Fast, reliable control of ink key profiles is the key to profitability for the letterpress or litho printer today. To be effective, an ink control system must meet three critical challenges:
Mercury remote ink controls have repeatedly shown that they can meet all these challenges. On virtually every make of lithographic press – in publications; direct mail; newspapers; folding carton; metal decorating; security printing and every sort of commercial work – Mercury has demonstrated waste savings along with noticeable quality improvements in color consistency.
From the first make-ready on the first job, Mercury digital ink controls make any letterpress or litho machine perform more profitably.
At the core of Mercury’s productive advantage is AVT’s proprietary digital actuator. With a dedicated microprocessor inside each motor, Mercury’s direct-drive DC motor employs a ‘lashless’ 200:1 harmonic-type gear design, and a digital shaft encoder. This sophisticated motor achieves a degree of accuracy not available from analog, potentiometer designs found on more limited, competitive systems.
Intuitive Operator Workstation
Every ink key control operation can now be done with quick taps on a full-color graphical touch-screen. Whether the printer needs a delicate, 1% change in a single key, or a coordinated re-setting of many keys on multiple units, simple touches on the Mercury screen make the adjustment.
The ‘touch and swipe’ operations have proven intuitive for new operators and easy to learn for experienced printers as well. So, Mercury’s time-saving functions quickly result in productivity gains regardless of the skill levels in the pressroom.
Sturdy Mechanical Construction
A stable, mechanically repeatable ink fountain assembly is the essential foundation for all reliable ink control. AVT’s engineering team has decades of experience evaluating the mechanical capabilities of hundreds of litho press designs.
AVT doesn’t merely add-on motors. Each Mercury installation includes the mechanical modifications – engineered for your specific press model — to realize the full potential of the Mercury servomotor.
Advanced Options Increase Savings
Mercury’s up-to-date Windows architecture supports a variety of optional modules. Touch-screen controls for ink ductors, fountain roll speed, dampening, are each available.
The SnapReg running register control system for litho webs can run from the same computers and same touch-screen workstations as Mercury automated inking.
Running Register Control
SnapReg –controls color-to-color (“running”) register on new or existing lithographic web presses. A robust, compact array camera monitors color registration. Able to register up to 8 colors per surface, using inconspicuous “micromarks,” the SnapReg control can be added to any Mercury workstation.
Integrated Ink-Feed and Dampening Control
Extend Mercury’s fast, simple touch-screen control to handle adjustments to your press’s ink feed (“sweep” or “ductor”) and/or dampening rollers. These optional controls also add these settings to the job information automatically stored to Mercury’s disk memory. AVT’s library of customized press control designs includes mechanical and electrical options that suit most presses, whether new or old.
CIP Interpreter – a digital analysis proposes recommended openings for the press’s ink keys by evaluating the PPF file, taken directly from the plate-setter’s RIP. This automated digital pre-setting tool has proven to be far more accurate than subjective estimates by the press operator – delivering measurable reduction in color make-ready. Further, when Mercury is connected to an AVT CIP3 Interpreter, the Mercury workstation can display images of the plates being pre-set, taken directly from the imagesetter’s data.
Closed-Loop Color Connections
AVT’s closed-loop color algorithms can drive ink key settings on the Mercury, when it’s connected with AVT Clarios spectral color measuring system. The connection means that digital closed-loop can be added to any older letterpress or offset web press. So, regardless of age, an existing web can be upgraded to take on the challenge of 21st-century, spectral print specifications.