Press technology leader QuadTech, Inc. has added a Digital Ink System to its suite of color, register, and inspection controls for web offset printers.
The Digital Ink System replaces conventional ink fountains with computer-controlled ink injectors. This provides much more accurate density control across the printed image by metering the precise volume of ink required in each control zone consistently, at all press speeds. Besides greatly improved ink density, the system eliminates the costs of contamination from open fountains—resulting in significant and immediate savings in ink, paper, and maintenance. Upgrading an existing open fountain to volume metering—or ordering a new press with QuadTech’s Digital Ink System specified—can quickly return the initial investment.
Digital volume metering eliminates the need for setting the fountain blade assembly and pickup roller. The ink volume delivered by each of the injector keys is computer controlled and does not rely on gap settings for accuracy. Removing the need for gap setting improves reliability, lowers maintenance costs, and produces a more consistent image density through the entire print run—without the fluctuations characteristic of open fountains. Because nothing is touching the fountain ball, the costs of recalibrating and replacing worn ink keys and fountain balls are eliminated.
Karl Fritchen, President of QuadTech comments: “Open fountain ink trains have been the standard method of ink delivery for decades. Now computer-controlled ink injection is providing much more precise density control at all press speeds. This technology enables printers to offer their customers greater print quality and consistency, while at the same time reducing costs.”