Star Product: Hunkeler WI8

Simon Eccles
Monday, December 20, 2021

Hunkeler’s high-performing web inspection system.

What does it do?

The WI8 is a camera-based quality inspection system for printed webs, primarily intended for use with Hunkeler’s eighth-generation web handling equipment and inkjet web printers. These systems handle web widths up to 1,066mm wide. 

The software linked to the camera can inspect for print quality and data integrity, using various software options. When scanning at 300dpi it can detect defects as small as 400 microns diameter. There’s an option to keep up with higher speed webs. 

When was it launched and what markets is it aimed at?

Hunkeler announced the WI8 and its associated WI8 Dynascan option (for variable sheet lengths) in June. Seth Morgan, marketing assistant at UK distributor Friedheim International, says: “It is aimed at transactional and direct-mail applications, but anyone seeking extra confidence in their output could consider it.”

How does it work?

All configurations are supplied with a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) scanning bar that covers the full web width. The standard CIS width is 558mm, but there are other options: 355mm, 762mm or 1,066mm. It can be supplied for single-sided or double-sided applications, linked to a 22in colour LCD touchscreen display and controller box.

It works by scanning the entire width of the paper web, taking full speed, high-resolution images of the entire surface of each page and comparing these to an accurate sample (called the ‘golden template’) to detect deviations from the set quality and consistency.

This golden template is achieved using Intelligent Print Inspection (IPI), which uses raw print data directly from the printer controller to the inkjet printheads. IPI reads the data and generates a digital image that serves as the ideal reference for the system to compare with actual print samples.

This checking method is intended to identify quality and/or content errors immediately, allowing users to amend the setup if needed and reducing any downtime and waste materials later on in production.

The WI8 system can be integrated as simplex or duplex colour versions for the Hunkeler DP8 roll-to-stack perforation module, WM8 roll-to-stack unit, or CS8 roll-to-fold device with an external display, and can be integrated with a printer controller to report things like blocked jets. Alternatively it can be supplied as a standalone solution. 

Hunkeler says that its “stable and reliable” mounting for the CIS sensors means that no adjustment or mechanical calibration is necessary, making installation easy for users.

Software options allow users to tailor the inspection for various types of bar code. The Record & Replay package provides hardware and the software to record the last 30 minutes of production, which can be replayed on-screen. The optional HCP device logger records “local, user-oriented page-level production” for each page provided it contains an ID code. Variable data can optionally be validated across multiple items on the same page, or across a range of pages (for instance checking that all pages of a book are there), or across multiple production lines (with multiple scanners).

The WI8 Dynascan option allows dynamic inspections with variable sheet length. It generates information on job lengths based on frame size, detecting this directly from TOF marks and therefore removing the need to read code. Any unrecognised or unassigned lengths will be scanned and displayed on the operator console.

What is the USP?

According to Friedheim: “The combination of performance speed, accuracy and reliability”

How easy is it to integrate and use?

“Very easy provided it is by Hunkeler- or Friedheim-trained operators,” says Morgan. 

What training and service support is offered?

Full training and service support is offered via Friedheim, as well as remote support via Hunkeler. 

What does it cost?

Price on application, depends on options. 


Scan bar widths 355mm, 558mm, 762mm, 1,066mm

Resolution 300dpi

Price Depends on configuration

Contact Friedheim International 01442 206100


AVT Turbo HD

This Israeli developer was acquired by Danaher in 2017 and its operations are integrated with Esko worldwide. It claims 8,000-plus installations worldwide. Its Turbo HD 100% automatic print inspection systems use 8K high-speed cameras that can be configured for webs up to 2.6m wide. Defects are marked, classified by type and displayed on the workstation screen, and logged to a SQL database. Autoset connects the pressroom to an Esko Automation engine running pre-press. 

Contact Esko 0170 296 7146

EyeC ProofRunner

German company EyeC offers inline and offline inspection systems. ProofRunner Web runs inline and offers 100% inspection across the web at speeds up to 450m/min. It detect defects (including hot and cold stamping), with options for master copies, colour checking, barcode and variable data integrity. There’s a choice of 4k/8k mono or 4k colour cameras. Standard inspection width is 450mm, with options for 550mm or 760mm. 

Contact EyeC UK 0118 983 3347

Tecnau WebVision

WebVision is intended for whole web and every-page inspection, keeping up with high speed digital web printers at up to 228m/min. There are versions for fitting internally or externally to the printer. It can cover web widths from 200 to 530mm and can be installed on both sides of the web. The resolution is 360dpi. Common postal barcodes and OCR characters can be read. The system can communicate with print or finishing lines. An onboard SQL database handles master files, analysis and logging. 

Contact IFSL 020 8997 8053

Lake Image Systems Discovery SmartPQ

This UK-built system provides automated defect detection and live sensitivity controls. It is highly configurable to suit the application. Linescan cameras or scanning bars can be used for resolutions up to 600dpi and speeds up to 350m/min. Operators can view the entire web in high definition, and select critical areas to view in real time. An intelligent training mode generates the golden master. Defects are recorded and the images can be recalled for display. Variable content integrity can also be handled. There’s an all-in-one entry level package called Discovery PQExpress for print quality inspection on web widths up to 530mm. 

Contact Lake Image Systems 01442 892700


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