Premier Japanese newspaper printer Sankei Shimbun Printing Co. achieves greater color precision with QuadTech’s AccuCam

16-tower deal puts printer's Osaka plant on target to deliver precision quality with acclaimed color control and register guidance technology.

Sussex, Wisconsin, USA - 30 August, 2011 - Sankei Shimbun Printing Co., the Japanese newspaper publisher, is set to deliver precision print quality after installing QuadTech's color control and register control technology at its Hokusetsu (Osaka) plant. Sankei Shimbun enhanced four of its Goss International Newsliner presses with QuadTech's Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam, Register Guidance System with MultiCam® and ICONTM integrated communication platform.

Mr. Toru Uesaka, Director of the Production Bureau at Sankei Shimbun, comments: "QuadTech worked very closely with us to meet extremely high standards of color quality, meeting the proof to NSAC standards. With the AccuCam, we are confident that we can provide a high quality paper that satisfies both readers and advertisers."

Mr. Kentaro Kanoya, of Sankei Shimbun's Production Bureau Engineering Department, added that the plant where AccuCam is installed now produces the best color quality in the Sankei group, and has established the color standard for all Sankei plants to meet.

"I'm convinced," said QuadTech President Karl Fritchen, "that the success we're having with AccuCam performance is a direct result of working with development partners who demanded nothing but excellence from us."

A crucial factor persuading Sankei Shimbun to invest was the AccuCam's ability to ensure accuracy and consistency in color reproduction. The system provides fully automatic closed-loop color control by automatically controlling the ink-key settings. An image-based system, AccuCam uses pre-press image files to create L*a*b* target aim point values. Its six-channel sensor measures the printed web and calculates the L*a*b* values of the entire image, then brings the printed image to the specified L*a*b* target values and automatically maintains the color values throughout the production run.

The key to defect reductions is AccuCam's high sensitivity to color deviations, and the speed with which it carries out remedial action. The system typically begins measuring and controlling color within the first 150 copies. AccuCam controls all process colors equally and with consistency throughout the production shift, completing an ink-key analysis cycle every 19 seconds. In comparison, human effectiveness fluctuates wildly throughout a shift, due to dips in concentration and fatigue.

Sankei Shimbun conducted tests, comparing manual adjustment to AccuCam automatic control. The results showed variation to the printing standard was 4.54 ∆E in manual, and 2.61 ∆E in AccuCam automatic control-exceeding Sankei's expectation of 3.00 ∆E. The tests also showed better-than-expected color consistency from press to press, with very small variation of 1.00 ∆E.

QuadTech's Register Guidance System with MultiCam identifies register marks as small as 0.36 mm (0.014 in) at speeds up to 17.8 M/sec (3,500 ft/min). All control equipment is run from QuadTech's communication platform, ICON, for easy recall of set-up data, while Data Central has also been included to for improved monitoring of press and process performance.

The Sankei Shimbun, published by the group and founded 1933, is Japan's sixth best-selling daily newspaper, with a circulation of nearly 2.2 million copies. The publisher is also responsible for a number of popular consumer newspapers, including the million-selling daily, Sankei Sports.

About QuadTech, Inc.
QuadTech, Inc. is a worldwide leader and innovator of performance proven press control technology. Founded in 1979, QuadTech sells its automated auxiliary control systems in more than 100 countries to the web offset newspaper and commercial markets, packaging and converting markets, and publication gravure market. Headquartered in Sussex, WI, USA, QuadTech maintains a worldwide network of sales and service operations, including facilities strategically located throughout Europe, and in Japan, China, Singapore, India, and North and South America. QuadTech is proud to be registered ISO 9001:2008 DNV. QuadTech is a subsidiary of Quad/Graphics, one of the largest and most technologically advanced printers in the world.