Color and inspection innovations from QuadTech to be featured at PrintPack India 2011

Technology enables printers to handle more complicated color projects, reduce waste, increase profit margins.

Sussex, Wisconsin, USA—12 January, 2011—With a theme of "moving you forward," the QuadTech stand at PrintPack India 2011 (Hall 4, Booth 5) will feature a wide range of solutions that enhance the performance of web presses, improving the quality, cost and immediacy of products printed in gravure, flexo or offset.

With point-of-sale presentation becoming a critical factor in the success of a retail product, brand owners in India are seeking higher standards of print quality from packaging and label suppliers. QuadTech helps customers meet these elevated expectations with a portfolio of sophisticated press control technology that is automated, in-line, and that uses spectral color values to reach optimum quality consistency.

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. "Our SBUs work 'hand-in-hand' with customers and other suppliers to ensure that we meet or exceed expectations in performance, servicing and training," states Karl Fritchen, President of QuadTech. "In addition to our technology offerings, we'll feature our unique Performance Proven Guarantee, which is a quantifiable pledge to deliver nothing less than the best results possible."

Introducing new products for packaging printers

QuadTech's current product offerings span the full range of requirements from different segments including flexible packaging, corrugated, folding carton and tag & label. The technology uses 3-CCD RGB line-scan cameras to compare each print repeat against a "golden template." This is a printed copy considered by the press minder to be as close to perfect as possible. The system can identify streaks, scumming, misregister, missing text or images and many other defects, including physical contamination such as hickies.

Four elements, used in different combination depending on application, provide the ultimate inline functionality:

PDF Verification: compares prepress file to inspected "golden template"

True 100% Inspection: inspects the entire substrate inline during printing, laminating and rewinding

Data Central® for Inspection database: Defect and event logging for review and defect filtering

Waste Management System: Automated waste removal using stored filtered defect data to control re-winders

There is also an Offline Inspection System suitable for sheetfed packaging printers. "Inspection goes a long way to ensuring that every product converted from a packaging or label print run meets the required quality standards," states Randy Freeman, Vice President and General Manager of Packaging. "But it is the integration of our products that really gives 100% perfection. We have now added web viewing and color control options to our packaging inspection portfolio. These products enable improved quality assurance, even at the higher press speeds that can now be achieved, due to the increased confidence printers have in their press capabilities."

Inspection System with SpectralCam™ is a new inspection option for paper, board, and film which combines true 100% inspection and precise color measurement into one system. The technology can measure up to 12 color targets within the work using the same 31-channel spectral sensor found on QuadTech's commercial color control. There is also a second video camera within the unit that is used to locate and track color targets.

The 12 targets are chosen by the operator using the "golden template" from the inspection system. The SpectralCam then pinpoints, captures and analyzes the color data for all targets, displaying the deviation from a perfect match in a highly graphical form. The combined data containing information on defects and incorrect color matches is then available for waste rejection, further analysis, pricing variations or legislative regulation adherence.

QuadTech is introducing its new ICON™-based Color Measurement System with SpectralCam, which accurately measures color information in the image - on paper, board, or film. A third camera in the within the SpectralCam unit now provides optional high resolution dot viewing. The in-line SpectralCam can achieve color measurement accuracy on par with off-line hand-held devices. This provides enormous waste savings over off-line color measurement devices, where checks are only possible at the beginning and end of each roll.

The new QuadTech Web Viewing System is suitable for all packaging applications, providing a 'freeze-frame' view of a section of the web in high resolution. When used in conjunction with 100% inspection, it provides a mechanical zoom to show a repeating defect in a much higher resolution while the inspection system continues scanning the web.

Newspaper

The trend in newspaper printing for better control over color is being fueled by a need to diversify. Semi-commercial products, hybrid heatset/coldest newspapers and publications geared to attract advertisers - such as lifestyle supplements - are now commonplace.

To help newspaper printers achieve the required quality and accuracy, QuadTech has responded with the Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam™. The system utilizes a proprietary 6-channel spectral sensor for L*a*b*-based color control – eliminating the need for colorbars or graybars. The image-based, closed loop system automatically obtains target aim point values from a high-resolution prepress file to maintain accurate color by automatically adjusting ink keys. It also automatically controls and optimizes the fountain ball for superb inking performance, creating better color, reduced waste and minimized operator intervention.

At the same time, all surfaces are being inspected and common print faults such as scumming, blanket smashes and color variations are detected. The system even verifies plating issues like transposed plates or running the wrong version. Common problems are discovered instantly as the job runs, rather than at the end of the press run or when an operator happens to notice the situation. As a result, waste is dramatically reduced.

QuadTech has enhanced its closed-loop Register Guidance System with MultiCam® adding automated features such as fan-out control, cocking control, anti-embossing, front-to-back register control, and ink guiding. The enhancements answer the growing need for precision measurement, reduced waste and optimum productivity on the latest high-speed, extra-wide newspaper printing presses. MultiCam is the world's fastest and best-selling register camera, with nearly 10,000 cameras sold worldwide.

When linked through an ICON platform, to established controls for register and ribbon guidance, the entire QuadTech newspaper package drives added value, waste reduction and manpower savings into both newspaper and semi-commercial applications.

Commercial web offset

Color Control System with Instrument Flight® and SpectralCam™ is the latest in a long line of color control systems from QuadTech. Designed for all web widths including the latest 96-page presses, it uses a spectral-based sensor to gather colorimetric and densitometric data across a fast moving web from a continuous color bar.

The latest version of the system captures 31 channels of accurate spectral color data from multiple points in each patch of the color bar. The data, converted into L*a*b* and densitometric measurements, 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. Overall the enhanced system gives a better match between proof and print. More importantly, this match is maintained throughout the run, and at all speeds, by self-learning algorithms that automatically compensate for any change in running conditions.

Another new feature, Colorimetric Reporting, provides a tool for printers to color manage their entire production from prepress to printed output. Due to the accuracy and consistency provided by the system, test forms - such as those developed by the German bvdm - can be printed with such precision that the color control data can be used to set up and calibrate all color-related processes. The data is output in industry-standard formats for direct entry into prepress.

Performance Proven Guarantee

To complement its extended range of products and to underline the company's confidence in its own technology, QuadTech this year launched its Performance Proven Guarantee. This initiative is a pledge that customers will receive guaranteed levels of performance improvement as a result of their investment in QuadTech technology.

When an order is placed, QuadTech specialists agree with the customer the level of performance improvement expected after installation. Performance is then tracked using the reports generated by the QuadTech solution. Customers who do not experience agreed-upon levels of improvements, after a specified period, are entitled to a full refund of the equipment cost.

Karl Fritchen, President of QuadTech, comments: "Everything we do is focused on keeping our customers at the cutting edge of print quality and cost. The launch of this initiative reflects our confidence in our ability to deliver total satisfaction in all press control situations."

About QuadTech

QuadTech, Inc. is the world's leading innovator of advanced color and inspection technology for the printing industry. Founded in 1979, QuadTech sells its automated auxiliary control systems in more than 100 countries to the web offset newspaper and commercial markets, packaging and converting markets, and publication gravure market. Headquartered in Sussex, WI, USA, QuadTech maintains a worldwide network of sales and service operations, and is proud to be registered ISO 9001:2008 DNV.

Contacts:

Craig Du Mez, QuadTech
Phone: +1 414 566 7500
Email: craig.dumez@quadtechworld.com

Nicole O’Donoghue, Bespoke
Phone: +44 (0) 1737 215200
Email: quadtech@bespoke.co.uk

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