News & Events

Why buy GT controller

This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of Graph-Tech AG. Graph-Tech AG reserves the right to make changes and improvements which may not be reflected in this documentation. While reasonable efforts have been taken in the preparation of this document to assure its accuracy, Graph-Tech AG assumes no liability resulting from any errors in or omissions from this documentation or from the use of the information contained herein.

Revised August 10, 2006 by Markus Portmann. V2



  1. Introduction

1.1       Why shall we buy an Inkjet Controller from Graph-Tech ?

1.2       The questions, that you, as customer, should ask to a controller supplier

  • Functional description
  • Production lines
  • Inkjets
  1. Production lines

2.1       Production line (Standard)

2.2       Production line with Sync-points

2.3       Machines driven: saddle stitchers, binders, wrappers, etc.

  1. Periphery

3.1       Encoder

3.2       Photocell

3.3       Readers

3.4       Power supply

3.5       Mounting considerations

  1. System Options

4.1       Stacker control  (Feeder-Stop)

4.2       Reordering

4.3       Random Production

4.4       Matching Production

4.5       Top sheet printer

4.6       Preparation PC

4.7       Production on-line Planing (POP)

4.8       Selective control of feeders

4.9       Backup-PC

  1. Installation


  1. Introduction

Graph-Tech is a dedicated team of people that take great pride in designing “Everything from a basic Controller or Inkjet to a fully integrated printing system since 1989”. We probably are one of the most experienced people designing and manufacturing controllers. Now, we are also building DOD inkjets in black and 4 colors. We believe they are the most easy-to-use and reliable in the market because controller and inkjet work seamlessly.

The MIC is the successor of the MIC-QNX inkjet controller that has been installed 1’200 times and counting, in all continents, driving more than 30 inkjet types, on more than 20 different machines as the following:

  • Card machines like Datacard-Gavehren, Profold, Leibinger for which Graph-Tech defined the interface.
  • Saddlestitchers and Bindery lines from Müller Martini for which Graph-Tech defined the interface.
  • Polywrapper from SITMA, Buhrs und CMC for which Graph-Tech defined the interface.
  • Web und 3-D machines from Hunkeler and Ga-vehren.
  • Newspaper equipment from FERAG, Müller Martini and SITMA for which Graph-Tech defined the interface.
  • Envelopers from Bell & Howell.
  • Form machines from Bielomatik.
  • Paper feeders from Stahl and Böwe.
  • Many other machines

The MIC is a real-time, very compact PC-based control system designed for inkjet-imaging and personalization in the graphical and mailing industry. The MIC drives inkjets of virtually any manufacturer, prints top sheets on-line, enables selective gathering, and provides routing control for most production line and paperware transport equipment. Furthermore, it enables random and matching production by using cameras and barcode readers.

The MIC runs on Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system and is written in the language C and C++. Time critical routines are embedded in a special hardware. The software library has evolved into more than 4 million lines of code, written in different projects since 1989. This software, combined with a flexible hardware, allows fast changes to comply with many different machine configurations.

It is important to realize that the GT-MIC is much more than an inkjet controller, it is a product information manager. That is, it tracks products through machine and performs various data functions, not necessarily involving inkjets but e.g. scanners and readers, gates, capable of generating a multitude of reports needed by your customers.

1.1     Why should we buy an inkjet controller from Graph-Tech ?

  • The MIC is real Windows controller, not just a DOS application taken over to Windows like other controllers.
  • It drives inkjets from all major inkjet manufacturers
  • The MIC drives almost all inkjets. New types of inkjets are integrated continually. It avoids having different controllers for every inkjet.
  • The inkjet manufacturers usually control only own inkjets. There are even controllers that only drive inkjets of the same type, even though the same manufacturer manufactures other types!!!
  • Graph-Tech builds customer designed inkjet controllers
  • Graph-Tech`s is specialized in building inkjet controllers which are developed with the customer. Inkjet manufacturers concentrate on inkjets and inks; controllers are sold with a standard functionality which is unwillingly changed, since the software is written in many cases by outside companies.
  • Year long Know-how of Graph-Tech
  • The MIC runs successfully night and day on different machines in many countries (local languages).
  • Continuity: all software developers are shareholders of the company, thus long-term committed.
  • The Functionality (demographic selectivity, random, POP, reporting, etc.) of the MIC has no parallel
  • There is no controller that offers more functionality and runs on more types of machines than the MIC. Especially these functions are increasingly needed to serve printer’s customer needs.
  • Other controllers track books with PLCs every 10 inches, we always tracked a book by the millimeter giving us much more process control.
  • Reliability
  • Hardware failures are extremely low. Backup Options for time critical applications (newspapers) are available and tested.
  • The MIC bases on standard PC Technology which can be bought anywhere.
  • Synergies
  • Graph-Tech develops now inkjets too, we’ll make a symbiosis between the controller and inkjets.


