Sibress launches flexo plate measuring device for precise depth measurement

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Leading measuring and analysis systems for quality control in flexographic and packaging printing, Sibress, has launched the new FADS3D mobile measuring device for two- and three-dimensional analysis of flexographic plates. This latest Sibress innovation can additionally be used in semi-automatic mode for measuring metal-backed photopolymer printing plates (letterpress plates). Deployable anywhere and easy to use, Sibress FADS3D combines full-featured capabilities in an exceptionally compact package.

The newly developed FADS3D is patent-pending and 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 dots and their base on the flexo plate. In addition to standard plate measurement functions, the instrument enables precise depth measurements based on digital images captured using Z-stacking (focus stacking). In practice, this means that Sibress FADS3D is also capable of accurately measuring the relief of flexo plates with a depth of more than 1350 µm. The increment per shot / layer is less than 5 µm when measuring in the Z-axis.

The new Sibress measuring instrument produces images that are razor sharp from the plate surface to the intermediate depths of the halftone dots and image areas. In other words, everything from the dot surfaces to the base areas of the plates can be visually checked in the Versatile@flex software using one and the same image.

True 3D images from an all-round perspective: As a special highlight, Sibress FADS3D provides a high-resolution, perspective 3D view of the captured plate area. The visualization is freely selectable from 360 degrees so that the shoulder and flank areas of halftone dots, for example, can be examined from different perspectives. Among other things, the new, enhanced measurement functions allow determination of the flank angle.

As far as standard measurement functions are concerned, Sibress FADS3D can analyze screens from 28 to more than 240 l/cm (71 to >620 lpi) as well as FM, hybrid, and newer specialty screens like Bellissima. All dots in the active control patch (larger than 3 mm2) are captured and evaluated by the Versatile@flex software. Parameters such as halftone value, screen, dot diameter and dot perimeter are instantly recognizable.

Calibrated for precision in every dimension: Sophisticated, largely automated calibration procedures for 2D and 3D capture ensure that measurements with Sibress FADS3D are permanently accurate and reproducible. A new, specially developed calibration tool guarantees repeatable depth measurements. This tool is equipped with special LED annular illumination and a precisely defined sphere, the size of which determines the calibration value.

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