QuadTech launches new Water Control capability at drupa 2012

Image-based color control, inspection capabilities, and now water control make QuadTech’s AccuCam the optimal automated system for newspaper printers.

Sussex, Wisconsin, USA – 6 March, 2012QuadTech will introduce an enhanced version of its Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam, adding automated, on-the-fly water control management at drupa in Düsseldorf, Germany, (Hall 17/ A01), 3-16 May, 2012.

The new Water Control feature reduces the occurrence of common newspaper printing problems such as scumming and fan-out, by automatically adjusting ink and water levels.

Traditionally, maintaining the right balance of ink and plate dampening in offset printing has been a time-consuming, labor-intensive task. AccuCam’s high sensitivity to water-balance deviations ensures these actions are fulfilled at full press speed, freeing the press operator to use time more economically.

As QuadTech Product Manager Greg Wuenstel comments, “QuadTech’s AccuCam with Water Control provides a single solution for ensuring reliable image-based color control and water balance. This development will not only ensure optimum quality throughout the print run, but will also further reduce labor, and help printers realize ink savings.”

Accurate ink and water balance is critical in order to prevent defects such as scumming, and to ensure optimal ink yields. Automating this process ensures consistency and eliminates the probability of human error, which can lead to overcompensation of ink or water settings and overuse of ink.

QuadTech’s Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam™ is an automated, image-based, closed-loop color control system that provides accuracy and consistency, detecting real-time defects across the entire printed web.

The AccuCam system utilizes a proprietary 6-channel spectral sensor for CIELAB image-based color control. Analyzing the  entire image, AccuCam automatically compares the data to target aim point values from a high resolution prepress file, eliminating the need for colorbars or graybars. The system makes automatic ink key adjustments for consistent high color quality and accuracy.

Vince Balistrieri, QuadTech Director of Engineering and GM of Commercial and Newspaper, comments: “The first iteration of our AccuCam system provided a new, more accurate and consistent method of controlling color. By forming development partnerships with cutting-edge newspaper printers such as Sankei Shinbun (Osaka, Japan) and Newsprinters (Knowsley, U.K.) we’ve  worked together to push the technology forward. Water control and the continuing addition of inspection capabilities are the direct result of these relationships.”

The AccuCam system is also improving performance at Herold Druck (Vienna, Austria) , and was recently chosen by the Chicago Tribune Company as the foundation for the largest newspaper installation of color control technology in the world.