Backbone of automated printing
Profitability, reliability and print quality rely heavily on selecting the optimal drive and control system. DCOS has designed one that provides the necessary flexibility
Every printing press needs a drive and control system to be functional – it is after all the backbone of every automation solution. The profitability, reliability and quality of your press and what it produces will mainly depend upon the automation package you select. DCOS has designed a concept that covers the complexity of a modern printing press and provides the flexibility to handle all kinds of retrofit projects with a combination of different machine types and auxiliary equipment used in the printing process. The system is structured to handle all types of options and individualities. With a mix of centralised and decentralised intelligence, scalability becomes almost endless from the small system with a single motor to the large press with hundreds of motors and options.
The system is module-based, each one carefully tested in a controlled environment; they can be mixed and matched to suit type of configuration required.
“In the design we have drawn on our extensive experience of building robust and reliable control systems, selecting proven parts from well-known suppliers to ensure they are reliable and future-proof,” explains managing director Mattias Andersson. “We focus on finding partners with worldwide coverage in knowledge and parts and confirm that the parts we choose will be available on the market for an acceptable period of time.
“The aim is to maximise the number of ‘off-the-shelf parts’ produced in large series and available worldwide so that the end user is not dependent on the system designer to supply spare parts. All parts within our systems will be tested in our own workshop before being shipped.”
Operator interface systems
The control console allows the operator to control and overview the printing process in an efficient, reliable and user-friendly way. It provides access to adjustments and an overview of all the systems in the DCOS customised printing solution as well as many external systems.
Developed as a one-man operating station, the console can be configured with various options depending on the customer’s needs and the equipment to be controlled. Its ergonomic design allows the operator to easily adjust height and angular working posture. Multiple consoles can be used together or individually by targeting a specific part of the machine. The desks can be used on a completely standalone basis. The console can be fitted with a combination of 22” touchscreen for press interface; 22” touchscreen for softproof; ink zone keypad; and offset command keypad.
The user interface for the printing process is operated from a 22” touchscreen that provides the operator with options to control and make adjustments to the product currently being printed.
Support for a wide range of optional modules can extend the user interface even further to integrate with auxiliary equipment including splicers, remote ink, dampening and closed-loop systems. This makes the machine easy to operate through software with the same look and feel.
Softproofing allows the operator to view on a monitor what the print should look like when it appears on paper. The proofed page displayed can be selected from the press interface; when the operator of the press interface changes active page for adjustments the corresponding page will automatically be selected on the proof monitor.
Ink zone keypad
The flexible ink zone keypad will allow adjustment of ink keys for the corresponding ink fountain selected on the press interface. The keypad has variable zone spacing due to software-controlled illuminated LEDs making it capable of handling installations where different segmentation is used on the ink fountains.
Offset command keypad
The offset command keypad contains buttons and indications for the normal running operation of the printing press. Inch, stop, speed, auto sequences and similar commands can be executed from this keypad. Spare function keys are available to implement custom features.
“A rapidly growing part of our business is investment in existing equipment (retrofit),” continues Andersson. “In most cases two types of projects can be distinguished: those that focus on efficiency and quality improvement measures and those aimed at ensuring production stability, availability of spare parts and support. For our part, these two aspects are usually integrated in the same project.”
DCOS’ strength lies in its ability to offer complete, flexible and cost-effective solutions for most presses and auxiliary equipment regardless of the brand of existing drive and control systems.
“DCOS has an efficient and streamlined organisation that attaches value to finding synergies and simplicity in what we do,” concludes Andersson. “While many insist on offering comprehensive solutions to complex problems, we aim for simplicity which is why we can offer the most affordable retrofit package.”
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