Press Releases and Articles
The GV-Spectro is More than Just Color Measurement and Reporting
Debuting in mid 2014, the Graphic-Vision® GV-Spectro had a great reception in the industry as demand for inline and absolute color measurement is on the rise. Undergoing continuous development in those two years, there have been many new features introduced that have kept this system an industry leader in both performance and innovation. The GV-Spectro still offers the most accurate real-time color measurement and reporting available on the market. Paired with advanced, programmable positioning capabilities, the system is simply a staple for any printer looking for the most efficient way to get the most accurate color measurements from their press.
The newest GV-Spectro has improved system performance and efficiency without impacting the bottom line. Along with improved hardware specifications, the system now offers dot gain measurement and tracking, off-line setup, job management, and higher speed capabilities.
The GV-Spectro supports up to 50 dot gain measurements, which require measuring the substrate once, as well as a solid and tint of the same color. A min and max value can be set and will be charted and displayed exactly like the ∆E and Density measurements.
For more information on dot gain, click here
- Easily configure Step and Repeat image files (PDF/TIF/BMP) with up to 50 measurement points. Simply click and drag markers to the required areas.
- Use the configured Step & Repeat file to automatically configure the Measurement Program. Note: Unique points are required in order to map the positions correctly.
- Import CXF3 color library file containing the ‘standard’ color values & density for the measurement points, and easily link to the measurement position.
- Default values can be set
- ∆E & Density tolerances are configurable per position
- If CXF3 color library is unavailable, manual input of ‘Standard’ color values & density can be used
- Measurement data is saved in two formats: CXF3 & CSV.
- CXF3 = Complete group or each measurement
- CSV = Each color L.a.b, density & remission data.
- Measurement data is time stamped and can be configured to save to a specific location.
- Job Files store complete job information, including measurement positions, color values, and densities. They can be easily recalled for subsequent job runs:
- Stored on the network and shared with multiple systems
- Recalled for modifications to positions and color value
up to 900fpm where sample color blocks of 10mm x 10mm or larger are available (I have no idea if this is right atm)
What is Dot Gain?
Dot gain occurs whenever ink is applied to a substrate in a non-solid ink coverage area. It is defined by the amount a digital raster dot spreads beyond its intended coverage, given in percentage. While mainly a product of paper or substrate absorption rates, there are many other factors that also determine the effective dot gain, such as plate pressure, and ink viscosity, and many ways to mitigate the effects within the printing process.
Verifying dot gain on press is an efficient way to help monitor print color quality. As dot gain increases, the perceived color in that area will often darken or over-saturate, muddying textures and obscuring details. Conversely in highlight areas where dots are very small, images can either wash out if too little dot gain or create a color cast if too much dot gain, depending on the primary color. While the human eye might be able to catch some subtle changes, electronic measurement is the most reliable way to assure that dot gain values are within what is allowed by the job specifications.
A few notes on Dot Gain:
- Dot gain is also known as tone value increase (TVI), as it is measured based off the deviation from the desired tone, in percent.
- Dot gain is typically the largest in midtones for three main reasons:
- The volume of ink applied is greater than in highlights
- The amount of empty space between dots for the ink to absorb into is greater than in shadows
- The ratio of the dot perimeter to blank substrate is most favorable for the greatest amount of ink spread.
- Optical dot gain is the apparent spreading of color due to the way light diffuses on the substrate surface before hitting your eye. It’s not a direct result of ink and paper; it’s just the nature of light. It can vary based on the reflectivity of the substrate, and is measurable. It can account for 10-35% dot gain.
- Expected dot gain varies based on substrate and tone value, with the smallest values typically being in the darkest print areas, often around 10% (depending on ink and substrate, of course)
- Most design software that is designed for professional print output has settings that will help compensate for expected image quality changes due to dot gain.
