Optimizer Press
CMYK Optimizer Press is designed for small and medium sheetfed printing houses. It offers all the advantages of the CMYK Optimizer PrePress software plus more advanced GCR options that allow a quicker make-ready, better printability and the eradication of setoff or wrinkling due to high inking.

CMYK Optimizer ECO
CMYK Optimizer ECO offers all the advantages of CMYK Optimizer Press, plus substantial ink savings thanks to the embedded Alwan Dynamic Ink Savings technology. Of all the technologies available on the market, Alwan CMYK Optimizer ECO technology has been rated best in ink savings and print quality.


PDF Standardizer
In partnership with Enfocus, Alwan developed PDF Standardizer, a PDF standardization and quality control solution for PDF producers and printers. PDF Standardizer offers a simple and reliable way to create PDF that comply with ISO 15930-1 (PDF/X1-a), Ghent PDF Workgroup specifications as well as with ISO 12647 color printing standards. PDF Standardizer combines technologies from Alwan and Enfocus. In addition to leveraging the automation and advanced preflighting capabilities of Enfocus Switch and Enfocus PitStop, PDF Standardizer also provides out-of-the-box compliance with ISO 12647 and 15930 color and PDF requirements. This brings a unique quality assurance process to global and print-on-demand digital workflows, simplifying production for both content creators and print service providers. It offers dynamic color management, flattening of transparencies, and normalization of PDF files, resulting in perfect workflow reliability. In addition, PDF Standardizer has the 2008 InterTech award-winning Alwan Dynamic Device Link technology embedded, and easily integrates with any existing workflow. PDF Standardizer is available from Alwan and Enfocus approved channel partners.


Print Standardizer
This automated print standardization solution for the pressroom was jointly developed in partnership with X-Rite. Developed to address the graphic industry’s growing need for standards compliance, it provides an affordable and easy-to-implement ‘out-of-the-box’ ISO 12647 standardization solution for analog and digital presses. Featuring award-winning technologies from Alwan, X-Rite and its subsidiary Pantone, Print Standardizer includes: Alwan’s PDF and print standardization software CMYK Optimizer; the new PANTONE Goe digital libraries, featuring 2,058 new colors; and Intellitrax, X-Rite’s automated color measurement solution for press-side color control. This new solution allows printers to reduce make-ready time, match clients’ standard proofs, and dramatically cut waste paper and ink consumption, hence increasing overall pressroom productivity and profitability by an average 15%. An additional major benefit of Print Standardizer is that it qualifies the controlled press to ISO 12647 certification. It also delivers print reports proving ISO 12647 compliance for each and every job. Print Standardizer is available from Alwan and X-Rite approved channel partners.

The LinkProfiler range 
LinkProfiler is a profiling software that allows users to create sophisticated and accurate ICC DeviceLink Profiles with accurate colors, preserving the integrity of important information about the source file contents that influence printability, like black text, colour tints, Benday colors, vector graphics etc.

LinkProfiler was developed, tested and approved in very demanding environments. It is one of the best ICC profile creation solutions available in the market with many innovative and original features not found in other profilers.
The ICC profiles generated by LinkProfiler can be used by all proofing RIPs and current CTP devices as well as recent CAP ( Computer-Aided Publishing) software which uses device links, such as Enfocus Pitstop™ 08, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and many others…


LinkProfiler Press 
LinkProfiler Press offers the same advantages as the Prepress edition plus more advanced GCR options. Its device links can be used in production RIPs to hasten make-readies and stabilize printing.


LinkProfiler ECO
LinkProfiler Press offers the same advantages as the Press edition plus more maximum GCR and ink saving features. Its device links can be used on production RIPs for maximum ink savings on the presses.


Color Pursuit
Alwan Color Pursuit™ is a software that enables users to assess the color characteristics of their devices as well as the ICC profiles they use or create.
Color Pursuit™ can also help assess the capacities and quality of color reproduction all along the graphic chain.
Users can choose a color or an image and follow up visually and digitally as it develops on peripheral devices right up to the press.

DeviceLinks Manager Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop™ plug-in was developed to enable Photoshop users to assess and apply CMYK device links in their favorite image retouching application.
This plug-in also enables them to measure the ink consumption and percentage coverage of the opened images before and after applying the Photoshop™ profile.


THE PARTNERS
Alwan has established very strong partnerships with many graphic industry players who are involved in standardization worldwide. They include research organizations, Universities, software publishers and OEMs.
Alwan has partnered with many graphic industry OEMs such as Dalim, Compose, Enfocus, Chromix, Bodoni who recommend Alwan solutions to their clients. Others have chosen to build complete solutions with Alwan :
PDF Standardizer was developed jointly with Enfocus
Print Standardizer was developed jointly with X-Rite.

MARKETS AND CUSTOMERS
The increasing demand for standardization and Colour Management at all stages of production in a globalized environment have confirmed Alwan’s strategy to address the market’s needs with its standardization and color management software and solutions.

1. Printers: with CMYK Optimizer Press and ECO editions
2. Photographers and Publishers: with CMYK Photo and Prepress editions
3. Complete solutions with OEMs: Print Standardizer with X-Rite and PDF Standardizer with Enfocus.

There are more than 500 Alwan software installations in/around the world today. About 60% of them are in offset printing houses, the rest is dispatched between newspapers, gravure, sheetfed printing, and publishers. However, Alwan expects a significant rise in the number of publishers, newspapers and paper-printers in the future. Currently, the majority of ALwan customers are in the United States and in Europe and their sizes range from the small business to international Companies.

Alwan has implemented its solutions at Quebecor, RR Donnelly, Quad Graphics, Vertis, Maury, SEGO, Le Figaro, BBC Magazines, IPC , Nestlé, Readers Digest, News International, Southernprint, Mondadori, Techno-Stampa, Thieme Group, Sandy Alexander, Bemis and hundreds of other prestigious names in the graphic industry.

ALWAN TRAINING
Training is at the core of Alwan’s philosophy and operation. The company has a comprehensive selection of training covering such domains as standards, colorimetry, press calibration, ICC Profiles, colour Management, ICC workflows and Quality Assurance. A sponsership Program by Alwan has benefited many engineering schools and institutions around the world like the EFPG/PAGORA in France, Wuppertal University in Germany, the Rochester Institute in the United States and many others. Alwan engineers play an important role in the Printing Industry’s Engineering Schools in both Europe and the United States, by taking part in countless conferences and meetings in that field.
Alwan customers and partners are also trained by Alwan specialists to fully understand and control Alwan software implementation and ISO standards in their workflows.