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QuadTech to reveal performance-enhancing solutions at IPEX 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Sussex, Wisconsin – With a theme of "moving you forward," the QuadTech stand at IPEX 2010 (06-C520) 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.

"Over our 30-year history, we have continually designed, built and invested in breakthrough technologies so that our customers can be more competitive," states Karl Fritchen, President of QuadTech. "In the current economic environment, printers have an increasing need to improve margins and reduce waste. Our response has been to accelerate product development to meet this need and give our customers the impetus to fulfil their own future plans and move forward."

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. In fact, IPEX will see the launch of a unique Performance Proven Guarantee which is a quantifiable pledge to deliver nothing less than the best results possible."

Key products featured at IPEX are:

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.

QuadTech's MultiCam has provided accurate color-to-color register, cut-off register and ribbon register to commercial web and newspaper printers for many years. System capabilities include Ink guiding for control of print-to-slitter register. An enhanced version will feature at IPEX with Cocking for tilting images across the web and Fan-out to minimize the effects of web growth.

According to Vince Balistrieri, responsible for QuadTech's newspaper and commercial SBU, "MultiCam is one of many QuadTech products that integrate over our ICON platform. As we use the interaction between systems to help printers produce better copies with less waste, we will continue to add features that add value and match evolving market trends. For example, 'fan-out' is an increasing challenge to printers as webs get wider. Our solution minimizes the register shift so that the entire web delivers excellent copies."

Packaging
QuadTech expanded the support that it was able to give to packaging printers by the acquisition of Vigitek in 2008. Since that time the products have been integrated into the QuadTech stable with enhancements in functionality, reliability and servicing infrastructure.

Today, the 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 which can measure up to 12 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.

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.

Newspapers
The trend in newspaper printing for better control over color is being fuelled 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 printers achieve the required quality and accuracy, QuadTech has responded with the Newspaper Color Control System with AccuCam. This is an inline, image-based color control that optimizes control over an entire image by comparing image values with target aim points derived from the prepress file, in terms of CIELAB values.

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.

Performance Proven Guarantee
To complement its extended range of products and to underline the company's confidence in its own technology, QuadTech is launching its Performance Proven Guarantee at IPEX. 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."

 

 

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