Flexographic print continues to improve and grow.
With the industry of flexographic print growing, it continues to evolve and improve. Continual developments are being made to the press and core components of the process, including the inks, anilox rollers and printing plates.
Continual advances in technology are to meet the ever-changing demands on print quality, operational efficiencies and the required reduction in waste and meeting environmental targets.
These advances continue to impact and improve the design of engraved cells on the anilox roller. These precision engineered components are designed to accurately measure and release the precise amount of ink flow to improve the capabilities of flexographic print. To move forward, technological advances will remain on-going to support businesses in meeting the market challenges and requirement for premium print quality.
It is imperative than, that all these advancements are not stifled by insufficient maintenance and cleaning processes. Basically, if the equipment isn’t managed and cared for correctly, irrespective of the quality and advancements of the press, it will be to the detriment of your final printed product.
Maintaining the print quality of every print run is crucial to any printer. Inconsistent print will lead to rejects, which will lead to machine downtime, added costs and reduction in your business profits.
The right cleaning will pay dividends to your business
The key to achieving consistent high-quality print is having a clear maintenance process and procedure in place. Ensuring the core elements of the print process is monitored, checked and cleaned regularly and correctly is critical to consistently achieving your high-quality standards.
Maintaining anilox rollers in top condition – DO:
- Run cleaning solutions through print units when not in use
- Use the correct cleaning solution that is formulated specifically for anilox rollers
- Clean anilox rollers at the end of a print run
- Check surface of anilox rollers regularly for damage
- Regularly check condition and installation of other core components (Eg: doctor blades, ink pipes and chambers)
- Ensure correct set up of doctor blades
- Ensure your print units are audited at least once a year
The main purpose of a print cleaning solution is to remove the ink, varnish or coating from parts of the press in readiness for the next print run. Whilst there are only three main types of ink used extensively in the flexographic print industry (UV, Solvent and Water based) there are literally thousands of products on the market that appear to do this fundamental task.
Unfortunately, all cleaning products are not the same and too often the wrong ones will find their way into the print sector, sometimes with devastating consequences.
Are you causing unseen damage to your valuable printing equipment?
Frequently a product is used, which may be ideal for removing paint from spray booths or grease from engine block, but generally they aren’t suitable for use in flexographic print. Rather than cleaning the anilox rollers, they could cause irreversible damage.
There are several considerations that are regularly overlooked regarding the care of anilox rolls.
It is often not realised that laser engraved ceramic anilox rollers have a sealant impregnated into the ceramic coating prior to engraving. If unsuitable cleaning products are used, this sealant can quite easily be broken and removed leaving the roller base exposed to base metal corrosion and ceramic blistering or delamination. This will result in damage to the anilox roller and print deterioration issues.
Another common problem encountered is the corrosion of aluminium ink chambers. Extensively corroded chambers due to the use of unsuitable cleaning solutions, will result in bent, warped and even swollen chambers, to the extent that they make contact with the anilox face – a very costly problem!
Ensuring the correct care and maintenance programme is undertaken and operators understand the importance of this, is essential for your return on investment (ROI).
It’s why throughout our 20 years, Print Tech Solutions have developed cleaning solution uniquely for the flexographic print industry.
Our cleaning solutions are:
- Non caustic, non aggressive and ‘REACH’ compliant
- Guaranteed not to cause damage to rubber rollers, print plates, pumps and chambers
- Comply with water authority requirements and regulations
We understand that for many of our customers, monitoring and maintaining the complete care of anilox rollers is sometimes stretched, due to their high productivity demands. It is why our customers value, and we evolve the technical support we provide to our customers in tangent with the cleaning solutions we offer.
It’s an exciting and challenging time for the print industry. To keep apace of the industry needs and on-going technological advances, we continue to be innovative in the continual development of our cleaning solutions and technical support services.
If you’re in need of additional support of the care of your anilox rollers and would like to gain more advise and understanding on our cleaning solutions, contact us now.