Can quality control at your print company prevent hickeys?

qualityHave you ever received your magazine, brochure or catalogue and been faced with images displaying small defects? If so these may well be hickeys.

Hickeys within print are defects caused by a particle of paper, paper dust or other source of debris attaching itself to the plate or blanket. If these particles repel ink, the hickeys are known as void hickeys, basically a “hole” in the image.

If the particles are ink-absorbent, they will pick up ink, and appear as a spot. In some cases, as the particle is raised from the plate, it stops the surrounding area from printing and then is known as a doughnut hickey.

Hickeys can, and mostly do, appear, and then work their way off the plate or blanket by themselves.

A print company with a quality control procedure in place will be continually pulling sheets from the press. These will be checked and signed by the operator.

Bearing in mind on a web machine such as the ones we operate, 60 linear miles of paper will pass through the machine in just one hour, by the time a press operator has walked the length of the machine to check a copy, many hundreds of sheets will have already passed through.

So, due to the nature of hickeys, and the fact that they can come and go quickly, even a print company with quality control systems won’t be able to check every sheet, but if a persistent problem occurs, a quality control system in place will mean the operator will stop the press to clean down.

Feel free to contact us if we can help with any questions relating to any quality or production matters, we’re always happy to help.

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