Measuring Anilox Volume: FQC’s Gauge R&R Study

FQC Anilox Gauge R&R Study Team Members

David Allen, The Provident Group
Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies
John Beardon, Microdynamics
Alexander James, Harper Corporation of America
Tim Claypole, Swansea University
Phillip Lemons, Pamarco Global Graphics
Greg Collins, C-P Flexible Packaging
Walter Marsile, Bemis Inc.
Kern Cox, Clemson University
Bobbi Olp, All Printing Resources
Tony Donato, Harper Corporation of America
Dan Reilly, Flint Group
Kenneth Ebenhoch, Impreglon Cellramic
Mary Ellen Stachnik, Testex Tape
Phil Hall, Troika Systems
Steven Wilkinson, The Flexo Factor

Measurement Team
Ken Friedman, The Provident Group
David Drozd, Ashland Inc.
David Dean, J. M. Heaford
Mike Wyatt, Anilox Roller Cleaning Systems
Warren Mosely
Phil Hall, Troika Systems
Alexander James, Harper Corporation of America
Bruno Zagonel, Praxair Surface Technologies
Larry Jacobs
Cody Lawrence
Josh Kiser, Harper Corporation of America
Ken Hall, Troika Systems

The Anicam, Microfax and 3DQC produce consistent results but without overlapping differences in measured value and the tolerance bands. Thus, these systems would produce self-consistent results, but each would report a different nominal value of its own. This difference could be due to the mode of operation or the calibration of each system. However, in some cases the results overlap, inferring an interaction of the measurement technique with the cell geometry. The Liquid Volume encompasses, or overlaps, the other systems results, excluding the microscope. Therefore, with repeat measurements it may produce a consistent result for quality control.

Average standard deviations for the systems show that Troika/Anicam and Microdynamics/3DQC produce a more consistent result, regardless of roll diameter. The Microfax appears to improve in the precision of the measurement with roll diameter. The higher standard deviations would suggest a measurement system with lower precision.

Overall, one could conclude that, in the range selected, the roll diameter has little effect. Although, the precision of the Capatch system and (to a lesser extent) the Microfax appears to improve with roll diameter.


As for reproducibility, novice-expert influences appear on the microscope data to be very skill-dependent and the readings tend to be somewhat subjective. Conversely, within the other methods, the differences are insignificant, with the electronic methods showing the least dependency on operator skill.

The 3DQC and Anicam produce precise results with enough accuracy that they could be used for quality control (QC) purposes. The Microfax also shows sufficient accuracy but is a transfer method, which must be read by one of the electronic methods to maintain that exactness. There is a difference between the nominal volumes measured by these systems, which could be a function of calibration or cell geometry combined with the mode of measurement.

The results of the Liquid Volume method have the potential for QC accuracy provided sufficient repeat measurements are taken to make a reliable estimate of cell volume.

About the Author: Dan Reilly is application specialist, Flint Group, Packaging and Narrow Web. He is based in Plymouth, MN.