Measuring Dot Gain
Densitometers and spectrophotometers are two tools that can be used to calculate dot gain of a printed sample. Though neither can be used to measure dot gain directly, both are effectively capable of measuring density, from which dot gain can be calculated. These tools work by focusing characterized light onto a surface. This light is either transmitted through the substrate, reflected to the sensor, or scattered away from the sensor, depending on the type of substrate. The amount and wavelength of light that is reflected to the sensor can be used to determine several attributes about the print at that location, including density and spectral remission data.
For any spectrometer to measure dot area, the spectrophotometer must measure the density of the substrate, the density of the solid ink (SID) and the density of the tint. These parameters are taken from color bars printed on the edge of the printed web. There are typically more than just these 3 patch types on a color bar, but these are the most common. Typically, the most forgotten patch is a substrate only patch. The measurement is necessary for density and dot gain calculations for ink patches, and manual measurements must be taken if they’re forgotten during calibration.
In addition to calculating the actual dot area, it is necessary to compare that to a target value. This target value, as noted above, can vary depending on substrate and other factors.
The two main measurements used to calculate dot gain are the density measurement from the area of interest and the solid ink density measurement from the calibration set. Before the final dot gain calculation is performed, each measurement is adjusted to account for the substrate density. The resulting numbers are plugged into the Murray-Davies formula, shown below:
Where DT is the measured tone density (adjusted for the substrate density) and DS is the solid ink density from the solid ink patch, (adjusted for the substrate density). The result from this equation shows what percentage of a given area of print is covered by halftone dots. Finally, the ideal tone value percent is subtracted from the actual dot area percent, and that result is the dot gain for that area of interest.
Glossary of terms
An instrument for measuring the photographic density of an image on a film or photographic print.
Effectively, the percent of an area of the substrate that is covered by in on a given sample. However, as it is a function of light reflectivity, blank substrate can also have a density. This is why it is important to consider a substrate’s density when calculating dot gain.
The difference between actual and the idea percent area coverage for a halftone dot
Typically, areas with tone values less than 30%
Typically, areas with tone values between 30% and 70% coverage
Optical dot gain
Apparent spreading of color due to light diffusion by ink, substrate, atmosphere, or other factors.
Tendency for a given surface to reflect light, or how much light that surface reflects
Typically, areas with tone values greater than 70%
Spectral remission data
Collection of data points representing the intensity (power) of light of each nm band at which a measurement is taken
An apparatus for measuring the intensity of light the visible spectrum, especially as transmitted or emitted by particular substances.
The material on which ink is applied
With many manufacturers providing standardized one-size-fits-all inspection systems, catching defects on a higher speed web or sheet often comes with compromises. When running at the highest speeds, standardized systems will often hit a limit in inspection and processing capability. These systems have no choice but to lower sensitivity and allow the passage of larger defects in order to maintain speed. Unfortunately, the printer may not realize their 100% inspection is not providing accurate or consistent defect detection. This can be one result of selecting an inspection system that hasn’t been configured for a printer’s specific application requirements or equipment.
The four key components to reliable high speed inspection
How can you find out which 100% inspection systems will provide consistent defect size detection throughout the full speed range without decreasing sensitivity? First of all, your inspection system provider should include technical specifications for their system along with a written performance guaranty. In addition, four key components of the inspection system should be selected to meet the requirements of your application, integrate seamlessly in your process, and provide you with reliable and accurate inspection. These components are:
- High performance cameras
- High quality LED lighting
- Robust fully developed inspection algorithms
- Powerful computer processing
High-Speed HD cameras and powerful LED lighting work in unison to capture high resolution images of the web or sheet. If either the lighting or the camera are not specified for the full range of your application requirements, the captured image will be lower in quality, especially at higher speeds. Starting with a less than perfect image will result in a less than perfect inspection.
If the image quality is excellent, then it’s up to the systems software and computer processing to complete the inspection.
The inspection system’s software algorithms should be developed to handle the demands of high speed 100% print inspection, along with any added bar code or variable data verification if required. A powerful processor selected for your unique application requirements will ensure that the system can detect and highlight defects accurately.
