Inadequate or missed maintenance can lead to much greater problems further down the line

For many of our customers adhering to a strict care and maintenance policy is essential to delivering consistent high-quality print and reduced print rejects and downtime. To support this we work as an extension to many of our customer’s operational team, with regular monitoring and correct care and cleaning of the anilox rollers. This provides tracked evidence of the anilox roller condition and picks up damaged and clogged anilox cells early to reduce any negative impact on the print production.

This is seen as essential care and maintenance procedures to ensure core components, such as the anilox rollers remain in optimum condition.

Whilst we advocate this approach, it still amazes us that when visiting some new sites we find inadequate cleaning and care procedures in place. Expensive print issues and unnecessary downtime to often result in the neglect or lack of maintenance.

Foreign bodies in your print.

During site assessments and providing technical support to solve print issues, we have encountered many different print issues, related to the maintenance of the anilox rollers.

One such case was with a print production line that had experienced a deterioration of print quality over several weeks. The operators couldn’t understand what could be causing the issue.

On working with the operators to understand the print issues experienced and assessing the core components, our investigations found the cause. A dome-headed allen bolt has become loose. This hadn’t been identified and with the vibrations of the anilox roller it had eventually fallen off.

The bolt had dropped and become wedged between the anilox roller and plate cylinder.

This had costly implications for the business. The result was a severely damaged anilox roller, which then needed to be removed from the machine and refurbished. This process in itself is time consuming. The top ceramic coating housing the cells must be removed using a cylindrical grinder to clear the damage, before the refurbishment process can begin.

For many plants it isn’t viable, for various reasons, to hold a spare anilox roller. The consequence is production downtime. The refurbishing process on an anilox roller is approx. 4-6 weeks, that’s a long time for a flexographic print line to be out of action.

Loose bolt damages flexographic print pressWatch those pockets!

This isn’t an isolated issue. Often it isn’t a bolt that has worked its way loose, but various other items that find there way into the system.

One cause is items falling from operators’ pockets. This happens more frequently than you may think that whilst checking and monitoring anilox rollers and print quality, items can fall out of pockets. It is something that operators should be mindful of, because the simplest items can cause damage to the anilox rollers, and have repercussions on the quality of print.

Having a simple policy of no pockets on overalls, would reduce this problem of items falling out of pockets.

The need for correct care and maintenance is essential.

Due to lack of maintenance, checking bolts and other components are tight and fitted correctly, this particular production suffered the consequences of a loose bolt finding its way into the press. This caused expensive and substantial damage to both anilox roller and the plate cylinder.

With the pressure of keeping presses running, to meet production schedule targets and customer orders, we often see care and maintenance of anilox rollers and other core components of the flexographic printing press slip. Unfortunately, as with most mechanical engineered components the lack of the correct maintenance will eventually have a critical impact on production output.

Maximising your flexographic print process to deliver optimum print quality will benefit the ROI for your business and support an efficient production schedule. This needs to be supported by the correct maintenance of your anilox rollers to ensure they are kept in top condition.

Print Tech Solutions provide the care and technical maintenance packages to support you in achieving consistent high-quality print.

If you are suffering from print issues or would benefit from additional resources to maintain your anilox rollers, contact our team now. Our friendly and experienced team are here to help.

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