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Aug 25, 2010 12:00 AM
Nosco Inc., a Waukegan, IL-based pharmaceutical packaging printer, installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 press in 2008. The company served as a beta site for Heidelberg’s Prinect Inspection Control, which was installed the system after the XL 105 was delivered.
Nosco president Russell Haraf says, “We’re thoroughly impressed by the confidence our operators have gained since Prinect Inspection Control was installed. They can now identify defects more effectively, and they also have an opportunity to reduce waste. The net result is a significant improvement in our overall material yield.”
Developed for the Speedmaster CD 102 and XL 105 models in straight and perfecting configurations, Prinect Inspection Control is designed to locate printing and material defects on every printed sheet as it passes through the coating unit. Defects are captured in real time by comparing every printed sheet to a digital reference. Upon detection, the system provides audible and visual alerts and inserts a tab in the delivery pile to indicate the first occurrence of the defect. If the defect clears itself, an additional tab is inserted into the delivery pile to mark the last defective sheet and accurately define the range of defective printed materials in the delivery pile. Upon completion of printing, Inspection Control generates detailed reports that can be printed on any network printer and stored indefinitely for re-verification or proof of quality.
“Out of 50 jobs produced during our validation phase, Prinect Inspection Control’s vision system identified four jobs with major/critical defects, 14 jobs with minor defects, and 32 jobs with no defects,” Haraf notes. “The four jobs with major/critical defects had the potential to adversely affect 300,000 sheets if not detected early enough.”
Haraf adds that when the printed copy contains foreign alphanumeric characters, “It is more difficult for operators to recognize defects. With foreign copy, especially for Asian markets, undetected defects potentially change the meaning of print copy and pose a unique quality risk.”
The Prinect Inspection Control RGB system, which uses two high-resolution RGB cameras with a combined resolution of 12 megapixels (100 dpi) for comparison of every sheet to an imaged “golden master,” is positioned for package and label printers who primarily produce printed materials for the cosmetic, food, and tobacco industry, as well as for high quality commercial printers.
The Prinect Inspection Control PDF system uses two higher resolution black-and-white cameras (33MP/280 dpi) in combination with a PDF as the digital reference file. Inspection Control-PDF combines automatic, objective checking of the first sheet with the PDF and 100% print inspection of every sheet during printing.
Both systems identify defects as small as 0.3 mm, approximately the size of a period in 6-pt. type.