1.2 The questions, that you, as customer, should ask to a controller supplier

  • How many installations do you have and in what countries ? Do you have engineers in the countries I operate ?
  • Does your Windows controller take advantage of all that Windows really offers ? I want to see my actual machine graphically. Have real WYSIWYG.
  • How many types of inkjets does your controller drive ? We do not want to spend more money if my customer wants to print with another inkjet (e.g. quality and price aspects).
  • Can we place the inkjet heads anywhere on our machine, e.g. one inkjet before the film tunnel, one after ? Do the addresses on the book match in every case ?
  • Why does your controller run Domino Bitjets with the old RS232 interface ? Why not with modern Ethernet ?
  • Can your controller accommodate to any data format ? My customers change their address preparation format and media (tapes, LAN, USB keys, etc.). Can I get my addresses from a computer network ?
  • How many types of machines can we run with your controller ? We do not want to buy a controller for every type of machine.
  • What is the maximum speed we can run with your controller ? Can I print up to 200´000 products an hour ( or 4 m/s) ?
  • Is your controller able to read automatically the machine distances by letting one product through the machine ? We do want to keep setup times low.
  • Do you have a security system ? We don’t want people reading the secret PIN numbers in the files.
  • By the way, can we fine adjust the print position whilst running the machine ? We do not want to stop the machine for this procedure, time is money.
  • Is your controller able to reproduce products that are lost on the production line ? Our customers want 100% delivery. Thus, can your controller provide me with a file protocol of produced products, I have to certify full delivery ?
  • Can I make my own reports ? I don’t want to call you every time a customer has a new reporting request.
  • Can we update your controller to perform demographic productions (every customer its book) at a later point of time ?
  • Can we change the sequence of production on-line ? The trucks can not be planned thoroughly and we first-come-first-serve. What is if one of three lines breaks down ?
  • Can we read a number and print the corresponding address with your controller ?
  • Put it all in a report with Date/Time stamp, operator, etc. ?
  • Can you read a number read from a carrier letter, read a number from a plastic card fed onto the product, follow the product 4 meters down the line, print the address and give me a report who got what number ?
  • Can we print on-line bundle or sack tickets with your controller ? We need this for postal purposes and do not want to be dependent on the computer department since the bundle height can not be established perfectly from the beginning.
  • How does your controller behave if there are sometimes bundles which are too small for the stacker cycle time ? Does it open the divert gate, or slows down the machine, or makes holes to compensate ?
  • Is our local language available ?
  • What do we do if the hard disk or the display fails ? Do you have a backup concept ?
  • Can your organization help me over the internet ? We do not want to wait and pay for service if it can be solved remotely.
  • Is there a printer with such a controller that we can pay a visit ? How many similar applications do you have in place?


1.3     Functional description

The main task of the MIC is to follow and monitor every product to be printed through the machine, while giving the machine and the inkjets the right information at the right time. Basically, a controller performs the task of synchronizing the information part (addresses) with the machine part (stitchers, stackers, etc).


The printing of the product itself is not responsibility of a controller, this is done by the inkjet. The MIC sends the information (what to print) and the moment (when to print). Furthermore, it checks by the inkjet feedback whether the inkjet has really printed or is defective. The quality (how to print) is dependent on the inkjet and its signals.

To follow a product on a production line, at least two electronic signals are needed: an encoder signal that gives the movement of the machine and a product signal from a photocell or initiator that gives the presence of the product.

