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Mitsubishi's Exclusive Portable System for Press Performance Measurement and Analysis Premieres at Graph Expo

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. - A process that can be measured can be controlled. Even slight mechanical variations in a printing press produce movement of one color relative to another. Portable DRA is a press performance measurement and analysis system for determining the magnitude and direction of movement on a printing press at a company's production facility. Portable DRA is the only system that can identify the cause and location of complex mechanical problems and recommend appropriate solutions. It builds on the precision and reliability of its predecessor, Digital Register Analysis (DRA) 2000, and substantially improves the speed and method of collecting data. The new system is made up of device-independent image analysis software, a 4,800 dpi Epson Perfection 4490 desktop scanner with automatic document feeder, IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X60 computer and Canon Pixma ip90 color printer. The highly adaptable, device-independent architecture enables adoption of new image capture technologies as they become available. The portability of the DRA system enables Mitsubishi technicians to quickly analyze a press at the customer site. Specially designed test plates contain computer-recognizable patches. Portable DRA measures different positions on test sheets to detect and calculate unit-to-unit, sheet-to-sheet movement on the gear side, operator side, lead edge, tail edge and infeed. Test sheets are cut into 8 1/2 x 11-inch sections. Portable DRA combines a depth-wise (down-the-stack) sequence and breadth-wise (across-the-sheet) method of gathering data, so the analysis is not limited by sheet size. The program handles any test sheet layout, provided the targets are arranged in 1-inch grids. The system gathers information from a pattern of points on each stack. A typical four-position analysis takes about 60 minutes. Analysts can confirm the manufacturing precision of newly installed equipment. On existing presses, Portable DRA identifies causes of register imperfections, distinguishing between classic mechanical integrity problems and lithographic issues. For example, Portable DRA determines whether a gripper or gear is the source of a problem. It eliminates guesswork about which side of the press or between which units a problem exists. It pinpoints problems associated with dot gain, paper or electrical systems. Detailed photographic images captured during analysis enable analysts to document for customers anomalies caused by dirt on a sheet as opposed to problematic patterns. Same-day results generated in the field on existing presses help shorten service visits and reduce costly downtime. Portable DRA also enhances the long-term productivity and profitability of a press. The analysis of overall patterns allows printers to maintain consistent unit-to-unit registration, troubleshoot mechanical problems and conduct preventive maintenance over the life of the press. Furthermore, statistical analysis, quality control data, records and documentation are all requirements for earning and maintaining International Organization for Standards (ISO) certification. The analysis software can be modified to accommodate up to 16 colors from its current eight colors. For permanent records and diagnostics, test results are reported in several formats, including a statistical printout, detailed press signature graph, pictorial representation resembling a shooting target (complete with bull's-eye) and comprehensive three-dimensional display. Portable DRA will be on exhibit in Booth #2612 at Graph Expo & Converting Expo 2006, October 15-18 at Chicago's McCormick Place.




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