For decades now, Printer Trento in the northern Italian city of the same name has been one of the largest and most cutting-edge book producers in Central Europe. Its five Rapida large-format presses from Koenig & Bauer produce 15 million books every year. Over 150 employees handle work for renowned publishers from home and abroad in the company’s two print centres, bookbinding shop and logistics centre.
Owner Dario Martinelli and his team invest regularly in new printing technologies as the basis for excellent performance and the fastest possible production times. The latest Rapida 164 started operation at the end of 2020. To secure consistently high print quality, all the presses are equipped with dynamic measuring and control systems from Koenig & Bauer. The aim is to reduce substrate waste and significantly shorten the make-ready times between individual jobs.
To keep pace with the growing quality demands made by both publishing houses and consumers, Printer Trento is highly active when it comes to testing and installing innovative technologies – most recently new facilities for colour control. In spring 2022, Printer Trento began tests with the new expert monitor from Koenig & Bauer, which adds a separate display screen – in this case on a colour inspection desk next to the console of a Rapida 164 – to present colour values measured by the inline QualiTronic process at a single glance. The following information is provided:
- Visual delta-E, with immediate indication of the difference between one printed sheet and the next, as determined by the inline measuring system
- Dot gain for the 40 and 80 per cent half-tones at different sampling points
- Traffic lights for an immediate overview of whether colour values are being reproduced exactly
- Basic settings for densitometric measurements, together with the corresponding minimum and maximum densities
- Diagram showing the colour profile of the last printed sheet, to enable assessment of the dynamic response to colour corrections
The expert monitor also permits greater flexibility with regard to the console wallscreen. The three display areas can all now be used for camera images (example, QualiTronic ColorControl, sheet travel monitoring) or other preferred functions.
At Printer Trento, the colour settings on the presses are assessed together with in-house experts, and in many cases also with the individual customers. To accommodate this, a separate colour inspection desk has been installed alongside the console and set up as a complex colour quality cockpit with the expert monitor. An alternative solution that is already in use in a number of cases is the addition of an extra monitor to the Rapida console itself. Regardless of the chosen configuration, the expert monitor offers the following benefits:
- Significantly enhanced colour information at a glance, without additional mouse clicks
- Traffic lights for a clear overall evaluation
- Colour quality can also be discussed in a larger group without blocking access to the console
The expert monitor is, above all, designed for those printers who must work to high quality standards, for example in the production of illustrated books for clients in art and architecture. It is the perfect option wherever detailed information on the colour and colour quality must be surveyed and evaluated at a glance.
After the successful completion of industrial trials, including the testing done at Printer Trento, the expert monitor was released for general sale in autumn 2022. It can be retrofitted to all Rapida presses manufactured in 2018 or later. The only prerequisite is a current measuring and control system such as QualiTronic ColorControl or ErgoTronic ColorControl. For the future, there are already plans to integrate additional quality features that are especially interesting and useful for quality management in print production.