Even the smallest printing defects cause significant costs and damage a print shop’s image. The challenge currently facing industrial packaging printers is how to continuously produce flawless quality with the least paper waste, while still keeping output high. The answer? Smart control systems. Product Manager Volker Felzen explains how Prinect Inspection Control 2 enables maximum quality assurance in the production of packagings and labels.
Mr. Felzen, why are digital and automated control procedures essential for maximum quality assurance?
In label and packaging printing, the delivery deadlines are getting shorter and shorter while, at the same time, the products are becoming more varied and sophisticated. This increases the complexity in the daily business – and therefore also the risk of defects. Our Prinect Inspection Control 2 inline system reduces both: by automating the quality assurance workflows, it reduces the number of manual interventions and therefore sources of defects. And it provides certainty, since even the smallest defects are reliably detected. Prinect Inspection Control 2 can even do this in real time, and therefore already minimizes paper waste during production.
Reliably detecting smallest defects in real time: how does that work?
Prinect Inspection Control 2 uses two high-resolution cameras. They are well protected against dust and splash water, and fully integrated into the coating unit. They are so precise in how they work that they detect the smallest defects, such as hickeys, missing print, streaks, smudging and scumming, in real time. For this purpose, they scan the entire sheet for deviations. They use a digital reference sheet for comparison, which Prinect Inspection Control 2 automatically generates when the production of good sheets starts.
How does the inspection system ensure that a defective sheet does not still accidentally go to postpress or to the end customer?
The system immediately displays each defect it detects on the Wallscreen XL. The operator sees that there is a problem with this sheet, and can react immediately. In addition, the first and last waste sheet is automatically marked by the tape inserter integrated into the delivery. This ensures easy identification and reliable sorting of the defective sheets. If the printing press is equipped with an inline paper waste ejector, this increases the reliability even further, since defective sheets are immediately disposed of.
Impeccable quality is one thing. How does it boost profitability?
The high level of automation and the integration into the production workflow streamline the production chain. All relevant job data is automatically loaded from the prepress stage. This means that the printer can concentrate fully on the printing press. Intervention is only needed if the system displays a printing defect. This reduces the printer’s workload, as does the simple and self-explanatory system operation via the Wallscreen XL . There the printer can choose between five different inspection tolerances as appropriate to the quality requirement for the job. For customers looking for maximum productivity and quality assurance, we offer two additional functions: “Preset Inspect” enables the automatic transfer of the inspection areas and inspection tolerances defined in prepress. “PDF Verification” automatically runs a comparison against a reference from prepress during setup. This enables defects to be detected at an early stage and follow-up costs to be avoided.
Not all packaging printers need continuous inline inspection. What solution do you have for these customers?
Prinect Image Control 3 is ideal for these customers. The system not only includes a variety of functions for color measurement and control, but the “Offline Inspection” option also enables random checking of the printed sheet for the smallest printing defects. What makes it so special is that spectral measurement and image capture take place in just one scanning operation. The measured printed image is either compared against the prepress data or a production sheet. The smallest deviations are reliably detected. The inspection results are then made available on the Wallscreen XL or a separate monitor. Defects can be quickly detected even before the run begins and while production is underway through recurring random sampling. This avoids complaints and follow-up costs.
How are the results logged?
For each job, Prinect Image Control 3 , as well as Prinect Inspection Control 2, creates comprehensive quality reports in Analyze Point, the central reporting tool for job and production data. The detailed results of the quality inspection can be viewed there at any time on a job-specific basis. This facilities internal analysis as well as proof of defect-free production for customers.
What inspection solutions are available for postpress?
Our partner MK offers offline and inline solutions here. My colleague from Postpress Packaging will be happy to talk to you about this in another expert talk.
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