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Invisible Micro-Marks Prove to be Very Effective

Friday, June 15, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

Automation that improves the quality and lowers the costs per copy is becomming a priority for many newspaper printers. The first German user of such a solution from 3TControl, Z-Druck in Sindelfingen, has reported back on their first experiences with “IPA”.

“IPA” does not necessarily mean Isopropyl Alcohol. It can also be short for “Integrated Print Automation” and describes a new solution that is supposed to make the printing process better regarding consistence of printing quality and also faster and more efficient printing.  “IPA is a smart solution for all printing regulatory requirements” reports Ian Banerjee from 3TControl. The Integrated Print Automation controls the following functions automatically with one system: presetting, ink density, dot gain, colour register, fan-out, plate-to-plate register and cut off register.

“With our printing machine made in 2003 ‘KBA Colora’ we had not had that before.” says Peter Röhm, publisher of different newspapers and advertising journals from the publishing house Röhm Publishing House & Media GmbH from Sindelfingen. That is why Röhm focuses on the installed Spanish system which has been mounted in Germany for the first time at Z-Druck GmbH & Co. KG in Sindelfingen. There, the system is only in its start-up phase but has already shown the results that were hoped for: “We wanted to produce affordable newspapers and this automation control solution is suitable for that. Peter Röhm continues, ”With this system the waste level can be reduced significantly and production can be raised. And all this with less operating personnel than with the old colour register controls of other manufacturers." Z-Druck, a syndicate of three newspaper publishing companies with production in Sindelfingen, works in two shifts with 35 permanent employees.

With IPA 3TControl offers a system which is specifically customized for the needs of coldset printers. The automatic regulation of printing machines is an important part of the production process. Controlling the ink density over the whole paper web width for every colour at all ink keys  is a main reason for a lack of quality in web printing. It requires a high level of manual control and correctness by the operator. “Automatic ink density and control solutions by 3TControl are different in terms of precise measurements for all regulations necessary in a machine.” reports Wolfgang Heiter of the German IPA-distribution WRH Marketing Germany GmbH, Sulzbach a.Ts. IPA does not work markless, but the four CMYK marks (average diameter 0,1 mm) are barely visible with the naked eye – even more, if you do not know where to look. These marks are the basis of all features – measurement of visual ink density and dot gain, regulation of webs and cut off registers or fan-out compensation. So the CMYK marks are used something like colour measuring bars. Furthermore the sizes of the marks as well as their arrangement are precisely recorded. Changes caused by the change of paper, for example the fan-out effect, are recorded by the system and taken into account for future productions. The positioning of the printing plates between each other is checked and corrected if necessary.

Out of four measured points per colour in every measuring field per zone (ink slide) the mean value is calculated. The regulation takes place in the range of 0,01 to 0,02 whereas the human eye recognizes the colour shift only from 0,03. Because of this, errors can be excluded. 3-T-Control carries out a white balance in each measuring procedure and does not need any infrared range. Via measuring elements and with the help of cameras (performance 22 m/s) all four colours CMYK are measured per one side of a web. As Peter Röhm stresses one had a restart waste of approximately 600 with the old system (permanently installed colour register system). With the help of the 3TControl-System the restart waste rate is reduced down to 200 which is true cash saving.


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