Product of the month: Daheng IMAvision Sampo

Installed at Pragati Offset, this non-contact print quality inspection kit can also check CTP plates and MetPET sheets, says Vincent Swamy, director, Sergusa Solutions

31 May 2019 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

When was it launched? 
The first machine was launched in 2010 in response to the growing requirement of proofing in print companies. Later, as per the user feedback, the platform design and operations were optimised in the second generation of Sampo in 2014. The Sampo is currently in its third avatar. In the latest version of the machine, the software processing and inspection performance has largely been enhanced to suit a variety of proofing requirements.

What does it do?
Sampo is a print quality inspection and proofing machine used to check the quality of CTP plates, first printed sheet before mass printing, and sampling inspection during printing. It can also inspect varnished sheets, MetPET sheets and high glossy printed sheets. Sampo is equipped with a high-speed industrial grade line-scan camera to scan the press plates, or printed sample on the suction platform. The PDF file or image of approved printed sheet is input to the system as a master template to compare and check if there are any differences between the template and the sample, so as to alert quality issues for printing adjustment.

What market is it aimed at?
This machine is suitable for offset printing and packaging companies to inspect the variety of printed sheets, leaflets and booklets for industries of pharmaceuticals, consumer goods packaging, and so forth. It also finds application in pharmaceuticals companies for quality checks of input materials such as cartons and leaflets.

How is Sampo different from the other systems that use flatbed scanners? 
Sampo is a non-contact scanner that uses a very high-resolution industrial 7K (7,300 pixels) line-scan camera to scan the printed material, instead of using a conventional flatbed scanner. This enables freshly printed sheets, which are still wet, to be scanned without ink smearing, thereby avoiding false defects and saving substantial time for the press operator. The flatbed scanners cannot do non-contact scanning and they also cannot handle high-gloss substrates like MetPET, high-gloss lamination sheets, and CTP plates. Moreover, the optical resolution is up to 0.036mm/pixel (708DPI), conducive to inspect every tiny defect.

How productive is it?
One Sampo kit is capable of precisely inspecting samples from four sets of offset printing machines at the same time under the frequency of sampling once per 1,000 pieces.

Software is critical to any inspection system. Tell us about the software that runs Sampo.
The software enables Sampo to directly read the one-up PDF file to inspect multi-up printed sheet. The one-up PDF is the final approved file and signed by the customer; it is reliable and accurate to inspect the printed sheet against one-up PDF. The software is robust enough to identify and separate layers in a PDF file. This is a unique feature in Sampo’s software. In general, electronic PDF plate-making file includes several layers, including printable layers and non-printable layers such as foil, varnish, and embossing layer. In practice, given that foil and embossing are post-press operations, the pre-press designer normally uses colour patches to represent these non-printable areas in a PDF file. To prevent these irrelevant colour patches from affecting the print inspection, the software is able to automatically identify and separate these layers in a PDF and only choose the printable layers. The software is also capable of checking PDF to other commonly used file formats such as BMP, JPEG, TIFF and AI. This is another unique feature that is not available with other products on the market.

How does it work?
It works in three steps: Load the PDF file or scan a good sheet as a reference; scan the production sample; select the parameter set and inspect. The entire operation is completed in less than 90 seconds. The machine has the vacuum table to flatten the printed sheet, a line-scan camera moves back and forth to scan the sheet under the illumination of the special LED light. Then, send the captured image to the computer. The inspection software which uses the core Adobe PDF technology analyses the scanned image in comparison with a master image or reference. All the differences between the master and the sample are defined as the suspicious region and reported on the screen. In general, it uses image comparison technology.

What support is on offer?
V-VAB Vision Technologies (India) is the exclusive and authorised distributor in India for the past five years for all inspection products made by Daheng IMAvision. V-VAB has trained engineers for local support. Installation and support are available across all major cities. V-VAB Vision Technologies is a company formed by the shareholders of Sergusa Solutions to cater to the machinery division of the latter. Sergusa had two verticals, one is a foil conversion unit for printing on aluminium foil for pharma primary packaging and second is a machinery division to cater to printing and packaging and pharma industry inspection and other needs.

How does Sampo inspect CTP plates?
Thanks to the layer separation, the PDF file is able to display the respective layer of C/M/Y/K. This enables Sampo to inspect the C/M/Y/K plates as per the respective PDF layer, which helps a print company to identify issues with the plate before they start production.

What is the install base worldwide and in India?
Sampo has a wide install base in China, and also in Singapore, Philippines, and India. We have an installed base of over 100 machines worldwide. In India, the first machine was installed two months ago at Pragati Offset, Hyderabad. We expect to install 10 machines this year.


Max. sheet inspection size: 1,020×720mm
Paper quality: 40 to 500g/m2
Resolution: 0.036mm/pixel (708DPI)
Inspection accuracy: 0.1mm × 0.1mm
Supported inspection: CTP press plate, printed sheet
Template type: Electronic file (one-up or multi-up), qualified sheet
File format: PDF, BMP, JPEG, AI
Minimum colour variances detected: E ≥ 3 (compare with acceptable sample)
Min. registration deviation detected: ±0.1mm
Inspection time per sheet: ≤ 90s
Machine dimension: 1,920× 1,550× 1,300mm

Contact: Vincent Swamy,  Sergusa Solutions and V-VAB Vision Technologies