Press control technology provider QuadTech will showcase an assortment of groundbreaking color control and inspection innovations that will help printers to achieve consistent quality, reduce waste, and improve profit margins. The new technologies enhance the company's performance-proven, industry-leading collection of press control solutions. All will be on display at drupa in Düsseldorf, Germany, Hall 17, (Stand A10), 3-16 May, 2012.
Significant new QuadTech introductions at drupa include: The addition of water control to the Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam; introduction of the AccuCam system for the Retail Insert market; Service Advantage with Proactive Care; and for packaging printers, the ability to measure color information in-line on paper, film, or foil at full press speeds, along with a high-resolution view of dot structure. QuadTech will also announce an important cooperation agreement with Alwan Color Expertise.
QuadTech President Karl Fritchen explains the rationale behind the company's drupa stand theme, 'The Power of Better': "The philosophy that real solutions depend on both technological advancements and innovative people permeates everything we do at QuadTech. Thinking strategically with our customer at every stage, from understanding their problems and developing the right solution, to round-the-clock diagnostics, QuadTech ensures that our customers gain maximum value from their investment, throughout the product life cycle."
QuadTech's current product range broadly covers the areas of register and ribbon control, color control, web inspection and print-data management. These capabilities are customized to specific applications by focused teams working within a Strategic Business Unit structure of newspaper, commercial and packaging print.
Commercial web offset
QuadTech empowers the commercial printer to adapt to shorter print-run and frequent job-changeover situations, while simultaneously driving quality levels higher.
Color Control System with Instrument Flight and SpectralCam is designed for all web widths including the latest generation 96-page presses. Its spectral-based sensor gathers colorimetric and densitometric data across a fast-moving web from a continuous color bar.
The system captures 31 channels of accurate spectral color data from multiple patches of the color bar, with each image capture. The data, converted to L*a*b* and densitometric values, is then analyzed by System Brunner's enhanced Instrument Flight + L*a*b* to facilitate the highest levels of accuracy in color control and gray balance. The system gives a better match between proof and print and automatically maintains optimal color throughout the run, compensating for any change in running conditions on the fly, irrespective of press speed.
Commercial and Newspaper
QuadTech's Register Guidance System with MultiCam is a closed-loop color-to-color register control system designed to work on the ICON integrated platform with other QuadTech products such as Ribbon Control System with MultiCam. The uniqueness of the MultiCam design is that it can search the entire repeat length of the web, identifying marks as small as 0.36mm (0.014 in). It can easily process the volume of data generated with a 640 x 480 pixel sensor using unique FPGA-based hardware. MultiCam makes adjustments at press speeds of up to 17,8 meters per second.
QuadTech's Register Guidance System also provides fan-out control software, automatically keeping the system in lateral register across the width of the web. Other recent enhancements include cocking control, anti-embossing, and ink guiding capabilities.
These can then be linked to the ICON integrated platform, which provides real-time press control from a single point. Data Central Reporting, which is linked to the company IT system, generates and stores data as it is monitored, optimizing quality control for operators who can then compare productivity and make strategic decisions according to previous and live runs.
The newspaper industry is moving toward higher quality consistency in order to attract advertisers and build brand loyalty at a time when readers are faced with a growing number of alternative media options. As a result there is less tolerance of defects, especially in areas such as color reproduction and registration. QuadTech has formed strategic partnerships with several major newspaper publishers to overcome these challenges.
Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam uses a proprietary 6-channel spectral sensor and QuadTech patented technology to provide CIELAB image-based color control. This ensures color control over an entire image, making automatic adjustments throughout the run for consistent high quality and accuracy. It also provides fast detection of scumming, plate verification, and other inspection capabilities from the same sensor. At drupa, QuadTech will unveil an enhanced AccuCam system with automated water control capabilities, ensuring optimum water and ink balance and further reducing manual interventions during production.
