No Wasted Efforts (Web Inspection)
Web inspection's ultimate aim is to eliminate waste. How can printers maximize a system's reject reduction potential?
by Kate Tomlinson, Assistant Editor
Given the chance, what package printer would not be interested in running its presses up to 50 percent faster, while reducing waste by up to 11 percent?
According to a recent research survey of BST PRO MARK customers, the right video inspection systems make this possible, says John Thome, VP, marketing. "Sixty-five percent of the respondents said these systems allow them to significantly increase their press speeds," he says. "While the average customer said they were running about 20 percent faster, many were able to double press speeds. They also were found to have experienced significant improvements in waste and set-up time. The research clearly shows that presses with inspection systems produce a higher quality product, more efficiently."
Whether printers need to adhere to strict FDA regulations or simply turn out mass quantities, today's web inspection units can save time, money, and sanity, ultimately by reducing waste.
Waste Reduction Tactic #1: Be clear about inspection methods
Usually, 100 percent is a very definitive number, but when referring to web inspection, it can mean one of two very different things. Doug Radant, sales manager at PC Industries, explains that 100 percent inspection is a term used most often in theory. "Many people confuse this phrase with what we call 'sampling,'" he says. "One hundred percent inspection means that 100 percent of the web is being watched 100 percent of the time, as opposed to sampling, where 100 percent of a repeat is being inspected over time."
Radant says there are applications where both approaches are acceptable. Wide-web printers tend to rely on sampling because they are usually looking for repeat defects. One hundred percent inspection systems are critical in applications requiring perfection, such as in the printing of pharmaceutical labels and lottery tickets. "If a patient purchases a bottle of medicine and a critical element of the directions is missing, the situation could quickly go from bad to worse," Radant says. "These systems are especially crucial when the FDA is monitoring a printer and they are audited; that printer must be able to account for every single foot of the web."