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Jürgen Gemeinhardt

Jürgen Gemeinhardt

Head of department
Printing techniques

transparent 11x15@fogra.org

+49 89. 431 82 - 256


Digital printing system check

System check of electrophotographic printing systems according to bvdm/Fogra guideline

For many years now there has been a proven set of guidelines for the acceptance of offset presses. These lay down criteria that offset presses must meet if they are to be suitable for production and that can be objectively checked. End of 2018 Fogra and bvdm launched such guidelines for digital printing. For the time being, the guidelines are restricted to electrophotographic printing but they can also be applied to other printing methods provided these relate to the four-colour printing of A3 sheets.
Unlike the offset printing the test results of digital printing always relate to a particular substrate. Furthermore the guidelines do not contain any tolerances but simply a description of the test procedures, including test forms, characteristic values and their evaluation. This is due to the fact that commercially available digital presses exhibit a very broad range of quality properties because the very varied requirements imposed on different printed products mean that the printing systems are similarly varied in how they are set up.
There are various different possible ways for the guidelines to be used in practice. One possibility is for manufacturers to incorporate the characteristic values they contain into the specifications for their presses. Another is for printing companies to compare their print quality requirements with the quality delivered by the press in question and then choose a system that meets their requirements. They also allow the quality properties promised by the manufacturer to be objectively checked in the course of a technical acceptance trial.
It is often difficult for the individual user to specify suitable quality attributes. In order to help with this, the guidelines contain a range of values for each characteristic value that reflect the spectrum of electrophotographic printing systems that are currently commercially available. The results for a typical offset print are also included for guidance. In addition, Fogra holds sample books for selected imagequality attributes and these can be viewed on request.


The complete guideline is available in German language only:

Richtlinie (Size: 15.22 MB; Downloads: 979)
Testformen (Size: 16.31 MB; Downloads: 965)

Those who are interested in an English version shall be referred to the final report of the corresponding research project. It contains the same information as the guidelines and only lacks of some additonal explanations about the impact of the quality attributes.

Fogra service

Kamerabasierter MesstischFogra offers three different levels of service based on the new digital press guidelines. The basic level involves checking the colour accuracy, the rendering of spot colours, colour variations over the format and the print run, banding, the rendering of detail, edge sharpness, as well as print out uniformity. Optional gradation and geometry modules can also be ordered. The first of these examines the tone value resolution and the reproducible tone value range, whilst the second examines image register and positional accuracy (simplex and duplex), as well as the dimensional stability of the colour separations.
It is possible to order either a complete package in which trial prints are overseen on site and then evaluated or a more limited one in which printed samples are submitted for evaluation. The complete package is recommended for a contractually agreed acceptance trial by a neutral institution, whereas evaluation on its own is more suitable for manufacturers who simply want to record the characteristic values that define the quality of their presses. When submitting prints for evaluation, it is important to ensure that print trials are carried out precisely as laid down in the guidelines.

Prices (excl. VAT)

Onsite attendance and evaluation:

Basic level: 3,290 EUR plus travel expenses
+ (optional) Gradation module: 570 EUR
+ (optional) Geometry module: 1,140 EUR

Fogra members
Basic level: 2,300 EUR plus travel expenses
+ (optional) Gradation module: 400 EUR
+ (optional) Geometry module: 800 EUR

Evaluation only:

Basic level: 1,190 EUR
+ (optional) Gradation module: 370 EUR
+ (optional) Geometry module: 940 EUR

Fogra members
Basic level: 830 EUR
+ (optional) Gradation module: 260 EUR
+ (optional) Geometry module: 660 EUR