Ricoh has introduced a Pro Scanner option for its VC6000 and VC70000 web-fed digital presses that uses artificial intelligence techniques to improve print quality and consistency.

The Pro Scanner Option uses 600dpi scanners and a dedicated control unit to gain a ‘near real time’ view of the print process by capturing and analysing pages as they pass through on the web. It analyses print samples, effectively enabling the press to self-assess and make corrective decisions without operator input. It also simplifies operation via a number of prepress checks that include jet-out detection, verification of ink density and checking of both front-to-back and page-to-page registration checking. A further option allows checking of printed page against submitted files, with automatic correction of some issue or highlighting of errors that require operator intervention.

The system’s SmartStart capabilities also include the ability to automate time-consuming tasks such as printhead cleaning and other press preparation tasks, by scheduling them to run when they best fit in with workflow and production demands. It measures the results of the task, noting how they differ in method and outcome from previous runs and ‘learning’ over time to improve them from the accumulated experience.

‘Today’s advances in vision systems play a huge role in digital transformation and workflow optimisation, and Ricoh’s innovative technologies continue to be at the heart of that,’ said Clive Stringer, director, continuous feed and high end software sales, Ricoh Europe. ‘So much of what we do at Ricoh comes from our experiences and our clients, and we then incorporate that knowledge into our R&D programme. Our Pro Scanner Option accelerates and automates that process directly inside of users’ printers, so clients can deliver the sustained improvement they need for steady business growth. And with the addition of AI and ML [machine learning], the feedback loop is continuous.”