QuadTech has launched a computer-controlled volume ink metering tool after acquiring the intellectual property from US-based Controls Group Inc.
The manufacturer said web offset printers will be able to improve quality and consistency while cutting costs with its new Digital Ink System.
It uses computer-controlled ink injectors to replace conventional ink fountains, leading to more accurate density control across each zone at all press speeds.
QuadTech said the product, which is compatible with heatset, coldset and UV inks on web offset presses, differed from rival digital ink systems such as the Goss DigiRail.
Larry Gardner, Digital Ink System product manager, told PrintWeek: "Our system pumps a precise volume of ink to each ink key whereas the DigiRail pumps continuously and uses a shuttle valve that turns the ink supply fully on or off.
"They both work on a volume basis rather than a film basis but ours is a precise measured volume based on the number of rotations of the pump rather than an approximation."
Gardner said the technology, which is being shown at Ifra in Frankfurt this week, was ready to order immediately and was being aimed at newspaper, commercial and retail applications.
Vince Balistrieri, director of engineering and general manager of QuadTech's Commercial and Newspaper business, said the system was already in use by Controls Group customers, predominantly in the US but also at some sites in Europe and Asia.
He added that the IP purchase had only recently closed and said that QuadTech planned to leverage its global sales and support channel to grow sales of the technology.
The ink volume delivered by each injector key is computer controlled and does not rely on gap settings for accuracy, which QuadTech said would lead to improved reliability, lower maintenance costs and more consistent image density through the entire print run.
In addition, because nothing is touching the fountain ball, the cost of recalibrating and replacing worn ink keys and fountain balls is eliminated.Tweet
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