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Esko launches groundbreaking new AVT Varnish Inspection and defect detection module ahead of drupa

Esko has launched a new print inspection module that can inspect and detect defects in varnish coatings during a live label print run, heralding a new era of varnish inspection for printed labels.

The innovative Varnish Inspection module for the AVT Helios 100% inspection system enables labels converters to achieve maximum output while reducing waste in their print production process. The breakthrough new solution delivers unmatched accuracy and crucially requires no UV additives to the varnish, with a single inspection system that offers broad compatibility.

Addressing labels converters’ top priorities

“With raw material costs at an all-time high and the pressure for all businesses to become more sustainable, reducing waste while maximizing throughput is a top priority for labels converters,” explained Jan De Roeck, Director of Marketing, Industry Relations & Strategy at Esko. “Ensuring accuracy on the print run helps drive efficiency, increasing productivity while reducing waste. But inspecting the varnish coat has traditionally been a time-consuming – and therefore costly – process. While conventional systems and the human eye can’t see clear varnish, with this new Varnish Inspection module for our AVT Helios 100% inspection system, operators can now see and inspect without slowing or stopping a narrow web run.

A significant percentage of labels require varnish for design and protection. Usually this requires stopping the press to pick a label and conducting a manual inspection using a light box. The process can also require the adding of UV additives to the varnish - which are not allowed in many applications - with viewers then using a special UV light source, all of which just serves to further interrupt production.

“Built on the deep inspection expertise of the Esko AVT team, we developed the Varnish Inspection module to address all these issues in a single automated solution that optimizes accuracy, safety and convenience,” said Jan. “With this new innovation, one system does it all - print inspection, varnish inspection, barcode verification, variable data, color and any other process and quality needs. Moreover, this is all done in parallel and at the highest production speeds with no compromise.

“The AVT Varnish Inspection module offers broad compatibility, working seamlessly with countless types of varnish coatings,” added Jan. “Whether it is matt, glossy, or tactile, the technology delivers amazing viewing and inspection results.”

Delivering unmatched accuracy, the precise, detailed inspection ensures varnish coating defects such as misregister, partial and full varnish starvation are detected immediately once the run starts. The AVT Varnish Inspection module automatically inspects for and alerts the operator to varnish starvation. It also checks for and alerts to any misregistration - delivering significant savings on time and waste and huge efficiency gains.

The Varnish Inspection module includes a new, patented optical module, which adds to the existing inspection system optic head, as well as software including patented algorithms, developed to support clear coating inspection. A new Varnish PDF separation viewer identifies the varnish layers.

“The AVT Varnish Inspection module adds an extra layer of precision to any current inspection setup,” said Jan. “Through identifying ordinarily invisible errors, label converters can avoid costly starvation issues and say goodbye to time-consuming misregistration. It delivers users significant benefits in terms of run speeds, overall quality of the final product label, and in waste reduction –benefits magnified by the varnish being inspected as part of the standard print inspection workflow, and not as a time-consuming additional workflow step.”

Jan said the functionality and interface is incredibly easy, both for existing users of the AVT inspection system and also operators who are totally new to its use. “With this latest innovation, we are again delivering on our commitment to accelerate the go-to-market for packaged goods by developing solutions that make a tangible difference to a business in terms of productivity, quality and waste reduction,” he said. “Less operator time spent on inspecting and resetting frees up time for value added tasks, while the reduction in waste delivers savings on the cost of materials and energy for reruns. The system also enhances the final print quality, with improved surface coverage, delivering a higher quality product which means increased customer satisfaction,” he said.

The new Esko AVT Varnish Inspection module can be used on all AVT Helios R, B, S, Turbo+, Turbo HD and Turbo HD+ systems.

See it in action at drupa! For more on the AVT Varnish Inspection module and all the latest from Esko, visit booth #A12, Hall 8B of the Messe Düsseldorf, from May 28 or click here: www.esko.com/en/events/drupa