Until today, retail insert printers had to rely on the time-consuming manual process of taking random color measurements with a handheld device. QuadTech's Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam solves this problem by providing fully-automatic closed-loop color control. QuadTech accomplishes this by capturing the entire printed image—no color bars, no gray bars. The patented spectral sensor provides unprecedented levels of accuracy. The system will also inform the printer of the occurrence of scumming, when plates are accidentally hung in the wrong position, or when other print defects occur.
As the point-of-sale presentation plays a significant role in brand success, there is greater emphasis on package print quality. Brand-owners expect their print suppliers to deliver to exacting global standards. At the same time, the increasing diversity and complexity of films in flexible packaging can make measurement and inspection more problematic. For the flexo and gravure package printer, QuadTech offers fast in-line inspection and spectral color measurement solutions for film, foil, paper, and various laminates, enabling quality consistency and reduced waste.
QuadTech's true 100% Inspection System uses line-scan technology to compare each print repeat against a 'golden template' which is a printed copy considered by the press operator to be as close to perfect as possible.
Inspection System with SpectralCam provides 100% defect inspection and true spectral color measurement using the same proven 31-channel spectral sensor found on QuadTech's commercial color control. The system can measure up to 72 targets, then analyze the data to ensure that there is no deviation from the target aim points. The result is greatly reduced waste.
QuadTech Web Viewing System can be used on its own or in conjunction with the 100% Inspection System for optimum error detection. It provides a mechanical zoom to show a repeating defect in a much higher resolution while the inspection system and press continue to run uninterrupted.
QuadTech Color Measurement System with SpectralCam can accurately calculate L*a*b*, ΔE, Density and ΔDensity at full press speed. This in-line system is extremely flexible with QuadTech's patent-pending web stabilizer technology, which allows for precise spectral measurements on various substrates including film, foil, and paper. Advanced spectrophotometer technology enables the system to quickly detect and analyze colorimetric and density variations from predetermined targets. Consistent, fast, accurate color quality is guaranteed.
QuadTech Color Measurement System with SpectralCam HD introduces in-line high-definition dot viewing and web stabilization capabilities, facilitating easy on-the-fly detection of dot abnormalities such as pin-holing, bridging, doughnuts and halos. Images are captured at 2500dpi and are made instantly accessible through the ICON™ Integrated Platform.
Autotron 2600 Register Guidance System with ClearLogic provides accurate register control on any press which is highly beneficial to users of opaque, transparent and reflective substrates such as BOPP, metalized film, high-gloss cast and polypropylene. Using MiniCam scanning heads the process detects various pale and low-contrast marks with precision, significantly reducing make-ready waste.
PDF Verification enables a printed sample to be measured against the original approved artwork, preventing errors and identifying any press malfunctions. The software tool ensures perfect quality, minimizing set up and automatically storing each job to ease operator time consumption.
The Power of Better
QuadTech enables streamlined and flexible coordination between technology and operators by providing the QuadTech ICON Integrated Platform, a network-based centralized station which contains all previous job data. Manual re-entry is no longer needed and therefore set up times are reduced, increasing the efficiency of the workforce.
QuadTech and Alwan Color Expertise have reached a cooperation agreement to provide automated plate curve monitoring and adjustment for web press applications. QuadTech's Color Control System with SpectralCam provides print measurement data for each press run. The data is utilized by Alwan's Print Standardizer software, which can automatically generate and export dynamic TVI (dot gain) compensation curves to match ISO 12647 and G7 reference printing conditions. This eliminates the labor-intensive task of generating and evaluating TVI reports individually for each press run to monitor plate curve performance.
QuadTech is also introducing Service Advantage with Proactive Care, through which you can choose the level of service that best matches your needs based on your installation, business, and budget. The program includes a wide range of services such as Proactive Care—24/7/365 on-line monitoring of your ICON system by skilled technicians—preventive maintenance, training, technical support, and more. The advantage to the printer is optimum maintenance and equipment performance to minimize budget surprises and downtime.