Mensing sets milestone in print quality monitoring
Friday, April 16, 2010
Press release from the issuing company
Mensing Druck & Verpackung in Norderstedt near Hamburg has been active in packaging printing for more than 50 years, specialising in packaging for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. At the beginning of 2008 the company installed the first Rapida sheetfed offset press in northern Germany with DriveTronic SPC dedicated drives for simultaneous plate changing. In addition to a high degree of press automation, particular importance was attached to optional equipment for integrated quality assurance and control. It was thus only logical that Mensing should opt not only for DensiTronic Professional colour measurement and control system, but also for a DensiTronic PDF module – the first packaging printer in Germany to do so. The system has now been in use for about a year – time to draw up a first balance.
For managing director Volker Knoop, DensiTronic PDF is the icing on the cake when it comes to quality assurance in sheetfed offset production. While the majority of print companies rely exclusively on colour measurement or control, and only a few perform an additional comparison with a reference sheet, Mensing compares its production with the original PDF files provided by the customer. With an inspection resolution of 36 measuring points per square millimetre, the document comparison reveals even the tiniest deviations in the printed image, many of which would probably have remained unnoticed during a normal check with the naked eye. To this end, the printer on the press uses the KBA DensiTronic PDF system to scan the first good sheet of his run. The automatic evaluation pinpoints even the slightest deviations from the original PDF within just a few moments. Alongside any spots of dirt which may have contaminated plate exposure, the system also detects additional die-cutting and register marks on the sheet, the numbering of individual blanks, dot gain in the packaging barcodes (when printing on inexpensive card grades) and the like. The facility for automatic exclusion of individual detected differences enables the operator to gain a fast and compact overview of all production-relevant deviations. He can then decide whether the job can be printed as it is, or whether consultation with the QA department is necessary.
Certificate of quality print
In the case of pharmaceutical packaging or patient information leaflets, additional comparisons are made in accordance with the sampling intervals specified by the pharmaceuticals industry. This is a field in which the outstanding relevance of DensiTronic PDF is immediately evident. If a "3" in the dosage instructions were to be become an "8" due to a random speck of dust in the platesetter, for example, the consequences could easily prove fatal for the patient. The risk of human error, however, can now be eliminated; deviations are detected with absolute reliability by the scanner. Mensing has fortunately been spared such spectacular errors. But the checks have in the past spotted a plate scratch which was visible in the printed image. The result: production could be stopped and a new plate made before the whole run was printed. On another occasion, a classic pre-press error was detected: the layout cross-hairs had accidentally been exposed onto the plate and would have been printed without further question if it had not been for DensiTronic PDF. In both cases, reprinting of the whole job could be avoided. That saves time, capacity, costs and waste, and is thus also indirectly a contribution to environmental protection. Forme proofs on paper are rendered superfluous by KBA DensiTronic PDF – a further factor in enhanced efficiency.
Since DensiTronic PDF went live the company has been able to reduce its already low costs for returns and complaints by a further 50 per cent. The greatest potential for savings lies in avoiding errors during printing. The facility for density control with DensiTronic Professional and the PDF reader add-on installed on the DensiTronic desk have given a further boost to production reliability and quality awareness within the company. The employees have fully accepted the new electronic tools and are able to feel even more confident in the quality of their work. Besides providing evidence for the introduction of a quality management system "for the production and sale of pharmaceutical, surgical and industrial packaging, patient information leaflets and commercial printing" to DIN ISO 9001:2008, combining the two systems has had an enormously positive effect both internally and outwardly.
Added value convinces old and new customers
Under its own trademark, "PRINtector", Mensing draws customers' attention to the unique possibilities of electronic quality assurance. The system promises them:
Modern technology can also be used for 8-year-old Rapida
As the new Rapida is configured with DriveTronic SPC for simultaneous plate changing on the whole press in just one minute, Mensing Druck & Verpackung is able to operate very profitably even for the short runs typical in the pharmaceuticals branch. At the same time, however, thanks to the high production outputs of both Rapidas, even runs of a million boxes or more are accomplished with ease, without the need for tricks of any kind. With the backing of such technically perfect equipment, Mensing is now working to continue the optimisation and streamlining of its production processes. Investments to further raise the level of expertise for patient information leaflets have already been realised, for example "Aqua-Scoring" capabilities to assist the folding of the leaflets. The water-assisted scoring process serves to improve the flatness of the folded product.
How DensiTronic PDF works:
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