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AIMCAL2022 Awards – Rheonics InkSight

Rheonics’ InkSight wins 2022 Technology of the Year AIMCAL Awards

Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL), founded in 1970, is a global nonprofit trade association representing converters of metallized, laminated and coated flexible substrates and their suppliers. AIMCAL announced Rheonics InkSight as a winner of the 2022 AIMCAL Award in the “Technology of the Year” category. Rheonics InkSight is a breakthrough multi-station ink viscosity & color control system to boost flexo print quality with automation and digitalization. Our viscosity automation technology ensures a high level of printing excellence and contributes to more sustainable printing operations in terms of business, environment and operator safety.

Rheonics AIMCAL Awards 2022
AIMCAL – Award News on LinkedIn

The current generation of printing machines features highly sophisticated quality control and automation systems, but one of the most crucial variables in the printing process – ink viscosity – is still measured with inexact and cumbersome methods, such as efflux cups and falling ball viscometers. With such methods, constant viscosity control is neither effective nor efficient. Most viscosity measuring devices do not provide fine enough control of viscosity, require frequent calibration, and are difficult to maintain. By automating viscosity control and implementing predictive tracking, waste is reduced, and efficiency is improved.

Printers can achieve high color accuracy and quality with the InkSight system and ColorLock software – which is designed in collaboration with printers, for printers. Instead of focusing on only coarse viscosity control to pick the ink and deposit on the substrate, InkSight’s breakthrough has been the fine control that gives a tight control of color throughout the print run. This has never been achieved before with other ink viscosity control systems. Among the benefits that InkSight brings to gravure presses are: high print quality with all ink types, reduced setup times and waste, complete digitalization of the press, 40% reduction in volatile organic compounds emissions, and improved operator safety. InkSight contributes on multiple fronts to making printing sustainable.

“The Rheonics InkSight system delivers quality, cost and environmental benefits by managing all viscosity measurement and control functions, thereby allowing operators to focus on quality rather than measurement. In operation, an SRV sensor detects changes in ink viscosity and transmits a signal to the control cabinet. The Rheonics predictive tracking controller monitors viscosity, predicts the rate of change and operates a valve to dose solvent as frequently as every 20 seconds to compensate for changes due to temperature fluctuation, evaporation or the addition of fresh ink. The ColorLock software and graphical operator interface allow viscosity to be locked to the desired color density. Automating ink viscosity control reduces setup time and scrap, maximizes print quality and accurately doses solvents, potentially reducing emissions. The compact system integrates easily, offers a high level of accuracy and stability and requires no recalibration, cleaning or maintenance. Compatible with inks, primers and adhesives, the technology also is used in an array of coating operations.”

InkSight changes the nature of the printing and coating process, from initial job setup all the way to jobs that, once delivered, secure a clear path to repeat business. Printers who have been using InkSight believe that this system can produce a change in the very culture of the gravure industry by adding job-length consistency, accuracy, and efficiency to an already highly sophisticated and powerful technology. Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), an US-based community of 500+ global printing companies, recognized the value of the Rheonics InkSight system by awarding Rheonics the FTA Technical Innovation Award for 2021. The sensor underlying the InkSight system was awarded 2021 Swiss Excellence award by Swiss Innovation forum. European Rotogravure Association (ERA), a leading international organization of the gravure industry, recognized Rheonics InkSight as a winner of Gravure Award for Sustainable Packaging 2021 in the Innovation category at its annual conference in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Product Description: InkSight

One of the most important determinants of high-quality printing is complete control of the ink viscosity. Poorly adjusted ink viscosity causes deterioration in print quality, excessive ink consumption and high rejects. Manually optimizing ink viscosity is time-consuming and often inaccurate, even for experienced press operators. Rheonics InkSight™ is a highly accurate multi-station ink viscosity control system. It consists of three subsystems, a viscosity sensor, a predictive tracking controller, and a powerful, intuitive graphical user interface. It delivers color excellence through tight automatic viscosity control. Rheonics InkSight Predictive Tracking Controller and SRV viscometers enable tight viscosity control throughout the print job, due to the system’s ability to autonomously maintain viscosity within extremely narrow limits. Printers can achieve unmatched color accuracy and quality with the InkSight system and ColorLock™ software –which is designed in collaboration with printers, for printers. Viscosity automation and predictive tracking control with InkSight reduces waste and materials consumption, as it increases efficiency and improves quality.

