Take a Hard Look
Exhibitors at Labelexpo Americas 2004 had plenty of web inspection equipment on display.
LABELEXPO AMERICAS HAD many exhibitors showing off their web inspection equipment, but does a converter really need to purchase inspection equipment? Some say yes, if they want to keep their waste, cost, and production time under control. Web inspection has come a long way, and packagePRINTING took a look at the different makes and models of web viewing systems that were available at Labelexpo, and spoke with some of the customers that use them.
Smile, you're on camera
There are two major different kinds of web scan equipment—web inspection systems and web viewing systems.
Todd Guzzardo, sales division manager, inspection technologies, for Erhardt + Leimer Inc., explained the differences between the two systems. "Web inspection equipment detects defects, and makes decisions on its own. A press operator would use a web viewing system to look at the printed material and to compare it in real time to a master reference image," he said. The operator would then make the decision if the printed material was passable or not.
Erhardt + Leimer has introduced its new print viewing system, the ELSCAN MICRO. Designed around an industrial PC with a Windows NT operating system and Sony RGB color camera with 640 x 480 pixel resolution, the operational features of the print viewing systems include a motorized, split-screen system for comparison of the stored "golden image," and an automatic scan function.
Although relatively new to the market, the ELSCAN has benefited from the good reputation for craftsmanship and customer support enjoyed by Erhardt + Leimer. David Ellings, vice president and head engineer of R.G. Engineering recently installed an ELSCAN on one of his presses that was built for a lottery ticket printer, for viewing both sides of the web. "We've used other company's web viewing systems in the past, but had support and quality issues. We've used other equipment from Erhardt + Leimer, so we knew we would have a good product with the ELSCAN," said Ellings.