The Path to Controlling Your Process:
G7 PC from IDEAlliance

By Ron Ellis

The Path to Controlling Your Process - G7 PC from IDEAlliance

by Ron Ellis 

IDEAlliance’s G7 PC is a program to help you improve your print manufacturing process. It consists of training, hands-on calibration of your devices, and development of written standard operating procedures to help you monitor and maintain your calibration. The benefit is improved manufacturing and increased efficiency. At the completion of the program you receive an IDEAlliance G7 PC qualification certificate and official recognition of your status on the internationally recognized IDEAlliance website.
G7 PC….As easy as 1, 2, 3
  1. Train
  2. Calibrate
  3. Document
With these three easy steps we will help you make your operation more efficient and prepare you for the future of print! For more detailed information contact Ron Ellis.

G7® Process Control Program – A Closer Look

There are over 850 printers in the US who have achieved G7 Master status. These printers benefited from learning a new method of calibration, as well as achieving an industry recognized qualification. Right now 1/3 of the print market is profitable and growing, and nearly 1/3 are not profitable and are in decline. The key attribute of printers who are growing, and will be here in the future is efficiency. Modern printers need to be in control of their manufacturing process.

With this in mind, IDEAlliance has recently launched a program called the G7 Process Control program. The G7® Process Control Program (G7®PC) is designed to build on the momentum of the G7® Master program, which has qualified more than 1000 companies worldwide. G7 PC is designed to help your printing facility achieve a high level of efficiency and predictability through standardization and process control practices. G7 helps users take the guesswork out of accurate color reproduction. G7 PC ensures those results are repeatable through the application of process control and best practices. The program provides education, assessment, and development of standard operating procedures. The G7 PC program also prepares facilities for recognition as a G7 PC Master qualified site.

What can you expect from G7 Process Control?

The G7 Process Control program is designed to make your print or premedia operation more efficient. G7 PC provides you with the tools needed to do this. While the return on investment from G7 is great, the return on investment from the G7 Process Control program is even better.

How it Works:

The G7 PC program consists of the following stages:
1.    Training and Education
2.    Calibration and Hands on Process Improvement
3.    Documentation and Creation of Standard Operating Procedures

Assessment – Finding out where you stand and how G7 PC can help you
The first step is assessment. Following an outline of best practices the G7 PC expert evaluates your company to determine potential areas for improvement. The result is a simple visual assessment of your process. The G7 PC Assessment helps you you to see what industry best practices are, and whether you have implemented these best practices. The assessment doc helps both you and the G7 PC expert understand the scope of the project, and areas you need to focus on. This assessment is a PDF form which can be filled out by you, or by a G7 PC Expert at your facility.
Once the assessment is done the G7 PC expert will provide you with estimated cost and time requirements. The G7 PC Qualification fee is a fixed cost that is paid to IDEAlliance.

About G7 PC Experts

G7 PC Experts are highly trained. IDEAlliance conducts regular training programs for individuals, certifying their status as the most knowledgeable professionals in our industry. When hiring a G7 Process Control Expert, you can rest assured they have received extensive training designed by the inventor of G7, Don Hutcheson of HutchColor, and a 5-day intensive training created by GRACoL® Chair, Ron Ellis, Ron Ellis Consulting, LLC. Each trainee has been thoroughly trained in G7 theory and application for proofing and printing, and properly trained in each phase of process control techniques from content creation through print. To verify an experts’ status, visit the IDEAlliance Official Directory of Certified Experts, Professionals and Qualified Masters on the IDEAlliance website. This database is always up-to-date.

Locate a G7 PC Expert here: https://meetings.idealliance.org/eSeries/Directory/

The G7 PC Implementation – Custom training at your site
When the project begins, the G7 PC Expert will come to your facility and work with you and your staff. This critical training is designed to make sure staff understand key concepts. This training focuses on print aim, print evaluation, and best practices for your printing process. In addition there will be extensive hands-on training as the G7 PC Expert works with you calibrating and documenting your processes.

Calibration – Setting the Process
The calibration process is where your equipment is calibrated on-site, and the processes are developed for daily quality control and recalibration. During this phase the G7 PC Expert works with your staff to calibrate each machine and develop the procedures that will be used to maintain calibration and your production equipment. The results will be based on your custom production requirements. For example, in a sheetfed printing plant the sheetfed presses, the proofer, the platesetter, and digital printer would be calibrated to match G7 specifications. During the calibration the G7 PC expert will record the steps and procedures used to perform the calibration. Calibrating is important, but maintaining the calibration is even more critical.

Quality Control

Once calibrated the G7 PC expert works with your staff to teach the quality control steps needed to monitor your print. This involves making sure your staff understand the proper metrics to read, intervals, and how to interpret and use results. The G7 PC program includes the submission of a press sheet during the time of submission, and also includes the submission of a control strip to be placed on live production work once each quarter. These quarterly reports will help you monitor and control your process.


The G7 PC Expert will work with you when they develop the QC procedure to develop corrective procedures in the event of a QC failure. The feedback loop works as follows:
1.    Measure designated color data as specified intervals
2.    Evaluate the color data against reference print conditions
3.    Correct the machine or print condition in the event of a quality control failure
Your staff will be trained on how to monitor the print condition, and how to troubleshoot the print condition should a failure occur.


One of the most important deliverables you will receive during the G7 PC process is a complete set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Standard operating procedures are a foundation of modern manufacturing. The SOP outlines important procedures and how to perform them. SOPs document the way activities are performed within your organization. They describe both routine activities as well as methods for analysis and applying corrective actions. The G7 PC SOP’s are intended to be specific for use with your organization and equipment.
SOP’s are also important because just finding the time to conduct training can be problematic in a busy manufacturing facility. The value of an SOP is that it provides detailed guidelines so that all staff can follow the same procedures, and have the same results. The SOP is a crucial part of repeatable consistent manufacturing.

Each of these SOP’s will provide step by step instructions for performing task, as well as corrective tasks when needed.

Submission of Materials

At the completion of the process the G7 PC Expert will submit the press sheets, proofs, standard operating procedures and reference documents to the IDEAllianc’s designated auditing: CalPoly. The IDEAlliance auditor will review the materials and provide you with a report listing your results, and these results will be reference in the quarterly reports as well. Once the submission is complete and has been accepted you will receive an IDEAlliance G7 PC Qualification certificate. If you are not already a G7 Master you will also receive a G7 Master certificate at the same time.  Your new status will be listed on the IDEAlliance G7 Directory which many print buyers around the world use to choose and qualify printers for use with their print projects. You will also receive IDEAlliance Network membership, a limited level of membership which affords your company the rights to participation in IDEAlliance certification and qualification programs.

Make sure that your printing operation is a repeatable, predictable and profitable manufacturing operation. Contact a Ron Ellis today and find out more about G7 PC and how it can help you!

To learn more check out Ron’s blog at www.freeprocesscontrol.com, or locate a G7 Process Control Expert at www.idealliance.org

Ron Ellis is a Boston-based consultant specializing in process control, workflow integration, and print calibration. An IDEAliance G7 Expert, G7 Process Control Expert and chair of the GRACoL Committee. He can be reached at 603-498-4553 or at ron@ronellisconsulting.com.

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