Digital Magazine

Safety, Efficiency, Savings

Novation is on a Mission with the AF3 WebFlagger

Quick, think of something traveling nearly 50mph. You probably thought of an automobile or motorcycle zooming by, or perhaps a cheetah. You probably didn’t imagine yourself reaching out and touching it as it flew past. And yet, that’s exactly what some machine operators must do when hand-marking defects in a web. As some products fly by at speeds over 4,000 fpm, technicians must physically touch the speeding web to “flag” the location of a defect. If that doesn’t sound particularly accurate, efficient, or safe to you, you’re correct on all three counts. That’s why hundreds of successful converters and printers and some of the world’s largest corporations rely on Novation’s innovative WebFlagger system. Since 2002, the US-based manufacturer has been refining the WebFlagger, an integrated solution to the inefficiency, waste, and risk associated with hand-flagging.   

How the AF3 WebFlagger Works

The AF3 WebFlagger takes operator contact with the web out of the defect-marking process. With the press of a button, or via machine signal, the AF3 applies a pressure-sensitive flag at the defect location. Fast-moving webs are no problem; even at speeds over 4,000 fpm, the AF3 instantly and accurately marks the web. Novation’s flags are optimized for the job. A film lamination protects against torn tags, and the adhesive is “deadened” on the portion of the flag that extends past the roll to prevent the flag from folding back onto itself, or sticking to idler rolls and other machine parts. Novation offers a variety of flag types to suit any application, as well as custom configurations.

WebFlagger Fits Your Needs

Literally! The AF3 is Novation’s latest and most compact WebFlagger. The space-efficient design features a stainless-steel frame that fits into tight spaces, so all your printing or coating lines can be WebFlagger equipped. And if your web must accommodate different roll widths, Novation’s optional slide-base makes it easy to adjust the WebFlagger for correct alignment with the edge of the roll.


Recently Novation has seen an increasing desire in the market for not only marking defects, but categorizing them as well. In order to solve that problem, they have designed a MultiColor Flag option for their industry standard AF3 WebFlagger. The MultiColor option, allows operators to choose a specific color flag to be applied on demand. The system uses rolls with preprinted flags with a specific color sequence. A color scanner is then used to identify and apply the desired color flag to the web.

The standard MultiColor option is delivered with a two color flag system. This addresses the customers who use different color flags (typically red and green) to identify the beginning and end of defects. However, the MultiColor option can also be provided to apply up to 5 or more colors of flags for customers who need to identify various types of defects on their processes.

Why AF3 WebFlagger?

  • Safely and automatically flags defects
  • Flags at any speed up to and over 4,000 fpm
  • Accurately and reliably applies flags
  • Connects to all inspection systems
  • Tracks defects from upstream locations


This sequence shows a flag being transferred off a liner and applied to the web.

Novation Inc.


(610) 837-5026