The MIC administrates with these signals an internal shift register, that enables to provide the inkjets (and all other equipment) with the information and the trigger to print. This trigger is released after an adjustable number of pulses after the product signal has been sensed. Thus the inkjets can be placed anywhere on the line. Up to 4 different tracking lines can be synchronized (4 encoders).

With the same principle (X-pulses after a product passes the photocell, adjustable), the following 3 example signals are set from the MIC:

  1. Make a feeder feed a batch of cards
  2. Trigger a labeler
  3. Bundle end to the stacker
  4. Divert gate
  5. Feeder on/off, up-to 8 of them

The following requirements result from the above:

The encoder must give the “real” movement of the product. Thus the print position of the inkjet will not be exact, should the product be hold mechanically or have a shift.

The photocell must give the real (and fast) presence of a product on the production line. The Inkjet may print on no product (lost product), should the photocell signal randomly.

1.4     Inkjets

The MIC feeds the inkjets with the data to be printed and triggers them a number of pulses after the photocell: one trigger per product.

The MIC has the following standard configuration:

8 Trigger-Signals (NPN) for Inkjets, i.e. max. 8 Inkjets are possible, unless it is a special single jet application with up to 20 inkjets.

32 serial interfaces (RS232)

4 parallel interfaces (CENTRONICS)

As many Ethernet connections as you want

Every inkjet gets each a encoder signal that must reflect gives the „real“ movement of the product. This encoder must be chosen according to the inkjet manufacturer specification.

The MIC is capable of driving different inkjet types of different manufacturers. Now, it is possible that a controller made especially for that type of inkjet has a function that is not done in the MIC. Graph-Tech makes every effort to drive the inkjets as the manufacturers suggest, nonetheless, not all features are precisely documented.

The max. length of the machine is 64 meters, thus the inkjets can only be placed and controlled in this length. The maximum number of characters per address is given by the inkjet and the MIC itself has a maximum of 800 characters per address.

The MIC is able to drive up to 8 inkjets. Note that this does not mean 8 inkjets of any manufacturer, since the inkjets put some constraints on the controller. For example a maximum of 3 Jetarrays, 4 Videojet PrintPros/SR50 can be driven from the same controller, but another 4 Scitex 5240 can be added to make 8, which is the absolute maximum.

Important to note is also that the MIC is able to drive inkjets of different manufacturers and this with one controller ! Thus, a Bitjet can be combined with a Scitex 5240. Possible configurations:

  • 8 GT-Jet 64
  • 8 GT-Jet 72
  • 4 GT-Jet 64-200 CYMK
  • 8 Bitjets
  • 2 Magnetic Encoders from Magtek
  • 3 DOMINO Jetarray or JetarrayHR
  • 4 Domino SOLO 5/5 or A400 (8 heads)
  • 4 Leibinger jet 2
  • 8 Videojet Excel 170i (8 heads)
  • 4 Videojet Excel 270G (8 heads)
  • 4 Videojet PrintPro, SR50 or SR25
  • 4 Scitex 5240
  • 2 Imaje Mailjet or S8
  • 4 Videojet SR50 and 4 Videojet Excel 170i
  • 6 Bitjet and 2 Videojet 9416
  • 4 Videojet SR50 and 4 Scitex 5240
  • 4 Scitex 5240 and 4 A400
  • 2 Scitex and 2 Videojet 9416 (note that both are driven through CENTRONICS)

Another point is that since the MIC is based on PC technology, it is able to use the interfaces a PC provides. Unfortunately, some inkjet manufacturers have chosen a variety of non-standard interfaces that have to be added to the MIC in order to drive their inkjets. Find below the interfaces provided as standard in a MIC:

  • 2 RS232 (asynchron serial interfaces)
  • 4 CENTRONICS (parallel interface)


The following inkjets feature non-standard interfaces, thus provisions have to be taken:

  • Videojet PrintPro, SR25/SR50 needs a link interface from Videojet

Imaje Mailjet                           needs a synchron card from Graph-Tech

  1. Production lines

The MIC can be used on almost any paper transport equipment by just placing photocells and encoders, and having the output signals connected to inkjets, readers and a plethora of equipment like stackers, feeders, divert gates, etc.

