Precise Printing with the Right Inspection System
When it comes to optimizing printing processes, inspection systems became standard in the last years. As they protect from errors and thereby improve the printing quality, they’re indispensable in modern printing houses.
Over the last years, the demands for quality in the printing industry have increased and so have the demands for reliable inspection systems. Without them more errors and failures can occur and also the print quality can be impacted negatively. Therefore, everyone, involved in the printing sector should invest enough time and money to get the perfect suited inspection system to fit their needs.
The Necessary of Inspection Systems
As Guy Yogev, Director of Marketing for Advanced Vision Technology, underlines, the best initial situation is to find an inspection system that not only meets the required needs but also is flexible enough to meet potential future needs.
“The inspection system should also address common defects like colour variations, misregistration, misprints, spots, characters, registration, streaks and scratches, splashes, scumming and flawed edges. Therefore, choosing the right inspection system can yield a marked increase in product quality, process control and — through these improvements — new business opportunities.”
It is no secret, that packaging suppliers with a high-quality inspection system are more commonly hired when brands are looking for vendors. Many of Guy Yogev’s customers stated, that they now even showcase their inspection system as a selling point. That is just consistent, as brands want to be reassured by their vendors and the vendors themselves are in need to differ from their competitors.
Among the many industries in which inspections system became very important, such as medical devices, chemical products, food, and the luxury good packaging markets, the pharmaceutical sectors tend to need the most strict forms of quality control. It is therefore not surprising, that the pharmaceutical industry could be an excellent role model for the printing industry, related to the use of inspection system.
“It’s not surprising that pharmaceutical companies are typically among the first to incorporate sophisticated, multi-faceted inspection and quality control systems into their production environments,” he explains. “For them, it’s a vital part of supply chain safety”, Guy Yogev underlines.
The Perfect Inspection System
When looking for an inspection system, there are many aspects to keep in mind, such as considering the substrates, print size, web width and speed it will be used for, along with desired options including PDF comparison, press control, finishing machine control, data gathering and so considering the service capability of the vendor.
“Today’s inspection systems are providing a lot more than just print inspection and thus providing additional tools to help the operator and the management of the print house to control the printing machines, maintain consistent colours, gather production information and produce valuable statistics,” Amir Dekel, VP, Business Unit Manager Print, ISRA VISION explained.
According to Amir Dekel, the most instrumental benefit of inspection systems is in catching failures that will be otherwise only visible at the end of the production line. For example, when printing a sleeve for a white object, and the press produces a slightly black haze, it will be very difficult for a human worker to notice that. Regardless, the soiled sleeve will be obvious. Inspection systems provide sensitive detection tools which are much more accurate than human eyes and provide an early warning.
Jonathan Hou, Director of Technology at GlobalVision, recommends looking for the quality of images and number of false positives, as many companies aim for a higher megapixel and DPI count, but don’t realize that sensors and optics have much more importance in inspection.
“It’s really an investment and you want to make sure the support, implementation and training structure is in place with the vendor to help you maximize and implement the use of the system in your print shop. You may be saving some costs on the equipment side with a cheaper system, but if you don’t take into account the implementation phase, then you may not get to maximize benefits in terms of long-term operational costs “
, he states.
The Future & Trends
As more and more companies tend to use automation and technologies to help to improve their business, while reducing costs, there’s a growing demand for intelligent inspection systems fitting this fast-paced environment in the print world. In terms of trends, it will become common to implement technologies already into the prepress process. Being able to find errors before making them, will become a new type of standard and result in even more effective inspection systems.