An inspection system correctly configured for the requirements of your application will accurately and consistently detect defects at high speeds without a variance of defect size. Achieving the high productivity you need without compromising your inspection process is an important step towards satisfying your customers and growing your business!
Eliminate the inspection compromise between small defect size and high-speed
If you are looking for a system that performs at the highest speeds while guaranteeing a consistent minimum defect size, the Guardian PQV 100% Inspection System is the perfect solution to improve your quality and help your business. Click on the button below to discover all the Guardian PQV’s capabilities.
Accuracy is critical to make the most out of your quality control investment and reap process and productivity benefits. PC Industries’ systems are designed to provide that accuracy. We are committed to understanding your application requirements and providing a 100% inspection solution that meets your needs today while providing performance growth for the future.
We will be present at Label Expo Americas at booth 1411 in Rosemont, IL from the 13th to the 15th of September. You can request a consultation during the show by clicking the button below.
Request Consultation at Label Expo Discover the Guardian PQV
Label Expo Series Trade Shows in 2016
Printers and converters across Central and South America have shown great interest in PC Industries’ intelligent and automated inspection systems at Label Summit Latin America. The Guardian LSI was PC Industries’ product highlight, providing printers and converters with automated defect detection capabilities at a low investment. In addition, the excellent networking opportunities PC Industries saw at the show are continuing to pay off. We’re looking forward to continuing this trend at Label Expo Americas in September!
For the upcoming Label Expo Americas show, we will highlight our latest defect detection technology, which allows high speed inspection without sacrificing resolution. We hope this showcase will spark your curiosity, so make sure to visit us at booth 1411 from September 13-15 in Rosemont, IL!
Stepping up from simple web viewing…
Web viewers are the perfect way to implement basic inspection capabilities in your quality control process. PC Industries’ viewers are equipped with high resolution cameras which take snapshots of the web at various positions. With the included HD monitor, the operator gets clear images of the web, and can more easily see any defects, registration problems, or other results of process errors that are present.
The Graphic-Vision® GV series web viewers are easy-to-use and economical web-viewing systems that help identify press-defects. PC Industries standard web-viewing systems are also capable of decoding and displaying 1D and 2D barcodes for easy review.
… to automatic defect detection solutions.
For increased inspection power, efficiency, and accuracy, intelligent inspection systems are a must. These systems provide automatic defect detection and advanced capabilities such as barcode grading, dimensional measurement and gauging, and sequential data verification.
PC Industries’ Guardian LSI is an affordable, entry-level, full web automatic defect detection system. It detects and highlights typical defects such as ink splashes and spots, registration errors, missing labels, unremoved matrix, and more.
For printers looking for more capabilities and power, the Guardian PQV offers full featured inspection. The system finds smaller defects and higher speeds, and provides all the advanced features listed above. By alerting the operator of defects automatically and immediately, the defective product can be minimized, ensuring continuous and measurable quality, customer satisfaction, and a rapid ROI.
PC Industries will present their high speed inspection capabilities at Label Expo Americas
At this year’s Label Expo Americas, we will be presenting our leading edge capabilities which allow for high speed inspection without sacrificing resolution.
This leading edge performance is made possible through the latest high-speed, high-resolution line scan cameras, optimized algorithms for print defect detection, and powerful solid state LED lighting modules.
Curious to discover a high performance inspection system in action? Come visit us at booth 1411 at Label Expo Americas from September 13-15 in Rosemont, IL! To schedule a demonstration, please click here and fill out our online form. A PC Industries representative will contact you soon to discuss your application.
Efficient quality control with PC Industries’ Defect Mapping software
Defect Mapping is a flexible, easy to use software module for the Guardian PQV that helps operators monitor job quality and eliminate defects. By detecting and recording defects early in the printing process, the Defect Mapping software makes it easy to correct defects post-press. It provides a true report of defect free products once job auditing is complete. Automated monitoring of product quality throughout the production process helps ensure that quality products are delivered to your customers. This increases their satisfaction and improves your bottom line.