Controllers track products but most track only with photocells or PLCs, the MIC tracks by the millimeter and now even by 1/5 of millimeter. It is done by a proprietary tracker card especially developed for it. There is no other controller in the market as integrated as this.

2.1     Production Line (Standard)


  •      One Photocell and one encoder are mounted on the machine. This is usually enough for simpler applications.
  •      The inkjets can only be placed there where the encoder gives the “real” movement of the product, i.e. until the stacker entrance. In short, if the machine is driven 10 cm, all machine parts should have moved the same 10 centimeters in any case, otherwise the inkjets will not print correctly and with due quality since only one encoder and one photocell have been mounted.
  •      The reader may be a barcode scanner or a reader and is triggered by the MIC. All results are processed in real-time back in the controller to do verification and report logs to guarantee 100% quality.
  •      The stacker can only be driven if it has shift register that follows the product from the entrance to the forks. This is important since many stackers run even though the machine has stopped. Special considerations have to be taken to handle this case.
  •      Similarly, the pockets and the divert gate must be placed on machine parts that run synchronously with the encoder since the MIC sets signals X pulses after a photocell has detected a product.


2.2     Production line (Sync points)



A sync point is a place in the machine where products are checked for existence since they may have been shifted or lost before that point. This enables for example the controller to correct the position of the inkjet printing or to immediately make a reorder of the lost product.

This is only possible if a product does not move more than half a product length which is more than enough in good machines.

A sync point is set by entering the distance between the zero pulse and the sync point photocell. The sync point window is usually half a product long. Thus, X pulses after the zero pulse, the product should be at the sync point and this is checked for half a product.

Why Sync Points ?

On long machines it happens that products are held back or even lost whilst passing the different elements of the machine (e.g. film tunnel, stitcher, cutter, etc.). A controller must notice this by still printing at the right position and reordering the lost products.

Thus, sync points simply make up for machine tolerances !!!

Asynchronous machine parts must be handled specially with the MIC, for example by placing more encoders and photocells. You detect such machine parts by keeping an eye on parts that still move while the machine has already stopped. 

2.3     Machines: saddle stitchers, binders, wrappers, etc.

Many machine types can be driven with the MIC, with the same software !!!  The software allows object selection to comply with almost any configuration.

The following types of machines have been driven, with inkjets or without (camera applications), please check also application sheets:

Cards:              Datacard CPST line, Profold line, Cheshire, Leibinge

Saddle Stitchers:

TEMPO (with monics) from Müller Martini: inkjets, reorder, stacker, gates

PRIMA from Müller Martini: inkjet and stacker

300 and 301 from Müller Martini: inkjet and stacker

It shall be noted here that some machine manufacturers (e.g. Heidelberg and Müller Martini) have come up with intelligent interfaces. These interfaces just receive over a serial interface the makeup of the book (feeder information), whether it is a reordered book, whether it is the last book of a bundle, etc. The advantage of using these interfaces are so great that one wonders why they were not there before:

  • No one knows the behavior of its machine better than the manufacturer itself. So why should an inkjet controller drive directly a machine pocket ?
  • The machine and the inkjet controller is installed much faster as a whole since feeder cabling (and testing) is done in the factory, not on the customer site. How much does cost an installation on site ?
  • The responsibility of making a good book is clearly given. Remember the times when the machine manufacturer put the blame on the controller manufacturer and viceversa ?
  • The setup of the machine is done just by passing 2 books through the whole machine. All the distances are set automatically, no input of measured distances.


Binders:           Corona from Müller Martini: inkjet, stacker and top sheet printing

Wrappers:        SITMA (signal and serial interface): inkjets, stacker, holes, reorder, top sheets

CMC (signal interface): inkjets, stacker, reorder, top sheets

Buhrs (signal and serial interface): selectivity, inkjets, stacker, reorders

Web:                Collator from Bielomatik: asynchronous control of inkjets

Hunkeler: reading a card and addressing the envelope


Newspapers:    PKL (3rd bending) from FERAG: inkjets, stacker

direct on chain from FERAG-LCC: inkjet

SITMA finishing line: inkjets, production on-line planing and top sheet


Müller finishing line: inkjets, production on-line planing

Thorsted finishing line: inkjet, hole and stacker control


Enveloper:       Printstar from Bell & Howell: reading a code and printing the the address

Couvertec: reading a code and printing the address

Kirkrudy: comparing system, form to card



  1. Periphery

3.1     Encoder

The encoder signal must reflect the true movement of a product through the machine. Any shift will result in worse print quality.

