by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : April 2011
Technologies & Techniques ity to learn process variations and anomalies in order to filter out such events. Integrated Workflow Solutions Major developments in recent years include comprehen- sive workflow solutions. These permit multiple machines and processes, such as presses and rewinders or prepress and print production, to be linked. They also allow data-sharing among departments and between machines. Workflow solutions begin with the 100-percent inspection system. It will capture data and images of every defect the system identifies, record where the problems are and store the information in a database. When linked to the rewinder, workflow solutions may be used to help remove defective print from the rolls. Linking workflow solutions to your quality control department will en- able trained quality assurance staff to make decisions about what to remove. Concurrently, developments have been made in the hard- ware to insert flags into the web at high speed or to mark the edge of the web in defective areas, which have helped converters to streamline roll-processing and throughput and simplify waste removal. Keep in mind that flexibility is the key, because each con- verter ’s processes, systems and needs are different. CHALLENGES TO IMPLEMENTATION Although print inspection has come a long way, there are still challenges to address. Those who can find solutions will emerge leaner and more profitable than their competitors. Camera Space Requirements For existing presses, especially narrow web, the first chal- lenge is to find space for the cameras and web backers. Retrofitting existing presses usually requires that the web be pulled out of the press and up into a frame. On older wide web flexo presses, space is often an is- sue because the cameras are big. Most inspection system suppliers will work with you to determine how and where to mount all of the equipment. Most new flexo presses today are designed with sufficient room for inspection systems. It is important to note that automatic register and impres- sion-setting as retrofits for flexo CI presses are not always available. Check with your inspection system supplier, who will need to know the press make, model and serial number to make a determination. Operator Skills With 100-percent inspection, you will identify defects as soon as they occur. Instant defect identification requires instant corrective action, so it is imperative that operators are highly skilled, understand how flexo printing works and know how to correct the causes of defects. Otherwise, they will have to resort to trial and error, which will frustrate them quickly. It is important that lead operators and helpers work as a team to access a situation, determine what is causing a defect and take corrective action. They must work together quickly, often in seconds as the alarm is howling. This requires the ability to think under pressure and the ability to make decisions, give instructions and execute. The lead operator must take charge, communicate and then manage the attack. Members of an effective team learn how to work well together and to help each other improve their printing skills. Helpers who were nurtured often become the best lead operators. Successful converters use technology to improve their press performance and pressroom teamwork, as well as to develop the next generation of top-notch operators. Money Multiple-camera systems require a substantial investment. However, if they are properly and effectively applied, they can have a huge impact on your operation in terms of quality improvement, waste reduction and customer satisfaction. Some print process management systems have been prov- en highly effective in monitoring color on press to a standard PHOTO 2. Package graphics are more complex and challenging to print than ever, driving the need for more sophisticated inspection. 22 FLeXO aPril 2011 www.flexography.org