How to shorten the printing preparation time for web printing

Web printing is fast, reaching 3000 feet per minute. However, the long print preparation time is the biggest problem in the printing process, it will extend the operating cycle of the job.

So how to reduce the print preparation time? In the sheet-fed printing process, we emphasize the degree of improvement in the production process from management, employment, and the use of SMED. Here, we give some explanations on some situations in the web printing process.

First and foremost

The first question to consider is not how long it takes for print preparation, but a combination of questions. Must consider the preparation time, the optimization of the entire production and the synchronization of each step of the production process. At the same time, preparation time, idle time, and waste must be minimized for all jobs. The key to successful production lies in maximizing production capacity while minimizing resources such as machinery and equipment and employees.

Cost will affect awareness

A large number of printing staff do not understand or realize what the cost of producing a print is, and what role they play in controlling costs. If they do not know their position in the entire production process, then they will Always give it proper consideration. If managers track every link, all employees — from the main management staff to the bottom-line cleaners — have the responsibility to curb costs. If there is a problem during the printing process, the cause should be analyzed immediately and before the paper is wasted, the machine will be shut down to eliminate the problem. Typically, operators prefer to troubleshoot at low speeds.

Standardize print preparation speed

A normal printing preparation requires about five inspection, analysis, and correction processes. The most basic issue is the printing speed. For example, if after five cycles, we have already saved the print waste. If the press is running at 20,000 prints/hour, there will be 5,000 wastages; if we still use the same printing, and the speed is 10000iph, the waste is 2500, which means a savings of 50%.
As the press gradually reaches its target operating speed, the ink and wetting system needs to maintain a good balance. This is the key to reducing waste... But while some printers can produce qualified products, it is difficult to quickly reach full-load printing speeds from preparing the printing speed—this process must be carried out slowly. There are tools, such as closed-loop ink rollers, that can perform process control to help optimize the settings of the operator's ink and wetting circulatory system; a reliable and predictable database should also be developed to examine work. Changes, such as ink coverage, paper inventory, and standard weight and the degree of pull required. It is also possible to preset standard operating adjustment curves as required.
Three main aspects that need to be considered

Registration, color, and ink problems are the three main factors that waste printing preparation.

The automation of the printing control process is an excellent solution. For example, Berlin Industries used a closed color cycle control system with a register control system during the printing process. The closed color cycle control system increases the speed and helps the press to quickly reach the desired speed through its own adjustment. This reduces the paper and time waste by half. A large number of printing companies — big or small — do not control their ink at all. In fact, in the normal process, ink printing must be analyzed for each batch of printed matter. This requires the operator to understand what is the problem of gray balance, how to use a densitometer, and so on. If we just use traditional methods for printing, that is, judging colors through the eyes, then it will cause instability in the production process.

Of course, the human factor can not be ignored. For example, the printing operation staff can not be color blind.

For a web press, with an automated folding device, the operator can only fold the product according to the product format in a very short time.

The full automation of the entire operation process enables the operator to print a variety of webs with one-touch control.

Using advanced technology

Adding a large number of control devices on the press reduces print preparation time. Examples: automated and semi-automated plate loading devices, color and color registration systems, and CIP3 preset systems. In this way, the main time of the operator is to concentrate on the preparation process before printing.

In the prepress process, adjust the printing content to suit the needs of printing. If a company has a very good prepress production equipment, but the work they produce is not suitable for the printing process, there will be problems in the printing process. . Therefore, the prepress production process must consider the printing process.

Regularly evaluate the work of employees

If operators are wrong, they do not have to blame them. They can regularly publish their finished products and compare their best. Everyone knows that when a person does something good, he or she will have a bad time. We can say that only when it's good to track, I believe nobody wants to fall behind.
Provide employees with practical training opportunities during apprenticeship

At present, operators rarely learn more during the apprenticeship. For example, a new operator needs to learn to disassemble rollers, change plates, and set ink fountains, and be able to manipulate the machine after three months.

Remove the paper process

Paper-making process can reduce the print preparation time. In each printing preparation, the paper occupies about 10 to 15 minutes, which includes the time to look for fasteners, find the right hand tool to use when threading. It is recommended to use low-cost solutions like dark nails, clips, hinges, magnets, etc. to solve the problem of threading.

Helping operators improve speed

Because current press speeds approach 3000 feet/minute, operators must adapt to it. When fast printing presses appear in companies with low production efficiency, they will find that printing presses cannot achieve such speeds, so management must be strengthened to increase speed. Once you do this, you will find that the speed of other machines has also increased. Regardless of whether the machine is new or old, the preparation time will be averaged throughout the entire production process. Whether running at 3000 feet/minute or 1000 feet/minute, every job must be stopped after it is printed—unless the roller has an auto-erasable function. If the staff knows how to prepare for printing, work efficiency can be improved.

Reprinted from: Graphic Arts Forum

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