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Made in India: Iware's ICRS inspection system

03 July 2015

Iware’s inspection system, engineered especially for newspaper and web offset printers offers added features and functionality for a good price. PrintWeek India's print technologist, Priya Raju studies the software and its implementation at Lokmat newspaper

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Turnaround time for newspaper printing is short. Thus making job printed right, the first time and on-schedule delivery an imperative. Printers need to have the ability to control a wider range of quality control concerns, such as colour consistency, variable data, barcode recognition and verification, etc.
There is a growing demand among printers for suitable products and services to gain a competitive advantage in business. Printers continue to evaluate and invest in products and services. One such requirement for customised and cost-effective solutions for inspection system was sensed by Cochin-based Iware Solutions. The company is a global IT services and solution provider and has been providing services to its customers since 2000.
 
So what is Iware?
Iware engineered the Intelligent Color Register Control Solution (ICRS) system. Launched it in October 2014 with newspaper and web offset printers in Asia and Middle-Eastern countries as its target audience.
 
Iware colour registration system is built with a high-speed colour camera and achieves automated colour registration in web offset presses both during start-up and throughout the print run. The software operates in real-time, monitoring register marks located on the print web that provides feedback to manage tight control of the colour register and thus, minimising wastage.
 
According to Rajesh Kumar V N and Afsal Kottal, directors of Iware solutions, “Waste accrues mainly, when process parameters like colour registration and LAB is not controlled in the printing press. This registration of the colour changes during start-up, machine speed variation, web tension, reel changes etc. The ICRS system optimises these processes by adapting itself automatically and by using a multiple command facility.”
 
The machine, compatible with any web-offset press which has a console-based press control, is currently in action on the Manugraph presses. However, the solution can also be implemented for other web presses. Some of the functions the system performs such as manual registration control, side-to-side registration control, camera monitoring and master configuration.
 
Intelligent Color Register Control Solution (ICRS) is specifically engineered to improve quality and minimise the waste associated with make-ready, startups, stops, tension upsets and splices. The fully automatic, optimum scanning technology allows sequential control for a fast production start and also key colour control for the optimum production quality.
 
The USP of Iware
Talking about the USP of the software, Kottal says, “The system can be customised to suit the machine conditions and requirement. Also, the system is cost-effective and user-friendly.”
 
Informing about the training support provided by Iware, Rajesh kumar says, “We train our clients' operators and engineers to maintain the system and support them remotely by using IT technologies available. Onsite support is available within 72 hours, when required.
 
Lokmat, currently the largest read regional language Marathi newspaper in Maharashtra and Goa states, has recently upgraded its colour registration on the Indian-made Manugraph press with ICRS technology from Iware. Founded on 15 December, 1971, Lokmat Media is a multi-platform media company with interests in a diversified portfolio of publishing, broadcast, digital, entertainment, community and sports verticals.
 
Commenting on the decision to invest in the system, Neeraj Mahajan, vice president-technical at Lokmat Media explains, “The solutions provided by similar software developers were expensive and neither concrete, nor customised to our requirements. The Iware software provided us with cost-effective solution and resulted in the reduction of wastage from 300-400 pages in a single system at the time of splicing on the 2C unit to almost zero. More importantly, the start-up waste has been reduced by 50% on the press line.”
 
“Also, the hardware and software solution is fairly simple and can also be fixed locally if issues arise. The next step is the training," informs Mahajan. These systems are currently mounted on the Manugraph machines installed at the facility.
 
Mahajan says, “A customised solution and flexibility in payments favoured our decision towards the Iware's embedded hardware and software."
 
The Iware system has now been installed across Lokmat’s three sites among 12 print production plants spread across Maharashtra. Two units have been installed at Kolhapur, three systems at Nagpur and four systems at the Pune plant.
 
Iware in Kerala has provided the same solution to the Anandabazar Patrika Group and Manipal Technologies as well.
 
The software is priced between a range of Rs 4,00,000-6,70,000 per solution, i.e. for one side of the web to be register controlled. “Our aim is to sell around 100+ units by December 2016, across Asia and Middle East," says Afsal Kottal.
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