Agfa Shows Phase One Of Closed Loop Quality Control Solution
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Signals Operator When Any Component Deviates From Quality Standard. IFRA, Barcelona, Spain – 15 October 2002 – Agfa demonstrated its first phase of a Closed Loop Solution—an innovative quality control system that automatically sends a signal whenever there is any quality deviation from a prepress component including the platesetter, processor, or consumables. "We spent a great deal of time monitoring the reasons for quality deviations among newspaper producers. Many of the reasons, such as atmospheric conditions, are unavoidable, yet they cause costly downtime," said Kurt Smits, Agfa’s newspaper business manager for Europe. "We designed a system that reacts to any deviation from a specific quality standard and alerts the operator that there is a problem and then recommends the appropriate action. This will save hours of valuable production time." Among the reasons for quality deviations Agfa lists insufficient equipment calibration, changes in the environment (temperature, humidity), varying plate batches, changes in laser power, and developer exhaustion and temperature. Phase One of Agfa’s Closed Loop system registers and reads the process parameters, interprets them, then automatically suggests corrective actions, if required. The system consists of a Central Control Unit (computer station), Quality Tracking which logs and monitors relevant quality parameters, Plate Measuring via control targets as well as a digital camera. The system then compares the data and displays the results at the Central Control Unit. The user sees deviations immediately along with the possible course of action. The system provides complete quality data and control of most prepress components—platesetter, processor and consumables. Agfa’s first implementation, shown at IFRA, includes IntelliNet Newsdrive output manager, the Polaris X platesetter, the VSP 85 / VSL85 processors, N91 plates and NELA punch & bending unit.