Case Study – Ultrasonic Cleaning System Demonstration

The Background

This demonstration was conducted at a Corrugated Customer’s site, following the installation of an Ultrasonic System (PTS U-415). This is a single roller wash tank with a rinse unit, to suit Anilox rollers up to 2900mm face length with a maximum diameter of 300mm. The system has the following features:

  • Dual Frequency (50khz/100khz)
  • Suredrive™ roller rotation
  • De-gassing function
  • Roller support bracket
  • Wall mounted control panel

The Anilox roller used for the purpose of this demonstration was a 600lpi x 6.5cm³/m² x 60°. Volume readings were taken using our CellStore™ Anilox Inspection System.

The Challenges

Pre-inspections of the Anilox cells with CellStore™ revealed metallic contaminates plugging the base of the anilox cells. This can be seen on the image below as a “glitter” effect on the surface of the Anilox roller.

In addition to the metallic cell contamination, we also observed surface contamination of the Anilox cell ceramic. This contamination consisted of deposits which build up around the top of the cell in the contours on the land area of the Anilox. Although these deposits do not affect the overall cell volume like more common place plugging of the cell base, they do affect print quality and these surface deposits can often been seen as light striations on block solid prints.

The Image below shows metallic contaminates and surface contamination on the Anilox cells. The metallic is identified from the excessive light reflection from within the cells, surface contamination is identified as the grey deposits collecting at the top of the cells.

Volume Readings – Before Cleaning

Using our CellStore™ system, volume readings were taken across the Anilox roller surface – from the left (615mm from journal end) centre (1230mm) and right (1845mm from Journal end left). The volume readings were as follows:

  • Left: 5.8cm³/m² – 16 micron cell depth
  • Centre: 5.2cm³/m² – 15 micron cell depth
  • Right: 5.5cm³/m² – 16 micron cell depth
  • The average volume reading was determined as: 5.3cm³/m² – 15.6 micron cell depth

The Demonstration

Once the current condition of the Anilox roller was determined, the Ultrasonic cleaning system was prepped.

  1. Our smart® ULTRASOL cleaning solution was added to the system, mixed at a dilution rate of 10% with water.
  2. The solution was then warmed to 40°c, and degassed to remove oxygen particles/air to allow for a more effective cleaning cycle.
  3. Prior to the Anilox roller being placed in to the Ultrasonic cleaning system, it was treated with our smart® REVIVE cleaning solution which offers great benefits as an ultrasonic cleaning pre-treatment solution. smart® REVIVE allows for easier removal of tough deposits typically found within Anilox cells, offering the benefit of reduced cycle times and in turn greater re-usability of the smart® ULTRASOL solution. smart® REVIVE was applied to the surface of the Anilox roller liberally, massaged into the surface of the roller for approximately 5 minutes, and then left to stand for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Two areas to the left and right of the Anilox roller were then masked off to allow for a visual comparison of the Anilox roller before and after cleaning.
  5. Once this process was complete the Anilox roller was introduced into the Ultrasonic system. A cycle time of 12 minutes was set at a frequency of 50 kHz.
  6. Once the cycle was completed, the Anilox roller was removed from the wash tank and placed into the rinse tank. Fresh water was then used to wash any surplus cleaning solution from the surface of the Anilox roller for approximately 5 minutes.
  7. The Anilox roller was then dried with a clean cloth, wiping the surface evenly to prevent water marking.

The Results

Following the cleaning demonstration, CellStore™ was used to gather data on cell condition as a result of the Ultrasonic cleaning. There was an immediate and signficant difference in the visual appearance of the roller as soon as the cleaning cycle was complete. The dark banded areas of the Anilox roller prior to cleaning have now disappeared. The surface of the Anilox roller now looks smooth with a light grey texture, as it would have appeared in its original condition.

Volume Readings – After Cleaning

The CellStore™ was used to determine the results on a cellular level. The following readings were taken:

  • Left: 6.5cm³/m² – 19 micron cell depth
  • Centre: 6.5cm³/m² – 19 micron cell depth
  • Right: 6.5cm³/m² – 19 micron cell depth
  • The average volume reading was determined as: 6.5cm³/m² – 19 micron cell depth

The above results show that the Anilox was restored, both cell and surface, to its original condition. The average volume increased from 5.3cm³/m² to 6.5cm³/m², showing an increase of 22.6%.

CellStore™ images showed a significant difference in cell condition, demonstrating an absence of surface contamination and the removal of metallic contaminates.

To find out how your Anilox rollers could benefit from Ultrasonic Cleaning click here or call us on 0871 224 3838.

Case Study – ThermoPod™ Demonstration

The Background

This demonstration took place at a Corrugated Customer’s site, using the ThermoPod™ system to deep clean fixed Anilox rollers within a Martin 618 press.

