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  • Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

    Good morning everyone,

    My facility produces a product with no trim margin whatsoever. 100% of the printable area is printed with customer content and therefore there is no opportunity for registration marks, color bars or other quality control mechanisms.

    We make optical media here; to print it we first prime the bare polycarbonate surface with white, UV-cured screen printed ink. We then use 4 waterless offset (PearlDry Plates) printheads in Y, M, C and K. (in that order). We cure between each printing step, as our inks have lower than normal tack levels.

    My question is this: how would you, in your process, handle quality control without the benefit of the mechanisms mentioned above?

    I am anxious to see your ideas; we have a very dedicated, creative and engineering-savy group working on it internally and I have to say; we're not coming up with much!

    -Brian

  • #2
    Re: Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

    I assume this is on a DI. you could run a sheet longer every 100 stop and run 50 long sheets. if your really careful you could collate every other sheet long and short. but you would get a double hit of ink on the control sheet. just a first thought

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    • #3
      Re: Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

      The process is DTP; place cylinders are removable. What we're printing is optical media... CD's, DVD's, Blu-ray Disc, etc... no long or short sheets here!

      Good thought; I like the idea of "control" sheets. who's to say there couldn't be control media every so often. Some of the machines have the ability to spit out separations as well. (Print/cure process)

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      • #4
        Re: Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

        Rob, not sure if you're doing 4CP or spots but first thing I would try is printing a line of type or a circle around the center in Registration or all colors. May or may not work with screen print but could be worth a try.

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        • #5
          Re: Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

          Is it just one up? What about the middle part of the circle die cut, is that left in place also? If it's more than one up and you're having quality control issues I would use one of the cavities for all my color bars, registration marks etc.. Losing one cavity for these would be cheaper than rerunning jobs because of color or registration issues.

          Darin

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          • #6
            Re: Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

            Printing is one-up. The discs are not die-cut; they are injection molded, so the center hub is already clear of the sprue. (This is a common misconseption in the printing world... we do not start with a sheet of plastic and cut them out. Each individual disc is injection molded into it's final shape with the data already on it.)

            More than run-time quality control are we looking for a way to close the loop on changeovers. With an automated density measurement method, we can feed back to our computer-controlled fountains and make adjustments (or make suggestions for adjustments)

            -Brian

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            • #7
              Re: Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

              Ok so you have disks and you are printing on them White then CMYK.

              No area for color bars or registration marks as the final product is given to at size.

              How do these disks get to the printing area? Must be screen printing. So is someone handeling the disk or is it machine done?

              My idea may make more cost to you as it involves many individual disk holders.
              If it is done with hands, one could make a holder for the disk that has areas where one can have print on them. For example make a square and have it have a middle button for the hole in the disk, as well as having a circular area for the disk to fit into on the outer edge. This would give a total flat area that is square. Maybe having something that could be reuseable for this would be beneficial as disposable holders would get expensive. At any rate the disk would sit in this holder and the marks would get printed on this holder. Giving you the control you need.

              After you print all the imageary take the disk out and clean the holder with chemicals??? so they can be reused and clean of old marks...

              If it is machine done I do not know how to suggest doing what you need.
              other than having something similar (holder) go with the disk into the press.

              Hey even another idea, have the holder have a paper inbetween the disk and the holder so when the disk is finished the paper goes into the recycle and the holder goes back to be under another piece of paper.

              Good luck - I would like to find out how you solved this difficult problem...

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              • #8
                Re: Creative ideas for a difficult problem.

                I used to do the artwork for the fancy plastic signs you see screwed onto beer taps in bars and pubs. A little different i know because we had to consider 3 dimentions not just 2 but very similar. All I cound suggest is printing a test job of known values every month to check registration and dot values remain within useable limits.

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