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With Plate-Ident, a plate-detection system, Koenig and Bauer (KBA) is able to ensure error-free mounting of printing plates.

The technology behind the system is an intelligent camera system with image processing that was custom developed by Leuze.

Poka Yoke control system KBA worked with Leuze to develop an automatic plate-detection system that inspects the plates for correct mounting.

The Plate-Ident automation module controls the workflow within the machine and ensures that each plate is correctly assigned to the correct print position.

The system uses a camera to inspect data matrix or 2D codes, which are unique to each printing plate.

‘The data-matrix codes are also exposed during production of the plate, which allows the printing plates to be positively identified at the time of manufacture,’ said Andreas Birkenfeld, division director of system technology construction at KBA.

Birkenfeld explained that the 2D codes are produced along the edge of the plate at the same time and using the same photo-etch manufacturing process used to produce the printing plate.

This produces a matrix that has a low contrast difference between dark green on light green, prompting the selection of data-matrix coding.

The data matrix’s two-dimensional arrangement of horizontal and vertical fields provides a high density of information in a very small space.

While this places high demands on the reading system, it can be read in any position by the reading device.

The high information-storage capacity allows the data to be located at multiple positions within the overall code matrix, improving reading reliability due to an Error Checking and Correcting methodology (ECC).

This provides reliable code reading, even if as much as 25 per cent of the information fields are illegible, because the codes can be read in any of several positions.

The Plate-Ident system can simultaneously read four codes in their various positions.

The plates are inspected at the infeed shafts of the automatic KBA PlateTronic plate-replacement system using an intelligent camera with image processing developed by Leuze.

Utilising its experience in industrial image processing and identification, Leuze developed the hardware and software specifically for this application.

‘With a small read distance of just a few centimetres and special integrated lighting designed to meet the requirements of the printing plates, we achieved exceptional results,’ said Birkenfeld.

What matters most to the end customer is that the system provides reliable error detection that is immediately displayed in the control panel on the control desk of the printing system via Ethernet networking.

Should a printing plate be incorrectly mounted in the hectic phase leading up to printing, it can be corrected by the operator even before the plates are secured in the machine.

This eliminates the risk of damage caused by swapping the plates after they have been mounted and prevents waste paper and unplanned downtime.

With the camera system from Leuze in the Plate-Ident plate-detection system, KBA is able to ensure that the correct plate is mounted at the correct position in the machine.

Leuze Electronic

Leuze electronic the ‘sensor people’ are committed to being the supplier of choice by providing the best customer service and products.

Leuze electronic the ‘sensor people’ are committed to being the supplier of choice by providing the best customer service and products.

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