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Effective quality control programs give operators multiple perspectives; a microscopic view to monitor critical areas and a macro view to get in front of defects as they develop anywhere on the press.

Which describes your production philosophy? Let it run or get it right?

For those who aspire to a reputation for world-class printing results, you may want to ask a few questions.

  • What is the tolerance for rejects/returns for the job?

  • Do you put your reputation on the same line with your customer's reputation? If so, how do you plan for quality control?

  • No one likes scrap or rework, but some level is assumed in our industry. How often do you review your reject rate to the industry best practices?

Everyone wants 0% waste, but everyone settles for some number greater than that.

There are two primary toolsets to consider when you have established your goals. Macro inspection and micro inspection. Both have been in use for years, but many installations fail due to lack of understanding, poor implementation, obsolete technology, and/or lack of training.

Macro inspection is achieved through stroboscopic inspection. By timing the flash rate of the strobe with the speed of the press, operators can freeze images across the entire print width in order to confirm print quality, coating coverage, registration, and color consistency. Stroboscopic inspection can be used to reduce print mistakes down to 1%. This technology has seen significant changes to the technology over the last ten years, led by Unilux. The conversion from xenon to LED as a light source allows for a 30% increase in brightness, more control of the light (brightness and intensity), a significant reduction in downtime by eliminating the need for bulb changes, and a more compact footprint combined with greater coverage area. Additional improvements in product design have increased availability, durability, and ease of use.

Unilux strobes include:

  • Industry-leading solutions for UV-visible inks and optical brighteners that bypass the need to control ambient lighting.

  • Portable strobes with removable, rechargeable batteries for spot inspection anywhere on the line helps with finding the root cause of defects.

  • Fixed strobes allow the ability to tie in to press speed, minimizing operator adjustment and an increased inspection ability through acceleration and deceleration.

  • Smart Assist for multi-lingual operation and the ability to control flash rate and brightness for crisp, clear images.

Micro inspection is achieved with a print monitoring system. These systems allow the operator to view print quality in microscopic detail such as dot-to-dot registration and monitor problem areas. The operator maintains full control over the position of the camera and the granularity of the image captured. Remote viewing of the image stream allows operators to confirm print quality without the need to be next to the line. Images can be stored to be analyzed or provide reference images for future jobs.

Gone are the expensive, clunky systems of the past that often sit idle due to lack of training or worse, the inability to get replacement parts. Unilux print monitoring systems include:

  • Advanced Features. 18x zoom, rapid camera positioning, split-screen views for comparing live print quality to a reference image, the ability to memorize an inspection path to consistently monitor areas of concern, image storing, touch-screen control, and the inspection of standard and uv-visible inks on a single system.

  • Rapid delivery. When your need is immediate, this solution is available for immediate installation.

  • Exceptional in-plant support. Make sure your choice is supported by a regional network of inspection experts with experience in harsh manufacturing environments. This will ensure that the teams supporting your operators understand the need to confirm product quality quickly and efficiently.

Empowering operators with both micro and macro inspection solutions makes for more consistent quality and proactive troubleshooting to catch defects before they ruin a run. Running inspection on multiple levels also provides a fail-safe solution. If one goes down, the other becomes a backup.

  • Have you established quality control benchmarks?

  • Do you inspect at a macro level or a micro level? Or both?

When you're ready to level up your quality control, give your operators the power to see defects like never before from multiple perspectives with Unilux. Built to perform in the world’s harshest manufacturing environments, Unilux inspection strobes and vision systems are made in the USA and supported by a local inspection expert near you. Call today to see the latest inspection technology in your facility.


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