ThermoPod™ is used in place of the usual ink bucket and allows smart® REVIVE solution to be heated to an optimum temperature before being pumped around the existing inking system. This enables the deep cleaning of Anilox rollers without having to remove them from the press.

Features of the ThermoPod™ system include:

  • Stainless Steel construction
  • Integrated control panel
  • Low level liquid cut-off safety feature
  • Easy drain tap
  • Integrated wheels for levelling at various press heights and ease of transportation

The Challenges

The customer was experiencing issues with colour consistency, which can be caused by cell volumes being inconsistent. Before the demonstration, a pre-inspection of the Anilox rollers was conducted using our CellStore™ system to record the Anilox cell conditions. Readings were taken from three areas across the surface of the Anilox roller to determine an average of volumes and cell depths.

Volume Readings – Before Cleaning

Anilox 1 (Martin 618, Unit 3, Chambered. Original specification: 550lpi x 5.5cm³/m² x Elongated cell)

  • Operator side: 4cm³/m² – 12 microns cell depth
  • Middle: 4.5cm³/m² – 13 microns cell depth
  • Drive side: 3.8cm³/m² – 11 microns cell depth

Anilox 2 (Martin 618, Unit 4, Chambered. Original specification 300lpi x 10cm³/m² x Elongated cell)

  • Operator side: 6.9cm³/m² – 18 microns cell depth
  • Middle: 7.1cm³/m² – 20 microns cell depth
  • Drive side: 6.4cm³/m² – 16 microns cell depth

The Demonstration

  1. Before ThermoPod™ was used, the print units were given an initial wash with smart® AQUASOL on an inking cycle for 10 minutes.
  2. Whilst the unit was being washed with smart® AQUASOL, smart® REVIVE was mixed 50/50 with fresh water in the ThermoPod™.
  3. The ThermoPod™ was then powered up and allowed to heat the smart®Revive to 40°C (maximum temp).
  4. Once the smart® AQUASOL wash was complete, a short rinse cycle with water was performed for approximately 2 minutes.
  5. The ThermoPod™ was then positioned onto the bucket stand and the feed and return pipes placed within the system.
  6. The heated smart® REVIVE within the ThermoPod™ was pumped through to the print unit, again on an inking cycle for 20 minutes.
  7. Once the 20 minute cycle was complete, a short 2 minute rinse with water was performed, finishing up with a 10-minute bucket wash with smart® AQUASOL.

The demonstration took approximately 50 minutes to perform.

The Results

Following the ThermoPod™ demonstration, our Cellstore™ system was once again used to determine Anilox cell conditions. Readings were taken from three areas across the surface of the anilox roller to determine an average of volumes and cell depths.

Volume Readings – After Cleaning 

Anilox 1 (Martin 618, Unit 3, Chambered. Original specification: 550lpi x 5.5cm³/m² x Elongated cell)

  • Operator side: 5.1cm³/m² – 15 microns cell depth
  • Middle: 5.3cm³/m² – 16 microns cell depth
  • Drive side: 5.3cm³/m² – 16 microns cell depth

Anilox 2 (Martin 618, Unit 4, Chambered. Original specification 300lpi x 10cm³/m² x Elongated cell)

  • Operator side: 9.3cm³/m² – 27 microns cell depth
  • Middle: 9.2cm³/m² – 26 microns cell depth
  • Drive side: 9.6cm³/m² – 28 microns cell depth

The Conclusion

Following the ThermoPod™ demonstration we recorded an increase in cell volume.

  • Anilox 1 increased on average by 27.5% (4.1 up to 5.2)
  • Anilox 2 increased on average by 36% (6.8 up to 9.3)

In addition to the improvement in cell volume, results showed that the ThermoPod™ had removed ferrous and non-ferrous particles from within the inking system (pipework, filters, pumps, chambers) which may also contribute towards issues such as scoring.

The demonstration has shown that we can now provide our customer with a viable in-house method of deep cleaning and maintaining fixed position Anilox rollers, helping them to achieve colour consistency across future print jobs.

To find out how you could benefit from our ThermoPod™ system, click here or call us on 0871 224 3838.

Case Study  – Deep Cleaning for Anilox Rollers

The Background

This trial was conducted at a corrugated customer’s site, using our Cleaning Solutions smart® REVIVE and smart® AQUASOL, in conjunction with our ThermoPod™ system for cleaning Anilox rollers in a DRO2 press.

smart® REVIVE is formulated specifically for periodic cleaning of Anilox rollers. This organic, acidic solution effectively removes plugged contamination within Anilox cells. Using smart® REVIVE occasionally, alongside the daily use of smart® AQUASOL, will help to optimise Anilox cell condition.

smart® AQUASOL is specifically formulated for the removal of water and UV based inks and coatings from all areas of the printing process. It is suitable for daily use on Anilox rollers, rubber rollers, polymer plates, ink pumps and doctor blade chambers.

