"QuickSet" ink key presetting software
There is a ink key presetting software product called QuickSet. This product has been around for several years and is aimed at newspaper presses in particular but can also be applied to other web presses.
The claims are stating a very high level of performance but it is not so clear how they obtain the results claimed.
Does anyone have any direct experience with this ink key presetting software system?
Thanks. Curious to hear about actual results.
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raymond @ imposition.com
Thanks for the offer Ray but I am curious in the QucikSet product for technical reasons.
Originally Posted by Ultimate
I understand the presetting problem very well and was interested in their performance. For years I has assumed that they were over stating their capability with their presetting algorithm but now I am not so sure. They might be doing the right thing and that is why I was hoping for some feedback on performance.
I am Steve Surbrook, President of QuickSet Corporation. I can de-mystify for you how we achieve our accuracy levels. First and formost, go to YouTube and search on "QuickSet Ink Pre-Setting" and view the video there. You will see a comparison done on a live job comparing QuickSet vs. a Closed-Loop system starting with a CIP3 ink pre-set. To get true color (read directly off the Closed-Loop systems density scanner read-out), it typically takes the Closed-Loop system (again, starting with a CIP3 ink pre-set), 10 times the amount of impressions to reach the density accuracy the QuickSet system provides from the initial ink pre-set. With that said, for any press, we print press targets that are read with densitometers. We take readings on multiple printouts at every ink adjustment position and get a complete mapping of the ink density laydown for any coverage to lever value (or servo motor value). We call this a "fingerprint". We are the only company that has ever managed to accomplish this task. So, for whatever coverage you have, we can supply the exact value of ink adjusment to achieve the proper density. CIP3 only provides a percentage value that is not correlated to the press. Particularly for web presses, the mechanical characteristics of the press far outweigh any other variables, but we are able to capture the effects. When we provide an ink pre-set, the values are correlated exactly to the press fingerprint - and that is how we provide the most accurate ink pre-sets in the world. For background, our staff includes, and has included, press designers, and inventors of ink-jet proofing for newspapers (yes, the ink jet proofing used by USA Today for all its sites and affiliated advertising agencies came from our staff), so we have an understanding of calibration techniques and web offset presses unparalleled by any other company. Do please feel free to contact us (by the way - are you out of Europe? Did we talk before?) - Steve Surbrook, President, QuickSet Corporation
Steve, thanks for your comments.
Originally Posted by Inventor1000
I was really looking for comments from your customers. I hope some will respond.
I am in Canada. We have not talked before. I am an engineer and with a specific interest in the density control problem on offset presses and have a good understanding of the problem. I am suspecting that the presetting algorithm you have could be superior to what the industry thinks is correct but without seeing your algorithm I can not say for sure. That is why I was hoping for user input.
It could be interesting but I really do not want to see marketing info. It is not specific enough. I am also not a buyer of such technology.
I would also agree that with proper presetting values and a capable ink feed system, getting to target densities would be much faster than a closed loop system that starts from wrong values.
Of course the problem on newspaper presses is in a way easier to address due to the weaker strength of newspaper inks and maybe due to the images that tend to be printed in newspapers.
Commercial and packaging printing is a bit more demanding due to the higher strength inks and images. Images and how they interact with the press design also affects presetting calculations.
Anyhow, I hope some users will come forward to comment.
Thanks for the comments. If you view the video, you will see some customers listed in the video you could contact. Please forgive me correcting you on a misconception: The Closed-Loop system using CIP3 ink pre-sets was printed on glossy stocks with commercial inks at 320% maximum ink coverage. We need to take different measurements for newspaper stock using newsprint inks. The process is exactly the same and there is no difference in the technical complexity of solving these problems. You give us ANY press using ANY inks, and we can duplicate our density accuracy results. Our system is "measurement-based" - and you are correct that the CIP3 standard of just throwing a percentage at every type of press is not the most efficient. The variability between each ink adjustment position on the same ink fountain/duct is often very different. As an example, we often see on remote consoles from our print targets that different positions on the same ink fountain/duct will just start to transfer ink at values that range from 7 to 40 on the digital readout. If CIP3 provides any percentage number that is less than the value at that position (which sometimes means even anything 40% and under), then no ink is supplied at that position. The change with adjustment is also variable at each position (and often includes variables in the ink train besides the movement of the servo motor or lever) - so CIP3 has some limitations that only allow it to get so far - as you have recognized. We have had many companies attempt to duplicate and reverse-engineer our process. All have failed. It took 25 years of R&D to uncover critical items that cannot been seen through our interface or through our calibration methods. Our results compared to any other company are our proof we really have solved this problem completely while no one else has.
Originally Posted by Inventor1000
We agree that there are problems in the existing methods for presetting. No question about it.
How do you address the fact that the ink key position is not directly related to the amount of ink that goes into the press at that location?
Since I am intimately familiar with the mechanical characteristics of the ink blade and the ink flow created by different gaps between the ink blade and the in ball roller, I even have software that allows the use of non-segmented ink blades. The software automatically know blade taper and flexion (we do actually capture this information during measurement) and know when compensation is needed. As you have surmised, there are technical difficutlties that make the problem not simple.
May I ask what your application is? Know I will not go into detail how we do what we do - no need for us to create a road-map for others to duplicate what we have done. So you know, my family (in the last 45 years) has made more advancements for new technology in the printing industry ranging from the pressroom to pre-press than most other companies combined (29 patents - many of which are taken for granted in the industry without most not knowing the origin), so know you are talking to a fellow engineer that comes from a deep R&D background. If there is a business case for it, collaborative efforts are always an option...
Erik, is there a real solution for this problem with respect to offset presses...for packaging printing?
I am not Eric, but this is Steve Surbrook with QuickSet. Our solution will work with any lever or remote console. As long as the press has a method to meter the ink flow beyond an ink adjustment screw, our solution will work for it (it makes no difference what type of press). Remember, our solution is measurement-based - so the ink density accuracy is a sure thing. I guarantee we are the real thing - and a real solution. Our greatest challenge has been to get potential customers to investigate us enough to KNOW we are for real. Typically, our system is installed directly after a visit to one of our user sites (because then the potential customer knows we are for real - they see our system in a production environment and see that it works as advertised).
What type of press do you have? Do you have levers or remote console on your press?