QuadTech’s image-based colour control system is to be installed on 25 towers of five presses at Newsprinters’ giant Knowsley print site in the UK.
The order by the printing division of News International puts QuadTech’s AccuCam technology on the manroland Colorman XXL presses at the site near Liverpool, and follows trials and comparative tests. The state-of-the-art 34-acre site, equipped to print up 430,000 120-page tabloid newspapers an hour, is the smaller of the Newsprinters’ sites.
Newsprinters group managing director Brian McGee says the company is delighted with the results of a two-year project: “This investment will provide us with cost savings and improve already award-winning print quality,” he says. “It reinforces our commitment to stay ahead of the game with regard to printing technology, as we do with all aspects of manufacturing excellence.”
The trial delivered “significant improvements” in quality consistency and productivity. Besides advanced image-based colour control, the system warns on print faults such as catch up (scumming), creasing, transposed plates, and tramlines. Research and development at Knowsley also led to a new water control capability, in which the system monitors and controls press damping levels. Newsprinters group technical services director Mark Ellington says he is confident the investment will deliver further benefits as the technology develops.
QuadTech president Karl Fritchen says it was “truly an honour” to be selected by Newsprinters to continue the relationship and supply closed-loop colour control across the remaining presses at Knowsley. “Working together with the team at Newsprinters has provided us the necessary insight to extend our development of a revolutionary product for the newspaper market,” he says. “The cooperation improved our AccuCam product and also improved QuadTech as a company.”
AccuCam uses a six-channel spectral sensor to measures the printed web, calculating L*a*b* values of entire image in order to bring brings them to specified target values. The company says web inspection from the same sensor typically detects defects within the first 170 copies.
The Newsprinters installation will begin in October, with the systems fully operational by next January.