You may have resolved your issue already but I thought I would provide you more specific feedback about what you should do.
To qualify my perspective, and opinion, I work for a company called Electronics for Imaging (EFI, Inc.) and I am a Tech Sales Specialist in the Southern Region supporting the IKON channel. Before I go any farther I should tell you that EFI makes competitive products to the Creo controller called Fiery and PowerPress that connect to the CPP500. IKON provides multiple RIP controllers for the CPP500 in this situation you were sold a Creo. I will also qualify that whether you buy a Creo, Fiery or PowerPress what I am about to share with you is something that has to be addressed with any of the afore mentioned, OR ANY, RIP controllers.
You may have a monitor calibration issue but more than likely your output is drifting due to changes in the output control. First, color laser technology is known to drift for many reasons (internal temperature fluctuations of the printer, change in paper stock, calibration of printer, toner density shifts (i.e. auto calibration “adjusting” in the printer, etc.).
First it is important to isolate where the shift occurs. If you are re-processing your native document from the source application through a RIP and then printing separately processed documents then you may have Color Management Issues (CMS). If on the other hand you are re-printing a processed file from the RIP to the printer and seeing the shift then you either have a printer or RIP calibration issue or you are changing toners or paper.
Before I suggest a fix I should point out to you that you should contact your local IKON Color Solutions Specialist (CSS) to try to enlist their help for stabilizing your color output. You could have a CMS application issue but it may also be a combination of CMS and printer calibration issues. If your customer sends you a file with CMS values and you open the file and apply different CMS settings and then the rip applies its CMS settings and then you print the file on a non-calibrated printer then you will spin your wheels and waste a lot of time trying to control the color shift behavior.
Regarding a fix for you. Here a list of standard suggestions:
1). You need to calibrate the printer.
a). The CPP500 has a USER calibration feature called “Printer Gamma Sensor Adjust (PGSA)”. You need to do this whenever you feel the color is drifting (assuming the CMS and RIP system is stabilized).
b.) The CPP500 has a SERVICE calibration feature called “Printer Gamma Offset Adjust (PGOA)”. The PGOA sets the density standard that the CPP500 will come back to whenever it performs an “auto-adjust”. Your IKON Service technician can set internal switches that control the behavior of how often the “auto-adjust” is performed. By default the CPP500 will perform an “Auto-adjust” after every 250 clicks, including in the middle of a 500-click print job. If you are noticing color shift in your output on high quantity jobs your IKON service tech can change the switches so that the “auto-adjust” only occurs after 1000 clicks and not in the middle of a job. There are other switches that can completely alter the “auto-adjust” behavior. This step is extremely important for controlling the density behavior of the printer. Imagine that you send CMYK values 50/75/0/5 to the printer for 500 clicks. If after 250 clicks the printer density changes 10% then your 50/75/0/5 color value could change to 40/65/10/15. You will see a different color on paper if the density target resets drastically. In short, contact your local IKON branch to validate that the PGOA has been performed. Further, PGOA should be completed after every major service.
2). You need to calibrate your RIP to the density output of the printer.
You have a Creo which is a non-EFI product so I can’t help you on this step.
3). Your RIP CMS settings need to be set properly to handle the CMS characteristics of your files.
Working in CMYK color space will limit the color gamut of your files. If you are more comfortable using it OK. On the other hand you may just need to reset your RIP RGB CMS characteristics to better control color conversion behavior. Fiery and PowerPress print controllers provide the ability to associate separate RGB, CMYK and Pantone values when processing files. Again I can’t speak to the CMS controls in the Creo but you should engage your local IKON CSS for assitance on this matter. Some RIPs apply a global curve adjustment to every (RGB, CMYK, Pantone) object in a file, a BIG mistake.
Finally, if you feel you need to create ICC profiles of your monitor and printer to create a tighter CMS workflow EFI sells a product called, EFI Color Profiler. The EFI Color Profiler (ES-1000) includes a spectrophotometer (Eye-One), Monitor and Printer profiler software. The ICC profiles can be used by any ICC compliant RIP but when used with a Fiery or PowerPress the spectrophotemeter also supports reading spot colors and the Fiery and PowerPress allow for spot substitution. The EFI Color Profiler is also used by a Fiery and PowerPress to calibrate color density of the printer so that the RIP can adjust the output values to compensate for the density fluctuations of the printer whenever the Fiery Calibration is run.
We also have a new version of the Color Profiler that should begin shipping by middle of October. This new version provides all of the features of the old in addition provides an extensive suite of visual tools to help users evaluate input vs. output and display out of gamut colors in 3-dimension. This enhanced suite will allow you to:
1). Create Monitor and Printer ICC profiles
2). Create Device Link Profiles
3). Preview target image on screen as original or with new profile applied
4). Measure target vs. output
5). Compare ICC target vs. industry standard color gamut in 3D-model.
6). Modify ICC target to better match source input
…among many other features.
I think I have hit you with enough and I have to go. Good luck to you and please contact your local IKON CSS given the time I know they can help you achieve desirable results.