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February 9, 2022

Conditions for technical acceptance – provisions in the contract

Conditions for technical acceptance of the press — provisions in the contract.

Press manufacturers usually suggest their own metrics, the fulfillment of which is to be the basis for acceptance. These metrics are basically fairly easy to attain but are not necessarily useful in quantifying the consistency nor accuracy of the press, and they are not relative to a metric that the purchaser can use to qualify if the press will meet their customer's expectations; which is critical in order to achieve a return of investment from the purchase. In addition, these metrics provided by the selling party often can’t even be used to compare how the press performed while being tested compared to its performance after it has been installed at the customer location.

  

The printing device is bought to generate profit from production — and this has to be very predictable. This predictability is the key to economic success and is most often not assessed at the time of installation, which has to lead to numerous lawsuits which are very hard to win because there often are not quantifiable metrics backed by contract defining expected performance. This procedure changes this entire situation in the favor of the buyer. It is very easy to quantify repeatability and accuracy — but can be labor-intensive parameters to document and they are generally not in favor of the seller. In practice, it can take weeks to solve a problem that is identified upon installation. No supplier wants to deal with service work and multiple visits to the customer's premises to fix problems so they make their standards easy to attain. Although the industry has the ISO 12647-2 printing standard, which defines multiple parameters including print variation, most manufacturers don’t have procedures to document the variation. Yet, this is one of the most critical parameters related to the performance of the press, and one of the hardest parameters to fix. The ISO standard defines the acceptable level of variation allowed but requires tools that are able to calculate the value, which no manufacturer has provided as of this writing (2021). This value defines the precision and accuracy that the press is capable of, and is the foundation of variation within the page, between pages, and between jobs that a press will run. If this value upon setup is beyond the customer expectations, this press may never make any money which has caused many companies to go out of business because their profit expectations were tied to the press performance which could never be quantified. Don’t be that company.

 

The solution covered in this document provides the detailed process to solve this critical question of variation. The solution consists of multiple parts:

  • PDF forms to be printed,
  • Bar codes identifying each press sheet, each press unit, each physical location on the sheet
  • Evaluation of the measurement instruments - if the measurement device isn’t precise, how can you tell if the press is?
  • Correct backing materials to measure sheets on top of
  • Accurate lighting to appropriately visualize the results

It is worth noting that when purchasing a printing device, you should expect that it will be able to print in accordance with the standard that is relevant to your requirements, but it does not mean that it will do it with any inks on any substrate. Therefore, it is critical to ensure the device is set up with the appropriate consumables to represent your desired print condition(s).

 

When purchasing a new press, it is reasonable to expect that the variation should be at least 50% lower than the standard’s normative value (because future years of operation will deteriorate this result and it should be in a safe value). Additionally, it should be highlighted that the standard variation value is not relative to customer expectations, meaning that the press may have variations within the standard, but will be beyond customer expectations which will cause problems with the salability of production. Knowing what your pickiest customer’s expectations are is imperative to know in order to set your press up to meet those expectations.

 

 

 

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