Jens Kalbantner, Project Manager Speedmaster CX 104 R&D, talks about the Quality Assurance (QA) process for Speedmaster presses.

Mr. Kalbantner, can you tell us what kind of tests are carried out on Speedmasters presses during the manufacturing process - and at what stage?

Evaluation, qualification and testing methods accompany each and every press on its way to our customers. It starts in R&D, with highly sophisticated simulation methods. Once the design is approved, we build test rigs or actual machines for thorough testing covering all possible parameters. Individual machine components are also subjected to endurance tests.

In serial production, all individual parts are constantly inspected for quality and the various assembly stages are all controlled or tested according to internal and external standards. Finally, we perform a printing test on each machine and make all necessary fine-adjustments to make sure it meets the highest standards.

What industry standards are most important to you when conducting quality tests on Speedmaster presses?  

During our internal print quality tests, we apply all common applicable standards such as ISO 9000, 9001, 9002, 9003, and 14001. The specific goals in print quality tests are compliant with the standards of the GATF (Graphic Arts Technical Foundation), the BVDM (German Printing and Media Industries Federation) and FOGRA (Research Society For Printing and Reproduction Technology). On top of this, we have developed our own internal print quality specifications and tolerances that far surpass the specifications of these international institutions.

Which testing methods do you use, and what makes them so special?

In our tests of print quality, we detect possible deviations optically with equipment from the SID institute (Sächsisches Institut für die Druckindustrie). All parameters in the process, such as inks, paper or blankets, are certified to ensure the most accurate results with minimum side effects.

All peripheral components that will be shipped with each machine are also put in operation during our tests. This is because we want to make sure that the complete system will run properly at the customer’s site. Last but not least, we can rely on the unparalleled know-how of the industry's best technical experts at all our production sites: in my opinion, it is their expertise that makes the difference.

And to conclude: in how far does testing contribute to the improvement of the manufacturing process?  

Technical key figures of the print quality allow a very quick and precise analysis of the state of the mechanical assembly of the machines. The data of the printing tests as well as that of the mechanical components tests are constantly monitored and fed into our statistical databases to ensure a quality control loop and real-time adaptions during the manufacturing process.

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