The 4 input optocouplers of the MIC handle frequencies up to 200 KHz. The type and gearing of the encoder depends on the inkjet. The input can handle NPN or PNP signals. We expect encoders to be shielded and have square signals that go from 24 VDC to 0.

The encoder signal to the system and to the inkjets may be divided from 1 to 60. The print-go is usually set to an accuracy of 1 mm.  For machines that may drive backwards, a suitable encoder with A and B 90° signals must be mounted. The MIC includes a backlash compensation.

The encoder is the movement sensor of a system. Together with the photocells, they represent the eyes of an inkjet controller.

3.2     Photocell

The photocell should only signal when there is really a product. Thus, we usually recommend reflector photocells. Photocells must be mounted at least 200 cm (100 inch) before the printing or reading device. Depending on the speed, even more.

The input can handle NPN or PNP signals. We expect photocells to react in less that 1/10 of a millisecond and have signals that go from 24 VDC to 0.

The photocell is the product sensor of a system. Up to 1’024 products in the machine can be tracked with the MIC.

3.3     Readers

Until now, GT has implemented links to the following kind of readers:

  • Barcode readers: sick, datalogic, etc.
  • OCR readers: Videk, Axode, Lenze, etc.
  • Magnetic readers: Magtek, Omron, 509, etc.
  • RFID readers: Sokymat

Readers are used to check the quality of printing, to perform read & print applications, print & verify, and many more. All readers communicate through RS232 with the controller, most reader tie in flawlessly into the software and are triggered by the controller in order to guarantee proper tracking and identification.

Most important, anything read with those readers can be used to combine information into a report file that your customer needs.

3.4     Power supply

The MIC shall get a power supply from an independent computer power supply of 10 A and 220 VAC/50 Hz or 20 A and 110 VAC/60Hz. The power supply cables shall not be put besides cables of other machines to avoid electro-magnetic interferences. Furthermore, customers must be aware that dirty power supply may call for special filtering equipment not included in quotes.

The MIC provides 24 VDC power supply for encoders and photocells.

3.5     Mounting considerations

All equipment linked to the MIC shall be mounted isolated from the production line to avoid interference from the production line. The earth cable shall not have more than 100 Ohm resistance towards the earth reference.

  1. System Options

4.1     Stacker control  (Feeder-Batching)

The stacker is controlled by means of a stacker end character in every record of the supplied address file. This character must always be placed in the same place in the record. Basically, the MIC is able to handle fixed length record or delimited text/records. For more information consult the data preparation manuals.

It is important to know the type and characteristics of the stacker to be driven. Very important is to know whether the bundle break must be given at the entry point of a product into the stacker or just before the products fall into the stacking unit. In the second case, an encoder and a photocell must be mounted by the manufacturer to track the product inside the stacker.

Common stackers are driven either by signals (Exit, turn, compensate, etc.) or through a serial interface. The MIC drives the following stackers:

RIMA (used by Heidelberg, Buhrs, etc.)

Müller Martini (CS series, Rapido, etc.)



Stackers are capable of making compensated bundles at a certain speed. Therefore, the question is always what minimum bundles a stacker can handle without falling into this time constraint. For example, if a machine produces 4 products a second (14’400 p/h) and the stacker is able to make a bundle in 2 seconds, then the smallest bundle must contain at least 8 products.

To cope with stacker constraints handling small bundles without losing net production, the following options are available in the MIC:

  • Slow down: the machine is told by a signal to slow down its speed during a small bundle period for small bundles do not come all the time.
  • Holes: the main feeder is stopped to allow for the stacker to handle small bundles in time.
  • Fill to min: the bundle is compensated with products without address to make up for bundles lower than the minimum.
  • Divert min: small bundles are put through a divert gate before the stacker.

