The published articles are meant to primarily educate the students in printing to supplement their knowledge in the field of Printing. These are not simple Glossary of printing terms, but to the extent possible every term has been explained in brief so that it can be of some use to the students who appear in some sort of examinations and interviews.
I served the Printing Industry for over 40 years
in various capacities, a major part in an Security Printing Organization. In order not to waste the printing and paper related knowledge which I gained over years, I decided to keep them in public domain for the reason stated in prepara. Most of the illustrations - over 90% - have been generated by me to explain the terms suitably.
While I am not sure to what extent the published content will help, if the content is going to be of use to some one in some manner, I will be greatly satisfied.
Your views may be sent to me ( for my record and correction wherever needed.



- Over 400 terms-

Click on this line to read from 'A'

Friday, November 30, 2012

Enterprise Resource Planning

(Enterprise Resource Planning
for Material  inventory control

( Written by  N. R. Jayaraman )


The ERP called Enterprise Resource Planning is one of the very useful tools in many organizations to integrate external as well as internal data pertaining to the productive programme of the organization that desires to establish ERP to centralize the databases and functions of every department in a single system.
However the ERP will be very useful tool in respect of Stores inventory and spare parts management in large organizations which has more than one unit in various parts of the country producing the same product with same or similar type of machines. The purpose of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between the units and to centralize the purchases effectively to have better control on inventory. An properly programmed ERP software can integrate all facets of the operation to give the best available data to the users in all the points of operation. With proper use of ERP, the organizations can decrease their losses and increase their profits.
Even though several reputed firms have developed ready to use ERP software modules, depending on the size of the organization and need, the ERP software modules can be got developed to suit the requirement of the organization. Let us see how the ERP can be more useful in an organization that is engaged in productive activity with same set of machines installed in different locations.
Let us assume for example a printing plant functioning in four locations (A, B, C and D Units) and engaged in the process of printing four to five sets of labels for a mass selling consumer product. Each day the units print around four to five million labels in each unit. Each unit has five to six printing machines supported by many auxiliary machines. There are twenty separate departments that need to be catered with the spare parts, consumables and other items of say one thousand varieties to process the printed material including that of packing. Every year the plant procures several thousand reams of paper, spare parts for the maintenance of the machines, consumables, stationery and other items required for the day to day activities of the press and for the functioning of the organization including the administration.
Can the ERP be made more simpler and effective? The task will not be easy to begin with, but once the dressing is well done, then the system will flow smoothly to meet the requirement. Let us analyze how it can be done, what information can be generated and how it will be useful ?
........To be continued next week

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


( Written by  N. R. Jayaraman)

Every Supply order or Contract placed for the supply or import of Goods is covered by certain conditions vide the contracts. One of the conditions that govern the terms of supply is the delivery term. The mode of delivery, especially when goods are imported are governed by certain internationally accepted terms such as FOB, FAS, CIF and so on. What are the terms and why are they important ? That is spelled out in INCOTERM. How many of you know what is meant by INCOTERM ? INCOTERM is abbreviation of International Commercial terms. This term governs the Sales and Purchase practices, and form part of any standard Contract or Supply Orders. The INCOTERMS is revised every ten years and are internationally accepted terms which has been compiled in deference to the spirit of 1980 UN Convention on Contracts for International sale of goods. The latest has been published in the year 2010. The INCOTERMS are series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) widely used in international commercial transactions. Remember one thing before you read further. The INCOTERM is not law, but set of standard commercial practices adhered to around the world and when form part of the supply order or a contract it becomes a binding for both the parties and become basis for arbitration in cases of disputes. 

