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Thread: Heidelbergs image control system.

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    duct maestro is offline Member
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    Default Heidelbergs image control system.

    I'm looking for people who are familiar with this system. I'd like to hear what you think to it?

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    mazengh is offline Senior Member
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    Default a luxury

    Quote Originally Posted by duct maestro View Post
    I'm looking for people who are familiar with this system. I'd like to hear what you think to it?
    We installed ours two weeks ago, it's the NG version.... a luxury to have. our pressmen love it. In addition to the high quality, you get reduced makeready times....

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    duct maestro is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazengh View Post
    We installed ours two weeks ago, it's the NG version.... a luxury to have. our pressmen love it. In addition to the high quality, you get reduced makeready times....
    NG version?

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    Erik Nikkanen is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazengh View Post
    We installed ours two weeks ago, it's the NG version.... a luxury to have. our pressmen love it. In addition to the high quality, you get reduced makeready times....
    Can you be more specific why the operators love it?

    Just curious. Thanks.

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    mazengh is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post
    Can you be more specific why the operators love it?

    Just curious. Thanks.
    NG(new generation; there is one previous model) is the new model released in 2011 for presscenter and 2012 for CP2000.

    Our pressmen love it because the machine helps them get up to color much faster than a densitometer. It is like an axis control, but it can also read color inside the print and do the adjustments based on the colorbar AND the image; hence image control. It also reads color bars inside the image in order to adjust colors and help adjust prepress curves, and create ICC profiles. A lot of times you can't fit a color bar on the top especially in packaging. So you just add small color bars everywhere in the dead areas of the paper to help with color.

    Quality monitor also helps you create reports for customers to validate that you printed correctly. This options helps us when we get plates outside of our prepress.

    This machine also uses xrite's netprofiler technology to make sure it's always calibrated.

    What I am looking forward to is an option called Inspection Control, which is a planned option. Using this option Image control will compare sheets to an OK sheet and detect hickies.

    You can connect up to 4 machines to it. We have 3. For us it made sense to buy it instead of buying axis control for each machine.
    Last edited by mazengh; 03-03-2012 at 02:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mazengh View Post
    NG(new generation; there is one previous model) is the new model released in 2011 for presscenter and 2012 for CP2000.

    Our pressmen love it because the machine helps them get up to color much faster than a densitometer. It is like an axis control, but it can also read color inside the print and do the adjustments based on the colorbar AND the image; hence image control. It also reads color bars inside the image in order to adjust colors and help adjust prepress curves, and create ICC profiles. A lot of times you can't fit a color bar on the top especially in packaging. So you just add small color bars everywhere in the dead areas of the paper to help with color.

    Quality monitor also helps you create reports for customers to validate that you printed correctly. This options helps us when we get plates outside of our prepress.

    This machine also uses xrite's netprofiler technology to make sure it's always calibrated.

    What I am looking forward to is an option called Inspection Control, which is a planned option. Using this option Image control will compare sheets to an OK sheet and detect hickies.

    You can connect up to 4 machines to it. We have 3. For us it made sense to buy it instead of buying axis control for each machine.
    We have the older version 2006 that still uses the lamp. However it has the latest software version with similar features- quality monitor, reads image, pixel data and color bar etc. It works well in our shop for 4cp work and helps us maintain color especially when running 4/4 on our 8 color. It took us a while to get our Image Control dialed in. We set it up to read gray balance too which coincides nicely with our G7 methodology.

    Once its dialed in we see a reduction in paper waste. Usually one pull, follow up with the Image Control and run.

    Quality Monitor is nice- you have a question about a job? pull it up and see how it printed.

    As long as the press has a stable ink/water balance it works really well. It's a tool just like any other tool you have to set up to work for you. You still need to be a good pressman to get the most out of it.

    Mike
    www.colortree.com

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    Erik Nikkanen is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Herndon View Post

    As long as the press has a stable ink/water balance it works really well. It's a tool just like any other tool you have to set up to work for you. You still need to be a good pressman to get the most out of it.

    Mike
    Mike, good comments.

    Question. If you had very very stable ink/water balance, would there still be a great need for this Image Control system?

    Just curious. Thanks.

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    One quirk I experienced with the 2000 version (at GATF HQ in Pittsburgh), is that it had a difficult time making effective ink key adjustments if you were using FM screening or very high lpi AM/XM (240 lpi+). This was due to the greater stability of high resolution screening - the presswork does not respond the SID moves as the image control system was expecting. The same thing might happen if you use heavy GCR.

    I don't know if the latest models have corrected this issue.

    On a side note - AFAIK the image control system is not "aware" of the image content of the plates (or of the bitmap file that was sent to the plate). This seems to be a real opportunity for Heidelberg to really close the loop in color control on the press since they uniquely have all that information when a shop is using their workflow, CtP, and presses.

    best, gordo
    Last edited by gordo; 03-08-2012 at 02:44 PM.

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    Erik Nikkanen is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordo View Post
    One quirk I experienced with the 2000 version (at GATF HQ in Pittsburgh), is that it had a difficult time making effective ink key adjustments if you were using FM screening or very high lpi AM/XM (240 lpi+). This was due to the greater stability of high resolution screening - the presswork does not respond the SID moves as the image control system was expecting. The same thing might happen if you use heavy GCR.

    I don't know if the latest models have corrected this issue.


    best, gordo
    Gordon, interesting observation.

    Since the printing of the FM screen is more independent of the SIDs, most likely any later versions of the image control technology will not have any improvement if only adjustments are made to SID. One can apply a control to a process that varies but not so much to one that does not vary.

    In this case the inking of FM screens on the plate is the process and is more consistent and independent of the ink film on the form rollers. So changing the ink film has little effect. Water content in that ink film might cause a change in the inking of the FM screen. Maybe adjusting water might have an impact on the printing of the FM screens. Do you know if it does?
    Last edited by Erik Nikkanen; 03-08-2012 at 03:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Nikkanen View Post
    Mike, good comments.

    Question. If you had very very stable ink/water balance, would there still be a great need for this Image Control system?

    Just curious. Thanks.
    Good question, Image Control manages ink followups that change ink film thickness helping achieve and maintain proper color. If the press had a very very stable ink/water balance regardless of form/image area and the ink film stayed constant- the need for Image Control to manage ink followups would be reduced greatly.

    Image Control would still be a great tool but for different reasons such as diagnostics, measuring trap values dot gain, helping with ICC profiles, quality monitor etc. I use Image Control a lot to help me see problems with a press. Using quality monitor I can see trending. Lets say dot gain is creeping up in a unit regardless of color printed could equal a cam follower going bad etc. You can do a lot with these things besides make ink key adjustments. But- their primary role in the pressroom is to help maintain color from run to run. If ink film was always stable and uniform this role would be less critical.

    Interesting thought process for sure.

    Mike
    www.colortree.com


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