KeraTec®

Allow to measure and record the operating conditions of the production process of a product to ensure a future reproducibility by different manufacturing processes.

Inside the suite KeraTec® is a module dedicated to obtain the same product with different printers, inks, sizes, glazes, kilns, conditions and even different factories.

KeraTec® aims to:

  • Save time (hard proofing) and materials (inks, tiles, etc ...) understanding in advance what a model can create
  • Provide the user with objective data and numerical indications on the quality of the results and on the corrective actions to be taken
  • Monitoring of the process parameters through colorimetric measurement and mathematical elaboration
  • Create the digital Master reference of the product to guarantee a future reproduction also on different process
  • Guarantee the tone reproducibility over time and process evolution
  • Visual display of the same product at different illuminants
  • Digital recording of the chromatic parameters of a production process

KeraTec® was designed with the core scope of reproducing a ceramic tile quickly, simply and efficiently with a three phases approach:

  1. construction of the digital fingerprint of the product to be reproduced
  2. generation the mathematical modeling of the printing process
  3. creation of the printing equipment and evaluation of the results

Therefore, KeraTec® aims to:

  • Create the digital Master reference of the product to guarantee a future reproduction also on different process
  • Guarantee the tone reproducibility over time and process evolution
  • Visual display of the same product at different illuminants
  • Possibility to monitor the process stability through the measure of linearity and uniformity
  • Digital recording of the chromatic parameters of a production process

Master Creation

This is done when a product, produced on a specific production line, reach the correct tone so that in the future can be considered the Master willing to be reproduced.

Equipment files are read and analyzed to produce a special palette, called DiPS (Digital signature image process). The image of the DiPS is printed on one of the faces of the product, chosen by the operator, printed and cooked on the line during the normal process.

DiPS is thus the "digital signature" of the production batch.

the Measured DiPS allows to convert original equipment into a reference representation of the product itself. The master is by its nature independent from the production line and will be used when resuming production to automatically adjust printing equipment to changed operating conditions.

Process mathematical model

The Master generated is used when resuming production to automatically adapt the printing equipment files to the new process described by the mathematical model. The model is created with the help of a palette having the following functions:

  • measuring colorimetric data;
  • creating a database of measurements that will help determine the state of the process;
  • maintaining a constantly updated model of the production lines.


Figura 1: Linearity chart

When the production plan requires a new batch of products, the mathematical model of the proposed line is used together with the product Master.

Process measurements database

Extrapolating this information allow to know the productive process over time and to check where the process is not stable. This guarantee continuous and reliable data to look at in order to find a solution or to inspect the production line activities.

This is done by monitoring the process stability through the measure of linearity and uniformity

Immagine uniformità e linearità di diversi processi a confronto?


Figura 2: Uniformity chart


Figura 3: Process Linearity and compensation chart

Generation of new Printing file

When the Product Plan requires a new batch of an existing product, the operations are extremely simple and quick:

  1. Load the mathematical model of the chosen candidate line to produce
  2. Load the Master of the product
  3. Generation of the printing equipment binary files with the number of proper color planes

This procedure can be applied, and it is effective, either if the process is changed over time either if variable such as printers, inks, sizes, glazes, kilns, conditions and even different factories are changed.

The whole procedure is executed with a very user-friendly interface which guides the users up to the creation and saving of new equipment. Generated files are in TIF or PSD format, depending on the number of color planes, in the size that considers the retraction and correct resolution. If necessary files can be manipulated with the most popular graphics packets.

Reproducibility Objective evaluations

During the processing, the system proposes the digital evaluation in terms of similarity expressed as% of the image that can be reproduced exactly by the target process, and COVERAGE expressed as% of ink usage. The judgment is expressed also in an "analogue" manner, that is, with an icon whose coloring (GREEN = OK, RED = NOT PRODUCABLE, YELLOW = TO CHECK) expresses the evaluation of the software. The acceptability parameters that determine the thresholds and then the color of the icons are configurable.


Figura 4: Digital and objective evaluation

Support to decisions

The user has all the information and tools to support the decisions and action to be taken in every situation, for example: 

  • Look at the evaluation information and decide if the reproduction is acceptable or not
  • Change process model because the result is not acceptable 
  • Apply a modify to one or more variable of the process (ex. Ink, glaze, etc)
  • Proceed with the creation of production equipment

In the case of deciding to proceed with proof printing, KeraTec® user already has all the information to produce it, reading the different color planes to form the final image.

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