The Specification Subcommittee of the Ghent Workgroup is where new specifications are born. The GWG currently has commercial print, digital print, sign & display and packaging standards. The GWG wants to expand its efforts to the textile and 3D print market segments.
‘Over the years, we’ve gained a lot of experience with creating quality standards for print production in various market segments,’ says Loïc Aigon, Product Manager at Enfocus and David van Driessche, CTO at Four Pees: ‘As chairs of the specification subcommittee, it is our task to develop and advocate these quality standards. We started around 2002 by focusing on commercial print but have since significantly widened our scope.’
In many ways, textile print is like other segments for which the GWG has developed quality standards. Here, too, are print production processes that influence the printed result and impose limitations on the designs that can be used. So, some of the work from the GWG can immediately be applied. But there are also segment-specific challenges: the large variety of materials and their reproduction capabilities, repeating patterns, widely different colour reproduction and more.
Community members sparked an interest in quality standards for 3D printing. It is a rapidly growing field where standardisation would be very beneficial. Here, as well, there are similarities to the other work the GWG has already done, but the differences are much more significant. Where most of the other GWG work has been for processes that apply some ink to some kind of material, the range of production processes and materials in 3D printing is enormous. Additionally, where most of the graphic industry heavily relies on PDF, other file formats (such as OBJ and STL) are much more common here. Still, the GWG hopes to be able to apply its methodology and lend its expertise to jump-start standardisation.
Can you contribute?
The GWG is looking for people with different levels of expertise and experience in those two fields. We are interested in hearing from you if you have theoretical knowledge of production methods and the software or hardware used or hands-on experience as a print company. The Ghent Workgroup is open to printers, software or hardware manufacturers, consultants, educational institutions and last but not least, industry associations. The group organises three physical meetings annually, but cooperation is possible in different ways – including entirely online. Interested parties can send an email to email@example.com for more information.
What’s in it for you?
‘On a personal level, there is nothing as satisfying as being able to contribute to standardisation that improves a whole market segment and is used throughout the world,’ comments Dave Zwang, consultant and Chair of the Ghent Workgroup. ‘Additionally, early access to standards and the ability to guide the industry, has proven very important for our professional members.’