An increasingly used “bundling method” is feeder batching. In this mode, there is no stacker but a conveyor belt. The controller will pause the feeder for every bundle break, the person at the conveyor sees complete bundles and can dispose the products into bags or sleeves.

4.2     Reordering

As all printers well know, during production it happens that products do not reach  the end of the machine (not stitched, operator had to take the out) or get destroyed in the stacker. The problem is that the operator will not stop the machine for every product that gets damaged because that would lower output. What to do in these cases ?

Automatic reorder

So, if the printer wants to guarantee 100% delivery, he must have a reorder function that is usually done by placing a photocell at the end of the machine. The MIC will check that every product passes this photocell. Products that are lost before will be automatically reordered (reproduced) with the next possible machine tact. To have the reordered products separated from the normal products (postal bundling !!!), the reordered products get an identification (3 R’s besides the address) and are let through a divert gate at the end of the machine (if there is one at all, otherwise it makes a small bundle).

With machines that communicate immediately that a product was lost (e.g. Müller Martini), the MIC will reorder the product immediately.

Reordered products get accounted for in a statistic file to inform the postal authorities.

On-line remake

What if the machine has no reorder photocell and the operator wants to produce a single book or a single bundle that was destroyed after the stacker ?

He inputs the record number of the product or the bundle number at the MIC and they will be produced with the next possible production tact.

Off-line remake

What if the machine has no reorder photocell and the operator saves all the lost products until the end to be reproduced ?

He inputs the record number of the product or the bundle number at the MIC and they will be put in a remake file in the same format as the original data.

4.3     Random Production

In a normal production, books are addressed in the sequence given by the address file. In random production, products are addressed depending on a preprinted code, that is in the sequence of a book, a credit card, or whatever coded product.

To produce in a random mode, the address file must be indexed with the code expected to be read. Of course, this code must be in the address file supplied and must be unique.

In this production mode, you can actually pass the same product many times through the production line, it will be printed again and again with the same record.

4.4     Matching Production

In some cases, customers want to ensure the 100% quality of print and delivery.

The questions that arise are:

  • Is the inkjet printing what it is supposed to print on each and every product ?
  • Is the inkjet in sync with the magnetic reader ?
  • If I am feeding personalized products on to already personalized products. Do they match ?

The quality control is achieved with readers that are triggered from the controller.

The process has several steps, each step may happen simultaneously, that is product 100 may be entering the line, while product 20 is being read:

  • The Operator selects data that he wants to check with a reader.
  • The controller detects a product entering the production line and starts tracking it.
  • The controller makes the inkjet print by means of a trigger pulse and data.
  • The controller makes the reader read by means of a trigger, it expects the data within a period of time.
  • The controller compares (matches) the received text with the text that was supposed to be printed.
  • The controller marks the product as good or bad depending on the matching.
  • The controller keeps track of the products to be reordered, logs results, etc.


4.5     Top sheet or Label printer

You can print labels for card sleeves or top sheets for newspapers on the fly with the MIC controller. For that, you just need to connect a label printer and have a containing the information to be printed on the labels or top sheets.

That is, you don’t have to do that anymore in the back-office or buy them. You can print them right there while the regular products are being produced !

Implemented Printers:

  1. Datamax (DPL)
  2. Printronix
  3. Sato
  4. Kyocera
  5. TEC
  6. Markem-Cimjet


4.6     Preparation PC

For people that want to prepare jobs in a central place, the preparation PC offers the same software as it runs on the lines on the factory floor. You can prepare and even simulate all jobs off-line, saving valuable setup time at the machines.

4.7     Production on-line Planing (POP)

It is known that the sequence of production is normally given by the sequence the addresses are stored in the address files. That is you will produce from address 1 to the last address and from bundle 1 to the last bundle, everything in the sequence they were stored.

Now, especially in newspaper productions, it is often wanted to change the order of production according to so called distribution routes (usually done by trucks) because some trucks may be delayed, while others are already waiting. Another possibility is that Editions change with latest news and the newspaper management wants them to go to some region (serviced again by trucks) or that the address preparation department has made an error in the sequence. The most important case is when there are three finishing lines working at night and one line breaks (machine, inkjet, or even controller): what to do with the products scheduled for that line ? à you assign them to lines that are working, with POP without having to stop the production !!!