Innovation

Despite the highly sophisticated quality control and automation systems available on the current generation of printing machines, ink viscosity is still frequently measured with inexact and cumbersome methods, such as efflux cups and falling ball viscometers.
Continuous viscosity control with such methods is extremely inefficient and unproductive since they are not compatible with integrated solution such as the RPS InkSight for complete automation. Many common viscosity measuring devices do not provide fine enough viscosity control and require high maintenance and frequent calibration. Rheonics RPS InkSight Predictive Tracking Controller and SRV viscometers enable tight viscosity control throughout the print job, due to the the system’s ability to autonomously maintain viscosity within extremely narrow limits. Printers can achieve unmatched color accuracy and quality with the RPS InkSight system and ColorLock software – which is designed in collaboration with printers, for printers. Instead of focusing on only coarse viscosity control to pick the ink and deposit on the substrate, our breakthrough has been the fine control that gives a tight control of color throughout the print run. This has never been achieved before with other ink viscosity control systems.
Recently, we won the prestigious FTA Technical Innovation Awards 2021 for the RPS InkSight. InkSight and underlying technology is protected by granted and pending patents and trademarks.

• Rheonics SRV viscosity technology makes use of an ultra-stable torsionally balanced mechanical resonator (US patent 9,267,872 and worldwide filings) whose oscillations are damped by the viscosity of the ink.
• Further protected by US patent 10,602,670 and worldwide filings: Temperature compensated density viscosity sensor having a resonant sensing element
• Recently granted US patent 10,871,432 covering tubular sensors for inline measurement of the properties of a fluid
With over 20 patents protecting the sensors and solutions, we are well placed to protect our markets globally.

 

Uniqueness of the product

The Rheonics SRV inline viscometer protected by multiple Rheonics patents is one of the most commercially successful process viscometers on the market. It is deployed in industrial applications such as food processing, oil and gas, automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical and printing industries in more than 200 customer locations globally. Its unparalleled accuracy, stability and robustness provide process fluid data for optimization of industrial processes, thereby supporting data-driven decision making systems.
The new Rheonics InkSight system builds on our established product line by offering a complete ecosystem to ensure 100% viscosity control and automation within the printing press. The operators just punch a single button on the central console and the printing process runs automatically eliminating the need for operator vigilance and intervention. SRV sensors began to attract the attention of people in the printing industry who saw the potential of the accuracy, reliability and robustness of our sensors, and believed that the industry was ready to take a step in the direction of accurate, and completely automatic viscosity control.
But that step required our transition from a sensor manufacturer to a solution provider. And as we started down that path, press manufacturers and operators shared with us their vision of how tight, reliable viscosity control could unlock the potential of their technically sophisticated high-speed, automated flexographic machines to reach a new level of color reproducibility and beginning-to-end job accuracy. Their vision encouraged us to make a leap of faith to invest time and resource in developing a family of hardware and software solutions that became the InkSight system. Variants of this product family can be deployed in multiple other industries – mixing & grinding, blending, automotive and battery coating – where the process fluid viscosity should be controlled within set limits throughout.
Key competitive advantages of the RPS InkSight system, built around the SRV sensor are: ability to achieve tight color accuracy and control, ease of use and low footprint, temperature compensation algorithms, system responsiveness, control stability, intuitive reporting tools and no need to re-calibrate the sensors. The SRV viscometer– the eyes and ears of the RPS InkSight system – is a technically superior sensor that works with all types of inks. It is at least 10times more accurate than competing systems, has a very compact form factor, is certified intrinsically safe for use in explosive atmospheres, and does not require any cleaning or recalibration.

The RPS InkSight System Overview

RPS InkSight System

How does the RPS InkSight System work?

Gravure Printing Solution - Rheonics viscosity
Rheonics cutting edge technology and products

All Rheonics products are designed to withstand harshest process environments, high temperature, high level of shock, vibrations, abrasives & chemicals.

Key user benefits of the RPS InkSight

RPS places the focus on print quality instead of measurement skills.

Achieve best in class print quality, dramatically reduce setup time and optimise use of pigments and solvents. Improve productivity and efficiency through complete automation of color control on your press.

  • Single click, intuitive control of ink viscosity
  • Reduce setup time and eliminate setup scrap by loading previously saved job configurations, enabling consistent print quality in repeat jobs with minimal efforts for production
  • Robust, maintenance free viscosity sensor eliminates need for re-calibration or cleaning by operators
  • Better print quality: Tighter, more accurate color density and dE control across the complete run
  • Edge over competitors by undertaking higher margin – higher quality print jobs made possible with the RPS InkSight system
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