Inspect: Automate Defect Detection through Defect Roll Mapping
Setup is as easy as capturing an image from the press, training the system, and beginning inspection. On systems equipped with PDF Check, the golden image from the press can be verified against a customer approved master document before inspection begins.
During inspection, the Defect Mapping software will record defects by lane and footage for each roll or sheet. The on-screen grid display provides a graphical representation of the location of defects for each lane, with color-coded indication of the severity of each defect. The operator can view the Defect Map history and accept or reject defects while the system still provides 100% inspection. Defects are displayed side-by-side with the master image for easy comparison. The operator can easily train the system to ignore repeating, non-critical defects for a more efficient run. These settings can be saved and retrieved for later runs of the same job.
Once the job is finished running, the Defect Map can be output to an enhanced PDF report, which logs key job information, images of each defect, and the corresponding master image. The Defect Map can also be saved and automatically transferred to an Edit Workstation, Audit Rewinder, or other finishing machine.
Edit: Remove Defects Before They Reach the Rewinder with the Editing Workstation
To enhance quality control, information collected from the press run on the Defect Map can be edited at a dedicated Defect Map Workstation, which can be located anywhere in your facility. With the Defect Map Workstation, the Defect Map is automatically transferred once the job is complete. The operator can confirm or remove defects from the Defect Map before the job is sent to a post press process for defect correction. The productivity of the slitter/rewinder is improved by eliminating unnecessary starts and stops due to non-critical defects. Editing workstations can accept information from multiple presses, and feed multiple slitter/rewinders.
Audit: Finish with Perfect Product using the Control Workstation
The Defect Map Control Workstation integrates with nearly any finishing machine, including slitters and rewinders. The system includes the timing circuitry and output controls necessary for machine control, flagging or marking devices, or defect diverter timing. Additionally, for sheet-fed and similar applications, sheets can be sorted based on several criteria, including position of defect on the sheet and type of defect.
In a typical rewinder application, the Control Workstation will signal the machine to decelerate and stop the defective print at the splicing table or other preferred location. Placement is very accurate, even at high speeds. The defective label is displayed for review on the monitor, allowing the operator to toggle between the sample and master display and magnify defects.
FTA Info*FLEX 2016
Info*FLEX was a great trade show again this year. It attracted nearly 2,000 visitors to Fort Worth to participate in the show and Info*FLEX Forum seminars. Over two days, professionals presented tools necessary to support successful package printing and converting operations, while benefiting from intensive networking and live demonstrations of running machinery.
PCI showcased two of their popular products, the Guardian OLP and GV-Spectro. The Guardian OLP yielded great interest from visitors as it provides a complete off-line proofing and inspection solution that helps operators control even the smallest pre-press and pressroom mistakes.
The GV-Spectro – an in-line absolute color measurement system – combines the advanced capabilities of a web viewer with a powerful spectrophotometer. It monitors the web and color values in-line, even at high speed.
In addition to the presented products, many customers and visitors were interested in talking about PC Industries’ capabilities in higher level print inspection applications, including dimensional gauging and variable data verification.
Jack and Gerry would like to thank all visitors who stopped by our booth, and we look forward to next year’s Info*FLEX in Phoenix, Arizona!
We’re keeping up our busy year of attending shows, make sure to visit us at the following exhibitions!
- Converters Expo, Green Bay, WI – April 13, 14 2016
- Label Summit Latin America 2016, Cartagena, Colombia – April 26, 27 2016
- Label Day, Toronto, Canada – May 10 2016
- Label Expo Americas 2016, Chicago, USA – September 13, 14, 15 2016
Guardian PQV ad as seen in several major publications, including Label and Narrow Web and Labels and Labeling
Appeared in May and June 2015 in Label and Narrow Web.
Trade Show EventsPC Industries is proud to be active in the label, pharmaceutical, printing, and converting industries. We are always looking for new ways to communicate with our customers, and find that trade shows provide unique opportunities businesses to network. Click here to see what trade shows we will be appearing at. We hope to see you there!