That is, with POP, you will be able to change the production order from a central computer any time you want, which is a MUST in automatized production lines.

You can figure out POP by looking at a production snapshot with the following production table: 3 production lines here.

You see from the above that there are 2 editions (A and B)  and 9 truck routes:

  • Line 01 and 03 are producing their first route. By the way, the operator has put the route 2 on line 1 on skip because he knows that truck 02 will come 1 hour later, i.e. POP will go to route 03 after finishing route 1.
  • Line 02 already produced its first route and is on the second

Now, let’s assume that line 3 breaks down and the operator has to shift the route to line 1. SO he will move for example route 7 to line 1.

The operator may even reproduce Edition B route 04 by changing its status from Produced to waiting and putting it after route 05.

There are many possibilities with POP because the operator can do the following with every table row:

  • Shift rows, i.e. in one machine or to other machines
  • Change the Status of every row
  • Produced
  • Skip
  • Waiting to be produced

All these presupposes that the address files come with the needed information needed like:

  • Edition
  • Truck route or truck number
  • Any index you want to sort your data with


4.8     Selective control of feeders

You can control different kind of feeders with the MIC controller and perform selective or demographic productions, makes a pocket feed on a product if the data calls for that signature resulting in a book that might be different for every subscriber. Inhibits feeding (called down-stream inhibit) when one pocket did not feed correctly. Thus, every customer gets its own book depending on the book code type defined by marketers and contained in the data file.

The functionality is briefly described in keywords below:

  1. 8 print stations, 200 fields of print, 50 pockets, 255 BCT or 250 combinations for demographic gathering & inserting.
  2. Scaleable configurations.
  3. Real time update of statistics (productivity by shift or operator, downtime by device, statistics of pockets and signatures, sensor).
  4. Off line job setup and simulation.
  5. Automatic pocket phasing.
  6. 3 shaft encoders: gathering chain, print station after trimmer
  7. Pocket control: miss-/double-feed, sword. Jam detection. Automatic pocket phasing.
  8. Serial interface to Heidelberg and Muller machines.
  9. Stacker control: fill to minimum, divert small, split stack, complete stack.
  10. Gate control: bad books, quality books, reorder books.
  11. Trigger labeler.
  12. Print inside/outside. Later in the pocket.
  13. Check a simple caliper (thickness between minimum/maximum)
  14. Drive all kind of inkjets: Bitjet, Jetarray, A series, K series, PrintPro, SR50, BX600, Kodak- Centronics, Mailjet
  15. Reorder product as soon as detected false.
  16. Dynamic order entry.
  17. Established data formats: fixed length , VIP formats, Jetstream. Later SE-125/163.
  18. Options: marquee display, paper label control, read & print, camera matching


4.9     Backup-PC

For time-critical applications like in the newspaper industry, Graph-Tech offer a full-backup PC because nobody wants to read today’s newspaper tomorrow.

With the turn of a switch, a backup PC takes over all functions allowing you to produce even in the event of a hard disk crash or another issue with the regular controller.

  1. Installation

The following installation times are thumb rules based on experience. Training not included as it depends on the degree of familiarity of the operators. The more complex the system, the longer the installation. This Complexity is given by the following:

  • Sequential production: 3 days
  • Number of inkjets: ½ day per inkjet
  • Number of feeders: ¼ day per feeder
  • Other table with encoder and product detect: 1 day
  • Stacker: ½ day
  • Read-and-print or matching: 1 day
  • POP: 5 days

General assumptions:

  • The machine is available for installation, tests, and training.
  • Test products are available.
  • Photocells and encoders are properly mounted.
  • Inkjets, stackers, and all equipment works and have the right firmware
  • All signal and data cables are available
  • The customer has address files available and prepared to specifications
  • The operators know basic Windows or PC handling

A final installation time can only be forecasted when the following information is given accurately:

  • Machine specifications: type, speed, product rate.
  • Machine drawing with inkjet positions.
  • Stacker specifications: type, speed, product rate.
  • A description of what happens to a product while getting through the machine.
  • Consideration of different speeds in different machine sections