Printed plastic films can be found in many areas of day-to-day life. As food and consumer goods packaging, they affect purchase decisions; as decor and laminate, they adorn surfaces; and as medical or pharmaceutical packaging, they ensure sterile and safe storage. In light of the films’ versatile use, users place very high demands on their materials. The complementary web inspection solution for plastic films and printed products enables manufacturers to ensure optimum quality from the extruder to the printed end product – and thus a high level of customer satisfaction and the best results.

Global companies generally only permit very low tolerance values for their packaging and decor products in order to maintain their brand quality and recognition around the world. Combining film and printing inspection provides manufacturers and buyers of these products with an effective solution for achieving high process reliability and quality.

Quality assurance in film production...

The production of plastic films includes various processing steps that are reliably inspected using optical inspection technology. From quality assurance on the extruder to checking for coating defects, the systems find gels, spots, inclusions, and scratches down to the micrometer range. With the corresponding upgrades, inspection systems also check optical properties of plastic web products, such as shine and cloudiness. As a result, film inspection captures all of the important quality characteristics that are essential for a perfect final product – in particular for printed film.

...meets comprehensive print inspection

State-of-the-art inspection solutions used in printing processes likewiseextend well beyond mere defect detection. The combination of a highcapacityweb monitoring system and spectral color measurement, forexample, significantly reduces the set-up time for a new printing job.

Both tools help the machine operator to set up the register and color as quickly as possible. In addition, adaptable inspection systems for narrow web printing and standard web widths ensure the ongoing excellent quality of the results.

Full control and transparency through combined technology

The data from film inspection documents the quality of the web, precisely broken down by sections. Film portions that do not meet the basic quality characteristics are not passed on to the next processing stage. At the end of the film production process, quality engineers use the collected inspection data to review the desired quality standards before delivery. At a super ordinate level, process engineers monitor the entire process quality by means of long-term data analysis. Thanks to a LAN or Wi-Fi connection, they can directly access the results from both film and print inspection. This way, potential sources of defects can be discovered along the entire process chain. For example, if print inspection reveals defects that were not noticed during the inspection at the extruder, this may point to deficits in the transporting and handling of the finished roll. The result is a high level of process transparency and effective quality assurance for the entire value-added chain.

Recent developments in the area of management intelligence softwarecan be employed here to further simplify the process of analyzing data.The use of data across technologies is the key to comprehensive qualityassurance. When choosing technology suppliers, manufacturers ofweb products benefit from a partner that offers both technologies froma single source, unlocking additional benefits with regard to maintenanceand spare parts service.

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