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FLEXO Magazine : April 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES QUALITY CONTROL Premium print quality requires ultimate mechanical and geometric precision of all components involved in the printing process. If print results are unsatisfactory, in many cases it is hard to trace the problem. This is because, on the one hand, there is so much potential for problems, and on the other, suitable measur- ing instruments are not available. The mounting and measuring process affi liated with this new system off ers possibilities for troubleshooting and hardware quality control. The sophisticated measuring technology can be used for both the scanning and recording the topography of print cylinders, as well as a quality control tool. For example: 1. During the scanning process to de- termine the topography of the com- bined package, a topographic report on the sleeve is issued, enabling personnel to see faults in the print sleeve in advance, such as unwanted air bubbles under the plates. These can then be corrected prior to print- ing on the press. 2. The system can generate reports for newly received sleeves, bridge sleeves, or intermediate mandrels, within minutes, instantly ensuring the press is working with quality components that meet specifi ca- tions, all in advance of printing. 3. The system can generate reports and operate using all print forms, from conventional plates to in-the- round sleeves and direct-engraved sleeves. 4. The system can generate reports of diameter and TIR (total indi- cated runout) for newly received aniloxes within minutes, instantly ensuring the printer is working with quality components that meet specifi cations, all in advance of printing. The system was shown fi rst time in drupa 2008. After an intense testing pe- riod the fi rst dozen presses are getting equipped starting in spring 2009. Retrofi t version will be made available soon. The graphic positioning system provides solutions and addresses major issues impacting today’s fl exographic printers. It improves sustainability, increases prof- its by reducing operating costs, ensures consistent quality, enhances printers’ ability to profi tably run shorter jobs, and has the versatility to be employed in a wide range of applications. As is the case with nearly all groundbreaking new technologies, it cannot replace the operator’s expertise, but it facilitates everyday routines and makes the operator available for other jobs. ¦ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kurt Flathmann is product manager, North America, Fischer & Krecke and Kochsiek products. This article refers to smartGPS technology developed by Bobst Group/Fischer & Krecke. smartGPS is the only system that uses unique algorithms to determine the optimum impression and register settings based on a topographical profi le of the plate and sleeve. For more information about smartGPS technology, contact Bobst Group/Fischer & Krecke at 888-226-8800 ext. 2711.