Total Recall

Press Automation, Job Storage Improve Efficiency

By Tom Hatzilambros

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Automation is a key component on today’s modern presses, which can assist with production and productivity. It’s in a manufacturer’s best interest to make its equipment more productive and efficient in order to assist operators in achieving these goals.

An area of concern printers face today is the challenge to increase productivity while decreasing waste, amid a growing demand being placed on companies to produce a more diverse package with high quality standards. Through automation, these challenges can be achieved with impression setting, color management and color matching systems.

AUTOMATIC IMPRESSION SETUP

Automatic impression setting can be performed at the start of every new job. The system can directly read the printed color on the substrate. This allows the printing pressures to reach their final target with high accuracy and consistency, independent of an operator’s capabilities. This also assists in reducing the material waste, which is unavoidable when determining the proper printing pressures manually.Furthermore, it allows the use of any type of printing plate, since the system does not need reference marks for color analysis, as well as the ability to use every kind of printing sleeve and anilox without any restriction or modification—significantly reducing tooling costs. The system can go further to fully automate the registration function through a series of rings that are registered automatically, without operator intervention, during job startup. These systems significantly reduce waste and produce time savings, which enhance productivity throughout.

At the start of every new job, it’s necessary to find
the correspondence between the reference and printed colors, within given tolerances.

color-match

AUTOMATIC COLOR MATCHING

At the start of every new job, it’s necessary to find the correspondence between the reference and printed colors, within given tolerances. In order to cut costs and time, and generate less waste, manufacturers have come up with a more ideal and faster solution. An automatic color matching system can reduce the time for on press correction and, simultaneously, set the proper shade. Such a system reduces press downtime to matching and allows fine tuning of colors near the press to give the exact quantity of needed ink. A report can be generated to track ink consumption and automatically update the formulation.

AUTOMATIC DATA ACQUISITION & MANAGEMENT

This system automatically monitors ink levels and alerts the operator when they are low, and will automatically line stop if the ink tank is empty. It will analyze ink weight used per job as well as estimated ink needed to complete that job. A report is automatically generated for every shift, day and month, which will give the operator the ability to analyze the performance, production time and quality of each job. It can also track data on energy consumption, such as electrical, gas, air and solvent use. Real time and historical monitoring also gives the operator the ability to track machine conditions, motor current, web tensions and temperature, and log this data for future analysis. Manufacturers like Uteco stand by several goals to offer its customers. Among them are reducing changeover times, decreasing waste, increasing productivity and, most importantly, investing in future technology to enhance the printing industry.

About the Author: Uteco is a press manufacturer based in Verona, Italy. Technologies discussed in this article are available

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