A growing trend among KBA sheetfed offset printers who are seeking to even further improve their color control is the installation of System Brunner’s Instrument Flight print quality control systems with KBA inline QualiTronic Color Control capability.
“This technology has earned worldwide acceptance and notoriety as the leading inline color control strategy on the market,” says Chris Travis, KBA director of technology. “With the combination of KBA and System Brunner, the KBA QualiTronic Instrument Flight system emphasizes color balance and gray balance, taking into account more than 30 process variables. It has been expanded to include new balance control apps and new global standards. The unique five-star appraisal system notifies the press operator of the print quality achieved under the selected standard and can ensure compliance with different standard specifications every day. We’re pleased that so many of our customers have chosen to add it to their press installations and we’re anticipating more of these installations in the future.”
Many printing companies calibrate their presses to G7® every one to two years, which includes gray balance and tonality. But in daily production, printers are not able to control color according to these metrics, and only able to control solid densities. Variations in the process with ink, paper, blankets, water, etc. leads to deviations in gray balance and tonality when only controlling the solid ink density (SID), missing compliance with G7 requirements.
System Brunner’s Instrument Flight controls color in print production including gray balance, tonality, solid CIELAB /densities, TVI and more. Therefore this technology holds the printing production in the G7® target range, respecting defined Reference Print Conditions.
One of Instrument Flight’s most unique features with Balance Navigator® functionality allows it to fine-tune gray balance and tonality on the fly to keep the G7 targets or adjust the color according to customer needs.
Combining KBA’s inline QualiTronic Color Control capability with the full-scale version of System Brunner’s Instrument Flight inking unit control software creates a closed-loop system for measuring and controlling color during impression. It even assesses the visual appearance of every printed sheet, thus promoting stable, uniform production from one day to the next and from one press to another.
Since its introduction, KBA customers have praised the KBA QualiTronic Color Control with Instrument Flight for its additional options for expanding process automation to support high-quality color fidelity. This has provided them with a positive impact on production waste, economy, and the loyalty of their quality-focused customers. The system allows them to raise their print quality and color consistency to new levels never before reached previously, as well as achieving a significant reduction in start-up waste.
One such customer is Dee Paper Box Company, a leading folding carton design, printing, and manufacturing firm located in Chester, PA, which installed a new KBA Rapida 145 57-inch seven-color double-coater UV press with a host of unique automated KBA technology earlier this year. Dee Paper’s press combines its KBA inline QualiTronic Color Control capability with the full-scale version of System Brunner’s Instrument Flight inking unit control software.
Another KBA customer, NEPA Carton and Carrier Company, a one stop source for beverage carriers and cartons located in Moosic, PA, has been successfully operating its new KBA Rapida 145 57-inch six-color large-format press for nearly a year providing the firm with additional speed, color control, and turnaround to its nationwide customers. This important feature, says Mike Collins, NEPA president, allows the press to be controlled via grey balance with the QCC option from KBA. It also is the only system on the market which allows a printer to change and select the grey balance that they prefer on press and control. This allows NEPA to run and control its printed product to G7 standards.
Bruce Beck, NEPA Pressroom Manager, adds: “Since System Brunner was on place for the training we have been using Instrument Flight on a regular basis, and having great success. Once you get more comfortable with it, it really is amazing”.