Each term in INCOTERM specifies:
  • The obligations for services such as transport, import and export clearance, duty, documentation cost etc of the Supplier and the Buyer.
  • The point of transportation from where the risk and cost transfers from the Seller to the Buyer
So by understanding the INCOTERM and properly incorporating it into the Supply Orders or Contracts , both the Seller and the Buyer will be relieved of unnecessary disputes and litigation in the event of loss, damage or other mishap to the goods from the time of supply to the receipt of the goods.
The INCOTERM only interprets the terms of delivery and states the obligations of the Purchaser and the Supplier in respect of the goods procured. They apportion transportation costs and responsibilities associated with the delivery of goods between Buyers (importers) and Sellers (exporters) and reflect modern-day transportation practices. The INCOTERM rules are accepted by governments, legal authorities and practitioners worldwide for the interpretation of most commonly used terms in international trade. They are intended to reduce or remove altogether uncertainties arising from different interpretation of the rules in different countries.
The INCOTERM does not interfere with the specifications of the material in any manner. This term plays vital role when the goods are imported. One of the awkward position which can some time arise in the Contract relating to the importation of goods is the non-performance of the obligation of the Seller/Buyer due to export and import prohibition, unforeseen an unavoidable impediments beyond both of their control. The INCOTERM enable the parties to understand the meaning of key words like FCA, FOB and CIF terms which are commonly used in any contract. Once both the parties understand the terms and its implication, there would be no misunderstanding.
How does the INCOTERM help the purchaser and the Seller? In case of the loss of the Goods, theft , damage during transit , it will be easy to claim the insurance, Customs or excise duties levied etc.

The INCOTERM is divided into four groups such as :

1. GROUP ‘E’:

EXW - meaning Ex-works.

2. Group 'F':

(a) FCA - meaning free carrier.
(b) FAS - meaning free along side ship.
(c) FOB - meaning free on board

3. Group 'C':

(a) CFR - meaning cost and freight.
(b) CIF - meaning cost insurance and freight.
(c) CPT - meaning carriage paid to.
(d) CIP – meaning carriage and insurance paid to.

4. Group 'D':

(a) DAF - meaning delivered at frontier.
(b) DES - meaning delivered ex-ship.
(c) DEQ - meaning delivered ex-quay.
(d) DDU - meaning delivered duty unpaid.
(e) DDP - meaning delivered duty paid.

