The digital direct imaging of sleeves and plates in the flexo printing industry brings new levels to the manufacturing process with regard to quality and precision. Consequently, this brings new demands for the quality control of these materials.
Sibress, a manufacturer based in Brixen, Italy, has introduced a new, small measuring instrument named E3. The E3 System is appropriate for measuring sleeves in all usual dimensions, flexoplates, metal-backed plates, film, and print. The Sibress team developed the new measuring device with an optimum level of ergonomics, automation as well as ease of use in mind.
The Sibress E3 is equipped with a 3.3 megapixel CCD color camera. The completely newly developed and integrated LED illumination enables the user to work also without a light table. To measure sleeves, the instrument uses an optionally available, and specially developed, sleeve adapter ring to measure a field of view of seven square millimeters. In the case of measuring normal plates or film, the system is equipped with an integrated optical view finder to place the instrument exactly on the region of interest. The fast manual focusing in the live video mode makes the precise measurement even faster.
The company said in a statement: ‘To connect the Sibress E3 to a notebook or PC the instrument is equipped with a USB-2 connector to supply the required power. Its low weight and the ability to use a USB cable of more than 3 meters make the instrument flexible to use. Therefore the instrument can deliver results anywhere on your material. The specially developed Versatile@flex software runs under Windows XP and 2000. The automatic and manual modes are easy to handle and individual adjustments are easy to store and retrieve.’
The software Versatile@flex analyzes all newly captured or previously stored images. Dot area percentage, screen ruling, dot diameter, and many other relevant parameters are analyzed. A fairly automated measuring process enables the user view the result within seconds.
The E3 enables the user to measure highlight and shadow. With sleeves the user is able to measure the critical highlights from 1-10 per cent. Barcode reading can be done as well. The optional strip holder enables the user to measure the flanks of cut flexo plates as well as their thickness.
Versatile@flex offers the possibility to store all images made and can even store the results together with the image. All measured data can be exported to an Excel file for any kind of statistical analysis.