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New inline inspection feature for PrintSTAR: Next-generation register control for the makeready process

It is easy to run up high costs when preparing and performing challenging printing tasks on flexible packaging. Setting up the printing press (also known as the makeready process) consumes material, working hours, and running time without producing any salable goods. Even today, many printshops rely on experienced operators to manually check the results of the makeready phase. It is largely their experience and expertise that allow them to complete common steps such as setting the color and register and calibrating the contact pressure. Usually, it takes a couple of runs until the ideal settings are achieved. In contrast, inspection systems offer automation solutions for precisely these steps, which allow the makeready time to be shortened significantly.

The new RegisterControl feature of ISRA VISION’s 100% inline inspection system, PrintSTAR, takes care of automatic register control for flexographic printing presses with central impression technology (CI flexo presses). This new PrintSTAR feature automatically determines the deviation between the color register marks and a fixed reference point and transmits this to the printing press. The press control system then uses the data generated in this manner to adjust the servomotors of the printing cylinders. However, this automated process not only reduces the amount of time required to check color register marks compared to manual adjustment. The user-friendly solution also ensures consistently high-quality printing with precise registration as well as lower material consumption, thanks to reduced startup waste. As such, ISRA’s newly developed function is a very efficient addition to PrintSTAR’s existing and proven array of functions for identifying print defects, such as print image monitoring and the detection of cold seal defects, toner defects, ink splashes or streaks, and deviations from the desired print color.

PrintSTAR is a 100% inline inspection system with high-resolution color line scan cameras, ultra-bright LED lighting, and a powerful image processor that can capture data streams of up to 3,000 Mbit/s at full process speed. All this allows even the slightest defects in the print image to be identified. In order to guarantee a complete inspection, the system simultaneously checks the front and back over a width of up to 2,500 mm.

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