1. EXW (Ex-Works) :- Ex works in effect means the goods are taken possession by the Buyer at the doorstep of the Seller. This thus takes away all the responsibilities of the Seller from that point. However where the export order is placed, even though the Sellers liability ends at their door step, by contractual arrangement, the Seller takes the liability of freight worthy packing, and forwarding through appropriate carrier at the risks and additional cost of the Buyer provided this clause is agreed upon in the Contract even though the Seller is not obligated to do so. However clearing the goods for export and arranging the import license if needed lies with the Buyer who can authorize appropriate agencies to do the job. The Seller must give the Buyer sufficient notice as to when the goods can be made available at the agreed or chosen delivery point so that the Buyer can make preparations in time to take delivery after inspection.
2. FOB ( Free on Board) :- This is one of the most commonly used term for the supply of goods. The Seller clears the goods for export and delivers them in the named port of shipment from where the goods will be either shipped by some Vessel or carried by an Aircraft. All other costs including insurance and transportation involved from the point of shipment is born by the Buyer even if the Seller in the foreign country assists the Buyer in getting the job done through appropriate agencies by charging additional and actual cost involved for movement of men and material. Normally every country has authorized forwarding agencies for clearing the goods meant for Governmental organizations who can be contacted for undertaking the said job.
3. FCA ( Free Carrier) :- Free carrier means that the Seller delivers the goods, after clearing them for export. The goods are delivered at the Carrier nominated by the Buyer at a named place of shipment. The Seller must obtain at his own risk and expense any export license or any other official authorization required to carry out Customs formalities as may be necessary for the export of goods from the place of exportation and chooses the Carrier for shipment. The Seller is also not responsible for the insurance and the cost is borne by the Buyer. Once the goods are delivered to the Carrier, from that point all the costs are borne by the Buyer. The term may be used for all modes of transport including multimodal Transport to the point of named place.
4. FAS ( Free Alongside Ship) :- This term is used only for Sea Freight or inland waterway transport. In these transactions, the Buyer bears all the transportation costs and the risk of even loss of goods and therefore make necessary arrangements for proper insurance from the point of freight. FAS requires the Seller to clear goods for export. In the case of FAS Contracts, the Seller arranges to clear the Goods for export through the freight agencies which arrange for the insurance and transportation of goods to the placement of loading. They will however not bear the cost of even loading and from the said point and all the risks and cost including the cost of loading and insurance will be to the account of the Buyer only even though the forwarding agent may raise the bill and submit for payment.
5. CFR (Cost and Freight ):- This term applies to goods sent by Sea or Inland waterway transportation at suppliers place. The Seller is responsible to get goods from their factory to the port of destination. Port of destination is to be clearly specified in the contracts. For example it may be CFR Frankfurt, CFR Berlin and so on even if the Sellers factory is somewhere in Washington. Their responsibility ceases once the ship moves out of the rails as the concept of delivery is accomplished up to this point. The Seller pay for the costs of freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination. The risk of loss or damage to the goods or any other additional costs due to events occurring due to natural calamities after the ship leaves the rail at the port of shipment is transferred from the seller to the Buyer. The seller is also responsible for the clearance of goods for export.
6. CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight):- This term in all respects is similar to CFR, but in addition puts the responsibility of the Insurance on the Seller. But the Sellers Insurance is limited to the port of destination where the goods will be loaded. Also once the goods are loaded on to the ship the responsibility of the Seller ceases and gets transferred to the Buyer even if the ship has not moved out of the Rails.
7. CPT (Carriage Paid To) :- Most of the operative part in this transaction is similar to CIF. The risk of loss or damage to the goods, additional costs due to any other events occurring after the goods have been delivered to the carrier is transferred from the Seller to the Buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the first carrier in multi modal transportation. The Seller pay for the costs of freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination but is not responsible for procuring insurance. The term may be used for any mode of transport including multimodal transport by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes.
8. CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To):- This term is mainly meant for multimodal transportation of the goods. The Seller is responsible for the transportation costs associated with delivering goods and procuring minimum insurance coverage to the named place of destination.
9. DAF (Delivered At Frontier):- DAF means the Seller clears for export and delivers the goods at the disposal of the Buyer by any means of transport at the named point and piece at the frontier but before the Customs Border of the adjoining country. However the clearance from that point including that of import license etc is the responsibility of the Buyer. The Seller bear all the cost involved up to this point and thereafter once the goods are transferred into another transport the cost incurred will be to the account of the Buyer.
10. DES (Delivered Ex Ship):- DES means the Seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the Buyer on board the Ship not cleared for import at the named Port of Destination. The term can be used only when the goods are to be delivered by sea or inland waterway or multi-model transport on a Vessel at the Port of Destination. The Seller must contract at his own expense for the carriage of goods to the named point at the named port of destination. The cost of the documents necessary for the importation will be on Buyer's account.
11. DEQ (Delivered ex-quay):- Delivered Ex-quay means the Seller’s responsibility remains when the goods transported by sea or inland waterway is discharged from a vessel on to the quay (landing platform) at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the named waft (landing platform) of destination even if it means multi modal transportation. The cost of documents will also be to the account of the Seller. This term can be used only when the goods are to be delivered on to the quay in the port of destination.
12. DDP (Delivered Duty Paid):- This term is used on the goods delivered on emergency basis or small goods delivered through Postal means or by Courier. The Seller is responsible for the delivery at the Buyers premises all charges including Duty paid based on a letter of intend based on faxed quotation. The Buyer will regularize the Contract later based on the faxed quotation. While Ex works terms represents the minimum obligation to the Seller, the Delivered duty paid term represents the maximum obligation to the Seller.
13. DDU (Delivered Duty Un Paid):- This term is used on the goods delivered on emergency basis or small goods delivered through Postal means or by Courier based on a letter of intend based on faxed quotation. However it is the duty of the Buyer to get the goods cleared from the Customs by payment of duty. The Buyer will regularize the Contract later based on the faxed quotation. The Buyer has to bear the responsibility for carrying out the Customs formalities, Customs duties, payment formalities and other charges involved for import in the country of destination.
The next important thing to be noted is the type of documents which may be required for importing the goods. They are:
1. Bill of Lading:- For sea freight or multi-modal transport. It is a transferable document allowing the Buyer to even sell the goods while in transit by transferring the documents at any rate.
2. Multi-mode transport document:- This document is meant when the goods are transported by at least two different modes of transport such as Air and Sea or Air and Road or Sea and Road etc.
3. Sea Way Bill: - Used for transit by sea and known by different names like nonnegotiable Bill of Lading, Cargo Key Receipt etc.
4. Mate's Receipt:- Document providing proof of delivery to a carrier meant for Sea transit and given instead of Bill of Lading.
5. Airway Bill:- Meant for dispatching  by air.
6. Consignment Note:- Meant for dispatch of goods by land.
7. Warehouse Warrant:- Transferable document used when goods are to be collected by the Buyer from the Warehouses.
8. Freight Forwarder's Documents:- Document meant for goods dispatched by sea, air, land or multi- modal transport to identify whether the Forwarder has undertaken responsibility of the carriage.
9. Packing List.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Print Inspection systems

