August 6, 2022

Sibress launches the FADS3D flexographic plate measuring device

Sibress, the German manufacturer of measurement and analysis systems for quality control in flexographic printing and packaging, has launched the new FADS3D mobile measuring device for two-dimensional and three-dimensional analysis of flexographic plates. This latest Sibress innovation can additionally be used in semi-automatic mode to measure metal-backed photopolymer printing plates (letterpress plates). Deployable anywhere and easy to use, Sibress FADS3D is presented as a revolutionary measuring device combining comprehensive functionality in an exceptionally compact package.

The newly developed FADS3D is patent pending and is part of Sibress’ systematic drive to improve and evolve the FC3D series. FADS3D uses a high resolution camera to capture the surface as well as the recessed sections of the dots and their base on the flexo plate. In addition to standard plate measurement functions, the instrument enables accurate depth measurements based on digital images captured using Z-stacking (focus stacking). In practice, this means that Sibress FADS3D is also able to accurately measure the relief of flexo plates deeper than 1350 µm. Increment per shot/layer is less than 5 µm when measuring in the Z axis.

The new Sibress measuring instrument produces extremely sharp images from the plate surface down to the intermediate depths of halftone dots and image areas. In other words, everything from point surfaces to plate base areas can be visually inspected in the [email protected] software using a single image.

As a highlight, Sibress FADS3D provides a high resolution 3D perspective view of the captured plate area. The visualization is freely selectable from 360 degrees so that the shoulder and flank areas of the halftone dots, for example, can be examined from different perspectives. Among other things, the new and improved measuring functions make it possible to determine the flank angle.

When it comes to standard measurement functions, Sibress FADS3D can analyze displays from 28 to over 240 l/cm (71 to >620 lpi) as well as specialist FM, hybrid and newer displays like Bellissima. All points of the active control patch (greater than 3 mm2) are captured and evaluated by the [email protected] software. Parameters such as halftone value, screen, dot diameter and perimeter are instantly recognizable.

Other functions include statistics, storage of measurement curves and automated creation of comprehensive measurement reports with graphics. The depth value in µm is automatically determined during depth measurements and can be downloaded to an Excel file. The measurement histories thus obtained are an important source of information for users, for example with regard to the reuse of plates. No comparable product on the market today offers this capability. Accurate metrological verification of key parameters before reusing archived plates can reveal wear effects as well as storage-induced changes before these plates have a chance to compromise print quality and cause downtime. expensive stoppage of the press.

Sophisticated and largely automated calibration procedures for 2D and 3D capture ensure that measurements with Sibress FADS3D are consistently accurate and reproducible. A new, specially developed calibration tool guarantees reproducible depth measurements. This tool is equipped with a special LED ring light and a precisely defined sphere, the size of which determines the calibration value.

“FADS3D is the universal solution for quality control of flexo printing plates – from plate making at reproduction service providers to inspection and inbound inventory control functions at packaging printers,” says Michael Romanowski, CEO of Sibress. “In addition to several metrological improvements, the precise reproduction of the entire relief depth range of our new measuring instrument, combined with true 3D visualization, makes it easy to check the results of the washing process in detail, for example , or the state of the archived flexo plates before they were reused.