A novel solution for the characterisation of corrugated printing quality


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David Galton and Roy Rosenberger


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This paper is based on a research project that is designed to be able to eliminate the subjectivity from assessing corrugated print production. The printer often finds it difficult to find the optimum setting for the printing press thus creating levels of waste. An optical device has been invented that is capable of digitally capturing an image of the print sample. Interrogation of the captured image using image analysis software produces individual dot measurement of area, shape (expressed as circularity) and the ink distribution. The measure is able to discriminate between the intensity of the ink within the dot and the background. The variations reported are numerically quantified and the enumerated value relates directly to the quality of the corrugated board. The aim of the project was to make a simple to use device that would take the subjectivity out of the decision making process employed in running a press. The results of a small experiment conducted to bench mark the printing plate corrugated board combination forms the basis of the paper. The results and conclusions from the experiment are reported and highlight how the instrument can be used in normal print production to deliver improved printing performance and consistency. The device is used with a small pattern or image that remains a constant indicator of image quality through the many production stages of the process. The devise, the small patterned image and supporting software that are described in the paper are protected by US patent application number 60/681,700 accepted August 11 2005.

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