ThermoPod™ is used in place of the usual ink bucket and allows smart® REVIVE solution to be heated to an optimum temperature before being pumped around the existing inking system. This enables the deep cleaning of Anilox rollers without having to remove them from the press. Our ThermoPod™ system features:

  • Stainless Steel construction
  • Integrated control panel
  • Low level liquid cut-off safety feature
  • Easy drain tap
  • Integrated wheels for levelling at various press heights and ease of transportation

The Challenges

Our customer was finding that allocated maintenance times were insufficient for this busy press – they were experiencing colour management issues which resulted in ink reformulation and related downtime. Additionally, their Anilox rollers were showing a gradual decrease in their cell volume.

In order to monitor the current condition of Anilox rollers on the DRO2 press, readings were taken from 3 locations across the Anilox face – the drive side, operator side and middle.

DRO Unit 5 – Volume Readings Before Cleaning

  • Drive side: 7.4cm³/m²
  • Operator: 7.4cm³/m²
  • Middle: 8.1cm³/m²

Average: 7.6cm³/m²

DRO Unit 5 – CellScope™ image showing cell conditions before cleaning:

DRO Unit 3 – Volume Readings Before Cleaning:

  • Drive side: 7.0cm³/m²
  • Operator: 7.4cm³/m²
  • Middle: 7.0cm³/m²

Average: 7.1cm³/m²

DRO Unit 3 – CellScope™ image showing cell conditions before cleaning:

The Demonstration

On both print units the demonstration method was similar. However, on the DRO Unit 3 there was no power supply so the trial took place without the ThermoPod™ system.

DRO Unit 5

  1. The print unit was washed down with smart® AQUASOL.
  2. Whilst the unit was being washed down with smart® AQUASOL, smart® REVIVE was mixed 50/50 with fresh water in the ThermoPod™.
  3. The ThermoPod™ was powered up and allowed to heat the smart® REVIVE to 40°C (maximum temperature).
  4. The ThermoPod™ was then positioned onto the bucket stand and the feed and turn pipes were placed in the system.
  5. The heated smart® REVIVE was then circulated throughout the print unit for 40 minutes.
  6. To complete the cleaning process, the print unit was washed down again with smart® AQUASOL.

DRO Unit 3

  1. The print unit was washed down with smart® AQUASOL.
  2. On this occasion a power supply was unavailable, so our ThermoPod™ system was not used.
  3. smart® REVIVE was then circulated throughout the print unit for 60 minutes.
  4. To complete the cleaning process, the print unit was washed down again with smart® AQUASOL.

The Results

Following the cleaning trial on both print units, the results were as follows:

DRO Unit 5 – Volume Readings After Cleaning:

  • Drive side: 10.4cm³/m²
  • Operator: 10.5cm³/m²
  • Middle: 10.5cm³/m²

Average: 10.5cm³/m².

This trial, which used smart® REVIVE, smart® AQUASOL and ThermoPod™ demonstrated a difference of 2.9cm³/m² after cleaning, which is a 37% improvement in cell volume.

DRO Unit 5 – CellScope™ image showing cell conditions after cleaning:

DRO Unit 3 – Volume Readings After Cleaning:

  • Drive side: 9cm³/m²
  • Operator: 9.5cm³/m²
  • Middle: 9cm³/m²

Average: 9.1cm³/m²

This trial, which used smart® REVIVE and smart® AQUASOL demonstrated a difference of 2cm³/m² after cleaning, which is a 28% improvement in cell volume.

DRO Unit 3 – CellScope™ image showing cell conditions after cleaning:

The Conclusion

The results of this trial confidently demonstrate an improvement in Anilox cell volumes on both print units following cleaning with smart® REVIVE, smart® AQUASOL and ThermoPod™. Even without the use of ThermoPod™ during one trial, we clearly demonstrated that our smart® REVIVE and smart® AQUASOL cleaning products alone can have a big impact on the cleanliness and condition of Anilox cells.

By combining the ThermoPod™ system with our cleaning products, our customer will be able to adopt a more proactive approach to Anilox maintenance. As part of a regular maintenance programme, using smart® AQUASOL daily then smart® REVIVE and the ThermoPod™ weekly or bi-weekly, our customer will eliminate the need for ‘reactive’ cleaning processes. This will also enable greater management/consistency of colour and reduce set times.

To find out how you could benefit from our ThermoPod™ system, click here or call us on 0871 224 3838.

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