Neff Packaging Solutions, Simpsonville, KY, has become the first U.S. company to install the latest generation of Heidelberg’s Prinect Image Control spectral color measurement and quality control system.
“We now have the technology to significantly reduce our makeready time, as well as to reduce the number of sheets needed to attain color,” said Jim Younkin, Vice President and General Manager.
The new Image Control system is used primarily with the company’s new 8-color Speedmaster CD 102 UV press in a double coating configuration. Neff retains an older version of Image Control for use with its 6-color Speedmaster XL 105. When necessary, both systems can be used interchangeably on either press, adding tremendous flexibility.
“Ultimately, we are reducing our costs and improving our turnaround time,” Younkin continued. “We spend less time pulling fewer sheets, have better control of the image area, and can measure color with greater accuracy than ever before, thanks to the system’s enhanced resolution for spectral image measurement. Best of all, the system generates detailed reports we can use both for internal analysis, as well as to show customers exactly what we have accomplished. The software is also extremely user-friendly.”
Neff Packaging Solutions is a G7 Master Printer providing custom and innovative paperboard packaging solutions to customers in the pharmaceutical, medical device, health and beauty, wine and spirits, tobacco, automotive, and entertainment markets. The third-generation, family run company, which utilizes state-of-the art equipment to produce cartons efficiently and timely, has been a Heidelberg customer and an all-Heidelberg shop from its founding.
Seeing Is Believing
Neff Packaging’s Speedmaster CD 102 LYYLX UV with new Prinect Image Control received an enthusiastic reception during a pair of open houses Neff hosted earlier this year “to show our customers that we continue to invest and are working hard to become as lean and efficient as possible,” Younkin said.
Customers now are able to confirm the company’s newfound efficiencies, improved accuracy and tighter process controls on the Prinect Press Center control station’s 52” High-Definition Wallscreen display.
“Our clients are very impressed,” Younkin said. “Having the ability to view and document our manufacturing efficiencies removes the human element and enables us to show our customers their products and explain what we’re doing right. Prinect Image Control provides deviations, tolerances, and data points that enable us to print ‘to the numbers’ and show how well the operator ran a particular job, and then to store and retrieve those parameters, as needed, for repeat jobs. It takes a lot of the subjectivity away and gives us more pixels and greater accuracy instead.”
“The new version of Prinect Image Control already has sparked strong interest in the capabilities that support our new business initiatives,” he continued, “with several customers moving to minimize press checks because we now can show them a document summarizing our process.”
New Tools for G7 Qualification
The latest generation of Prinect Image Control represents the further evolution of a color measurement device that was already ahead of its time. Fully integrated with the prepress workflow, it is the only viable system that measures and controls color based on the entire printed image, including multi-line color bars and MiniSpots in a single, 20-second scan of the sheet. Measured values are evaluated and used to automatically deliver accurate follow-up decisions to the press, providing online color control for all printing units simultaneously.