Industry Q&A: A closer look at web inspection
A: The state of our market is an increasing realization of the value of print quality inspection and a significant improvement in the speed and accuracy of the technology. Converters of high-value flexible packaging with potential liability issues are showing the highest interest in print quality web inspection.
100% inspection is not only allowing printing companies to ship defect-free products, it is helping them continue to serve customers as a quality-conscious company with high standards of excellence. Web inspection is raising the bar because it not only detects missing punctuation; it detects broken characters, defects in the background or in an image, and color variation.
Q: What other advantages are there to using advanced, automated web inspection?
A: A web inspection system is comprised of a high-resolution camera, solid-state lighting and a high-performance computer with a touchscreen monitor.
The camera assembly is mounted prior to the rewinder to inspect finished product. The touchscreen monitor is typically located near the operator's control so that adjustments to the process can be made in real time. Options include color measurement, bar code verification, and 100% print defect detection.
Q: What improvements do customers seek?
Q: Is there a specific product from PC Industries that plays prominently into these developments?
Q: Until recently, the only printers that provided web inspection did so because they were required to do so. With improvements in 100% inspection, what kinds of companies are using it?
A: We believe that the web inspection market was at one time polarized: For example, a pharmaceutical company had to have 100% inspection. But companies producing bags or other products that were not highly scrutinized weren’t using it. Now, however, the gap between these two groups is shrinking. Quality printers now use 100% inspection for their own internal cost and quality control.
Likewise, the types of companies implementing web inspection are those that would like to show their customers that they’ve taken quality control to the next level. They can inform customers, “We can guarantee that what we’re sending will be inspected and meet your quality standards.”
Remember, too, there’s that customer in the middle ground who is currently saying, “Next year or the year after, I want to move into pharmaceutical packaging.” Even if they don’t have pharmaceutical customers, they’re taking the steps now to position themselves in those markets that either require or strongly encourage 100% inspection.