Print Inspection systems
 (Written by N.R. Jayaraman )

Multi color printing for high value brand products and any other printed material inbuilt with elements of designs with some security features call for defect free printing. Print material such as International magazines for Airlines, high quality advertising material, Brand promotional publicity material etc too require defect free printing. When it is stated defect free printing it is implied that the quality of print should match to international standards. The appearance of the printed matter and illustration should be uniform on entire stock, the printed images and texts should not show broken images, or show ink specks, spots, blind spots etc. Such defects damage the reputation of the agencies who distribute them as well the printers who printed them. Therefore all possible print defects which may appear glaring to the naked eyes are to be weeded out by thorough examination before being delivered. Hence such printed material is manually checked before supply. This does not apply to standard small order jobs like invitations of several varieties, greeting cards, bill books and other normal print material handled by small and medium presses. We are discussing only the high volume, special but regular printed material running to millions.
Excise Labels meant for liquor bottles, Printed materials such as Lottery Tickets, Raffle tickets, Bank Notes, Stamps , several of business forms, vouchers etc some of which contains some elements of security features falls under high quality defect free printing. Especially where numbering is involved it needs to be supplied error free. In all these documents barring the business forms and vouchers even the finest detail will be essential in the printed documents as they govern the economy of the nation. Even though the print volume of the said group of material is huge and running to millions, still they were mostly examined to sort out defective prints by manual labor . However of late some agencies have opted for machine examination gadgets and equipments for the said purpose replacing huge labor force.
Voluminous normal print material such as books, magazines, labels of low value consumer products like beedi/cigarette packets, match boxes, sweets, toffees, stationery, and many other eatables are manually examined but not critically as they are just meant for product identification. In contrast to these materials the critical examination will be necessary in the case of important printed documents such as Lottery Tickets, Raffle tickets, Bank Notes, Stamps printing, several of business forms, vouchers etc.
Take the case of printed leaflets of the life saving drugs. The print on them must be clear as even smallest defect in the printed image can lead to complaints. Security inbuilt design elements are incorporated on the labels used by many of the major consumer industries such as Pharmaceutical firms, labels for branded automobile spare parts, labels printed on BOPP films and used on components for many other internationally accredited machineries and equipments that are prone to counterfeiting. Though the print order of these products may not be high , they are examined both manually and with some gadgets because the overt or covert feature can not be easily examined manually alone and need some gadgets to authenticate them.
The manual checking has several limitations as they are subjective and varies from person to person. The defect which may appear to be minor to one person may be acceptable to the other person as no defect print. The tolerance limits can not be explained for visual inspection. Such issue lead to litigation and disputes. Therefore uniformity can not be maintained in manual examination where criticality is required. In light of the same, to streamline the production of high volume work with critical examination, the concept of automatic or semi automatic inspection systems were developed to take away the subjectivity factor from examination, and to hasten the examination at much faster pace.

Constraints in inspection systems:
There are certain constraints in the inspection systems some of which are:
1. High cost of investment of the machineries and equipments for machine inspection.
2. Need high quality maintenance.
3. Spare parts not easily available as updates keep continuing.
4. The equipments and machineries being electronics and computerized only high skilled person can effectively handle them.
5. If they fail to function and not rectified within few hours, the ongoing production operations will get affected.
6. Not suitable for small order runs.
7. Ideally suitable for presses which are engaged in continuous operation producing several millions of the same printed material and many such factors are involved.

