easyDot Puts Tablets in Focus UK technology company ccDotmeter has announced details regarding the release of easyDot, the latest in its Centurfax line of dotmeter products. easyDot utilises popular off-the-shelf tablet technology to interface to a standard microDot microscope reader. The easy-to-read statistical data fed back from the tablet provides a highly accurate measure for checking a printable image on a litho plate.

Feedback via the easyDot Android tablet interface will provide fast, accurate details of the dot percentage which in-turn enables efficient calibration of the output engine, whether that be a computer-to-plate device or a computer-to-film solution.

The product will receive its official worldwide show debut at China Print 2013, taking place from May 14 to 18, at the New China International Exhibition Center in Beijing.

Commenting on the introduction, Bob Leslie, managing director of ccDotmeter, said: “The use of affordable tablet devices is becoming commonplace. Integrating a tablet computer with our microDot to create the easyDot solution makes life even easier for print quality control specialists. Prior to this release a microDot would have needed to be connected to a PC to provide the hard numbers required to complete a calibration routine. The immediate feedback from the tablet connection will make data gathering a more effective and efficient exercise.

“This first version of the software has been created for the Android operating system. Android-based tablets are both lower cost and more plentiful than the Apple equivalent. We are unlikely to provide a specific piece of tablet hardware – the profit margins are hard to find in such a low priced item. However, it is not difficult to find good quality product to recommend – items such as the Google Nexus 7 for example. This device is an extraordinary piece of kit for a typical price of around £160. Adding our Centurfax software app to such a device gives a print business a flexible work tool that is a great help in producing the data for quality print, but can also be used for other information gathering exercises around a busy production plant.” Most Android devices running a version of Android 4.0 or above should be suitable platforms for the Centurfax software.

Commenting on the reasons for developing easyDot, Paul Foster, sales director for ccDotmeter, said: “CtP calibration is still a necessary step in the process of creating best quality print. A read through the procedures necessary to gain ISO12647-2, for example, reveals a requirement for a print business to use some method of calibration. It really is a basic tool in producing high quality printed output. You only need to ask yourself the question: how do I know that my platesetter is producing a 50% dot when I ask for it? Unless a precise piece of measuring equipment, such as easyDot, is in use you simply cannot be sure! The product certainly offers opportunities in areas where people want to have simplicity of operation and only need to see the relevant dot percentage number.”

ccDotmeter – a UK based technology company – is delighted to be at the vanguard of the technology that will allow printers to see the real detail of what is being printed, meaning that printers can once again focus on print quality.

Viewing your Print in Detail: microDot / easyDot

microDot is a combination of software developed by Centurfax – the originators of the dotmeter with the CCDot product – and a powerful, standard, digital microscope. This latest software – easyDot – creates an easy-to-use tablet interface for a microDot microscope.

The microDot device can connect to a PC via a USB connection for instant analysis of the percentage dot and image. The easy to install PC software can calculate screen ruling, percentage dot values and screen angles. The device and software are suitable for measuring dots on film, plate or printed paper. The measuring unit is highly portable and lightweight. Users simply link to their PC when they want to download the images that they have gathered. Image dots of less than 10 micron are perfectly readable by microDot meaning that the unit is ideal for all types of screening, including FM, hybrid and AM. The device can be set up to read multiple colour plates.

Once an image has been downloaded to a PC it can be measured for percentage dot size, screen ruling and screen angle. Images can, of course, be stored on the PC for future reference, or for e-mailing to support personnel and suppliers.

The original Centurfax CCDot dotmeter product sold over 16,000 devices worldwide.