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Packaging manufacturer reduces waste in gravure printing

Data acquisition for troubleshooting and process improvement

Business benefits


Real-time monitoring

of the machine status


Immediate detection

of deviations


Overall data acquisition

and analysis of different control circuits



of tolerance variations

The Project

Gravure printing is used for print jobs with a high edition of usually more than 300,000 copies. With the increasing competition on the market, the packaging manufacturers are constantly striving to enhance the efficiency of their plants, especially to reduce the set-up times and the waste. For this purpose, it is important to know and analyze exactly the processes running on the machine.

A critical point in the printing process are the changes of the rolls that are done as flying roll changes at full production speed - appr. 50 times a day. On the reel at the end of the printing line, an empty winding tube is accelerated on a second rewinder, until the circumferential speed of the tube matches the speed of the chilling line. The empty tube is stuck to the chilling paper web. Simultaneously, the printed roll is cut and ejected.

When changing the rolls, the web tension is of special importance. The timing of acceleration of the shell, pressing and cutting must fit exactly. Fluctuations in web tension inevitably lead to a defective print image and hence waste that has been up to now always at 40 meters.

The Technology

Using the iba system, procedures and interactions, especially in the field of roll changes could be made visible and traceable. Optimizations in the hydraulics of the reel winding resulted in a considerable stabilization of the tension of the paper web. As a result, the waste is only 5 meters now.

iba Products


ibaBM - Field and Drive buses

The iba bus monitors make it possible to connect to different field bus and drive technologies.

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As the central core of the iba system, ibaPDA has proven itself as one of the most versatile data acquisition systems for maintenance and production for many years. Among the many powerful features of ibaPDA are asset-agnostic acquisition, high-speed synchronous archiving, and real-time streaming analytics.

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With a computer in the central server room, with ibaPDA-V6 measurement values are acquired and recorded. ibaPADU devices convert ±10-Volt signals that come directly from the sensors and from the register controls on the machine into digital measurement values. The Profibus-Sniffer ibaBM-DPM-S supplies data coming from the control of the machine. The register control of the gravure printing press is an autonomous control circuit. The analog signals of this control circuit are acquired time-synchronously with the data of the Profibus in ibaPDA. The analysis of the data showed that the adaptations in the hydraulics of the pressure roller ensured a better print image when changing the rolls. The waste could finally be reduced by 90%.

Explore how iba helps you to understand and master the growing technological complexity of automated processes and mechatronic systems