Advantages of inspection systems:
However there are certain positive factors too which are:
1. Such machineries and equipments may reduce the labour force
2. The examination will be much faster compared to manual examination
3. Subjectivity in examination can be avoided
4. The defect analysis is possible for future planning
5. Help in standardization of printing.
6. Supply quality print material

Types of inspection systems
Let us see various groups of inspection/print quality checking machines which are available. Basically there are three types of systems in use. They are :
· Online print inspection machines
· Off line print inspection machines
· Semi automatic and Tabletop machineries and equipments for inspection

I. Online sheet inspection systems
The Online inspection machines fitted on the machines is the one that inspect the sheets online - immediately after printing but before reaching the delivery pile, where two sets of delivery piles are provided. One pile is meant for taking all good printed material and the second one for taking defective sheets. These are custom prepared to meet the demand of the purchaser. The sheets are fed in the usual manner and when the sheets comes out of the print center, they travel below the inspection chamber fitted with high resolution digital cameras where the sheets will be automatically examined for defects. They are identified as good and defective sheets similar to the manual examination process and directed to the good and suspect sheets delivery piles after authenticated by the print command center where the true images are stored. This is again customarised and given by the manufacturer as the size of equipments and inputs differ from machine to machines. 

II. Online print inspection systems
The other type of online inspection machine is meant to only project the defects on the monitor screen to enable the operator to address the problem as quickly as the defect begin to appear. The inspection chamber will quickly display the defects on the monitor screen the moment the defect commences and before the print reaches the point of rejectable quality, the defects are corrected by the operator without stopping the machines thus saving cost. This system is mostly useful for color density control purposes on high speed Offset, Letterpress and Intaglio Rotary machines. The printing defects other than the ink feed, color density and shade can not be checked by this system. This speeds up the process of production activity. Even though the operators on the machine regularly check the printed sheets, the manual process commences only after the sheet gets delivered in the delivery pile and by the time the defects are detected by visual examination and corrective action taken by the operator by rushing to the proper points, much sheets would have been printed and delivered with the defects. The entire sheets will however be delivered in the normal delivery pile as usual. In order to enable faster detection of the defects for prompt corrective action, this system has been developed. This type of print inspection machines cost much less compared to the sheet inspection machines which separate the good and suspect sheets in two separate piles. This is also customarised and given by the manufacturer as the size of equipments and inputs differ from machine to machines.

III. Off line inspection systems (machines)
In this system the entire lot of printed sheets are loaded onto the separate stand alone machine exactly similar to a printing machine that has feeder and delivery units. The only difference is that this machine has no printing, inking and other such auxiliary units. The printed sheets are fed in the usual manner from the feeder unit. When the sheets travel below the inspection chamber fitted with high resolution digital cameras the sheets will be automatically examined for defects. They are identified as good and defective sheets similar to the manual examination process and pushed into two separate piles which are meant for good and defective sheets. The machine has only inspection systems fitted on them to do the job similar to manual examination.

IV. Off line Table top inspection systems
The semi automatic table top inspection machines are mainly used by the Label printers to replace the defective labels especially when supplied in continuous reel or Zig Zag folded sheets format which are used on automatic labeling machines . Such inspection is also carried out on sheets for supply as all good labels which are individually pasted on several products. Again one important point in the use of these table top inspection equipments needs to be told. They are useful only for any volume of work with regular run and where critical examination is insisted by the customer.

