New QuadTech Electrostatic Ink Assist attracts higher profitability for gravure printers

Sussex, WI--February 2004--QuadTech® announces the latest version of its Electrostatic Assist (ESA) system, used extensively by gravure printers of publication and packaging products. The new QuadTech Electrostatic Ink Assist™ is based on technology developed by PressTech Controls Limited, a company acquired by QuadTech in 2002.

The new QuadTech Electrostatic Ink Assist has many improvements that reflect the trends in the gravure industry towards wider web widths, lower runs and higher expectations in print quality. In line with QuadTech’s focus, the improvements target improved efficiency and profitability for customers.

The ESA system uses a series of carbon fiber brushes to electrostatically charge the impression roller on a packaging gravure or publications gravure press. The charge helps the transfer of ink to the paper by electrostatic attraction, reducing ‘speckling’ and dot skip. This action not only significantly improves print quality, but also provides savings associated with lower printing pressures, such as reduced press-drive power consumption and less mechanical wear. The Electrostatic Ink Assist also improves profitability by making print quality less dependant on press characteristics or the consistency and quality of printing materials.

Wider webs

To accommodate the trend towards wider webs, up to 4.2 meters, the new QuadTech Electrostatic Ink Assist has a series of redesigned power supplies to deliver uniform charge. Within the series is a 6kV version that gives exceptional ink transfer across the widest webs when using water-based inks.

To enable presses to run a variety of web widths, the brushes of the new product are held in small clusters that can be applied to the web only where needed. This is a significant advantage over systems that charge the entire impression roller – on these systems the width of the roller always has to match the width of the web, involving downtime to change rollers.

To facilitate fast job changes, operation of the new QuadTech Electrostatic Ink Assist has now been centralized at the press desk. There is also a new job set-up function that allows the next job to be pre-set while the current one is running. This function is part of an overall upgrade of the user interface which is now much easier to operate using Microsoft Windows® technology. The move to Windows® will provide future benefits for Electrostatic Ink Assist users as QuadTech develops its Data Direct System to encompass a wider range of inputs.

Reciprocating Quality

The new QuadTech® Electrostatic Ink Assist™ has two further features to improve and maintain the highest print quality. Firstly, the brush clusters have been redesigned so that they are extremely easy to clean or replace. This is key to optimizing press uptime, increasingly important in an industry when margins are always under pressure.

Secondly, it has a new reciprocation option, which moves the brushes backwards and forwards over the impression roller. This reciprocating action not only delivers a more even charge, but also eliminates streaking should one of the brushes become inactive due to paper dust or becoming coated with ink.

According to Soma Patel, Technical Manager at QuadTech, “The Heliostat is a proven product which has delivered dramatic savings to many PressTech customers over the years. The acquisition by QuadTech has given this product development new impetus to focus on the changing needs of gravure printers –maintaining profitability through higher levels of automation and lower levels of waste – the new QuadTech Electrostatic Ink Assist has been designed to do just that.”

The new ESA system will be officially launched at Drupa, with first shipments following in Q3 2004. Many of the new features will be available as upgrades to existing systems.

About BALDWIN | Vision Systems (formerly QuadTech)

BALDWIN’s Vision Systems division is the world’s leading innovator of advanced color and inspection technology for the printing industry. BALDWIN | Vision Systems sells its automated control systems in more than 100 countries to the packaging and converting markets, web offset newspaper and commercial markets, and publication gravure market. BALDWIN maintains a worldwide network of sales and service operations, and is privately owned by BW Forsyth Partner, the investment arm of multi-billion dollar global manufacturing and engineering consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller.


Craig Du Mez, BALDWIN | Vision Systems
Phone: +1 414 566 7500

Clare Porter, Bespoke
Phone: +44 (0) 1737 215200