by Lara Copeland, contributing editor

American International Machinery/Signature Folder Gluers (AIM), a family-owned business based in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, offers a wide-range of products and services for the paperboard and corrugated converting industry. The AIM team provides customizable equipment options specific to the needs of its customers, including a total solution for the new and used equipment needs of the folding carton industry. The company also established the Signature Folder-Gluers brand as a converting option focusing on versatility and affordability for packaging companies. Recently AIM and EyeC-America, St. Charles, Illinois, partnered to develop the SIG-CHECK print inspection system.

“Designed for most makes and models of folder-gluers,” AIM Managing Director Kevin Koplin said, “the system inspects for all relevant print defects anywhere on the carton.”

The SIG-CHECK can be paired with a converter’s existing folder-gluer, offering a flexible design to roll up to the front of the machine. Additionally, an inline module is offered and installed directly on a Signature Folder-Gluer. Scanning starts with the very first carton. The gluer’s ejection device removes any flawed carton that is identified.

“This eliminates defective product prior to being shipped out to customers,” Koplin continued. “All without slowing down production.”

With superior quality control, businesses can increase their service offerings to current customers and target new markets, especially those that require stricter standards for their cartons. “The ability to easily add an elevated level of quality control to existing equipment allows users to work with customers like those in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries,” he noted. Furthermore, the operator will find the system “extremely easy to use, requiring only an approved PDF proof that is loaded into the system.”

After the PDF file has been loaded into the system, all future runs can be loaded automatically by scanning the barcode that is printed on the cartons, eliminating the chance for an incorrect or out-of-date file to be used. The PDF can include information layers to automatically set up the inspection area, as well as high- and low-priority regions; automatic cropping to the die lines; automatically masking printing that is outside the diecut pattern or on the flaps; areas where color checking is critical or other priority areas.

Unveiled at the Odyssey Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, last May, the SIG-CHECK generated much interest because of the high demand for accurate and quality cartons. The SIG-CHECK is appealing to customers for many reasons.

“With its versatility and affordability, more packaging printers are able to offer this service to their customers,” Koplin said. More customers are investing in print inspection units because they offer advances, like scanners running at high speeds and the associated price reductions.

Available options include color monitoring and 1D or 2D code reading. The SIG-CHECK print inspection system is available globally, with sales provided by AIM in Canada, the US and Mexico. Both AIM and EyeC can perform needed services depending on the issue.

Technical details:

The roll up module length is 7.8′ (2,400 mm). The inspection width varies from 16.53″ (420 mm) with a resolution of 244 dpi to 25.98″ (660 mm) with a resolution of 158 dpi. The smallest detectable defect is 0.008″ (0.21 mm) at 16.53″ width to 0.013″ (0.31 mm) at 25.98″ width. Operating speeds up to 1,312 ft/m (400 m/m).