Basic principles of the inspection system :
1. The principle of inspection or checking involved in all the four varieties as mentioned above is same.
2. The inspection machines work with the highest grade of complex software algorithm.
3. The system work as per pre programmed data in respective of quality.
4. Out of the four types, two versions - machines for online inspection and off line inspection- will be provided with two delivery piles- one to accept all good sheets and the other to accept defective prints. The interfaces fitted with the machine controls will allow the said sheets get separated.
5. In all versions- online, offline and semi automatic- perfect defect free print images have o be first fed into memory of the machine. Such images are called Golden images or Absolute prints. If need be tolerance limits to quality can also be set.
6. The tolerance limits for the images are also fed along with the Absolute print images. Let us for example say an image with ‘X’ color density is fed into the memory of the console as Absolute image. Simultaneously images which may have ‘+/- 2%’ variation in color density are also fed into the memory of the console as tolerance images. Otherwise all the sheets which are not 100% true with the Absolute image will get rejected.
7. The high precision and high resolution digital camera inbuilt in a chamber will capture or scan the images when the sheets pass under them and transmit the images to examination center.
8. The transmitted images will get compared with the acceptable range of images which are already fed into the console .
9. If the inspection machine is fitted with some marker to indicate the defective areas, they may mark those areas or if no marker is provided on the machine, they will go into defect sheets delivery pile.
10. Similarly the sequential numbers if any to be inspected for logical conditions i.e. numbers in a given note should match, numbers should adhere to a certain sequence logic, registration should be proper etc will also be inspected provided the machine memory console is programmed accordingly. But the inspection systems for the numbered sheets are totally different and are to be customarised. The programme is set accordingly.
All the above features form the part of the inspection system in all the versions.

How does the inspection system work ? :
1. In On line inspection system, as the sheets comes out from the print area and travel towards the delivery pile, sets of cameras inbuilt in the inspection chamber quickly capture / scan the images and sends to the print command unit.
2. The printed images are quickly compared with the Absolute print in memory and direct where the sheet will get delivered –whether to the defect sheet pile or all good sheets pile.
3. The comparison is done in split of seconds when the process of comparison gets completed before the sheet reaches the command center point that directs the sheets to particular pile. The print errors include mis register, geometrical mismatches, color variations, slur, sledges etc.
4. During inspection, once the printed images are scanned and transmitted they automatically sit face to face in perfect register with the True image with tolerance limit already in memory. The beauty of all these inspection systems are that they act as fast as the machine prints (speed). The Absolute image is converted into some signals and kept stored in memory console. When the printing is through, the printed images scanned by the inspection chamber too convert the print images into the same signal format as the Absolute image and sends them to the image command center. Once the signals match the signals of the Absolute print, the status of the sheets – all good or sheets with defect- gets determined.
5. In the case of On line print inspection system the inspection chamber quickly capture the image and transmit them to the print command center where the print is compared with the Absolute image (in this case tolerance limits are not set) and display the images on the screen monitor indicating the errors in small circle. The operator quickly address the defects with suitable remedial action such as feeding more ink, lessen the ink or push the ink in duct or stop the press and clean the plates etc. However all the sheets will only go in the single pile which will have both good and suspect sheets. This system only work as additional operator who is constantly examining the sheets and takes corrective action. The difference between normal checking and checking with this system is the speed with which each and every sheet is shown the error spots instantly before sheets reach delivery.
In the case of Table top or semi automatic machines as used by the Label printing printers, the label reel or multi up sheets are slowly moved under the inspection camera which acts similar to that of automatic inspection machines for comparing the images with the Absolute print stored with required tolerance in the command center. Unless the next label is moved under the inspecting camera, no further action will take place. However by the flash of Red light or a beep sound the defective labels will be identified. When the label is positioned below the inspection camera it scans the image and transmits to the inspection interface cum monitor where the Absolute Print of the actual print is stored with required tolerance. The inspection interface inspects the image and shows the defective ones on the monitor.
Again there are two varieties of table top inspection equipments. In one case the operator pause the inspection which still show the defective label and manually move the label below marker. Based on the key board operation the marker puts an X on the rejected label . ( See the illustration) The operator uses the wheel again to bring the next set of labels below camera and switch on the inspection. He continues to only mark the defective labels and roll it on a spool. The said roll will be re wound in another spool by another operator after replacing the defective labels with good ones. In effect this will require two sets of operators, but work will go on faster.
In the next type of equipment as the normal manual operation as stated above continues, the defective labels are also simultaneously replaced with good labels by the same operator who examines the labels. However in such case, the marking will not be done with ink jet printer. Since the Roll is manually wound forward, there will be enough time to replace the defective labels.
These equipments are preferred over manual examination because the finest and minutest lines, and letters will be read perfectly and they either passed or rejected without subjectivity in examination.