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KBA North America Introduces Qualitronic II Inline Sheet Inspection System

Press release from the issuing company

June 29, 2004 -- KBA North America, a leading sheetfed offset press manufacturer based in Williston, VT, is announcing the availability of its new Qualitronic II inline sheet inspection system. Demonstrated at Drupa 2004 on a newly-designed Rapida 105 sheetfed press, Qualitronic II is available for all Rapida half-, medium-, and large format presses running on speeds as high as 18,000 sph. The KBA Qualitronic II system utilizes a color camera that is mounted near the delivery area and aimed at the impression cylinder through a narrow slit in the floor plate. Extremely uniform brightness—needed for consistent inspection results—is achieved with water-cooled LED illumination installed near the impression cylinder. During the press run, each printed sheet is scanned at ultra high resolution. Depending on the press format, this represents a resolution between approximately 0.15 mm per pixel on the Rapida 74 and approximately 1 mm per pixel on the Rapida 205. Within these areas, the system detects even the slightest color deviation, distinguishing over 16 million different colors. “We inspect the whole print run at production speeds up to 18,000 sph with our KBA Qualitronic II,” says Ralf Sammeck, KBA North America’s president and CEO. “In addition to segregating imperfect sheets from the run, the Qualitronic II system reduces waste by warning the operator of deviations in the press run, such as if the colors start to fade due to lack of ink. The operator is able to react before large quantities of waste sheets accumulate unnecessary costs.” On presses with perfecting units, an optional second camera can be installed before the sheet turns, enabling full monitoring of both sides of the sheet. The image data is evaluated in a computer system developed specifically for KBA. Then the press operator is able to judge and maintain the quality of his work on the monitor screen. Both transient errors, such as ink splashes, water spots, paper defects, and more permanent deviations, such as over/under inking of individual colors or scumming, are recognized and displayed sheet by sheet. The press operator determines the inking that is to be considered good production. An inline function evaluates the specified “good” sheet, which is subsequently used as the reference for the production run. A sensitivity setting also enables permissible tolerances in inking to be defined for the run. KBA has long been a leader in this area. Ten years ago at the IPEX exhibition in 1993, KBA introduced “KBA Quality Check”, an inline nspection and quality control system for conventional sheetfed offset presses. KBA Quality Check used a high-resolution CCD video camera and real-time monitoring for inline quality control. The system used a reference principle, i.e. quality deviations from a master sheet held in the system, to signal defected sheets. Please find adownloadable version of this PR including photos at: www.koenig-bauer.de/vt/