Why pay for cleaning solutions when you can use water?

It sounds reasonable, but there is a reason why using water is not enough to properly maintain your anilox rollers.

In the case of many intrinsic precision-engineered components, such as anilox rollers, they require cleaning processes that are specific to their needs. Cleaning solutions must be compatible for the material it is cleaning. However, it also needs to be effective to remove the dirt and in this case, ink. Water alone doesn’t have that capability.

Selecting and using the correct cleaning solution will ensure no un-necessary damage is caused to your anilox rollers, and a thorough clean is achieved.

When dried ink remains embedded deep within the cells of the anilox roller, water won’t perform a thorough clean.

Clogged and dirty cells will impede the performance of your anilox rollers, which will affect your print. Deterioration in print will impact on your business profits.

Are you seeing water marks on your print?

Simply rinsing your anilox rollers with water can lead to water marks appearing on your anilox rollers.

Just water will not remove all the dried ink or be capable of cleaning clogged cells. If excess water isn’t removed, water droplets will form on the underside of the anilox rollers, which will be contaminated with ink. As the water evaporates ink residue water marks will remain on your anilox rollers.

Anilox Roller with water marks

These ink-stained water marks will subsequently transpose onto your print, resulting in print issues and rejects. Obviously, water marks appearing in your finished print will cause downtime in production, to rectify the issue. This is unnecessary wasted resource and money to your business.

Cardboard print with water marks

Ensure you wipe off the droplets

Using just water to clean and washdown your anilox rollers, and not wiping anilox rollers dry, will lead to water marks appearing.

Using specialist cleaning solutions, will remove dried ink from the cells, and will not leave ink residue water droplets. It is still ‘best practice care’ to wipe down anilox rollers after a wash cycle to remove any excess moisture.

On most modern flexographic systems there is now an automatic washdown process, which incorporates a drying cycle. This automatic drying process removes any excess cleaning solution, which eradicates water droplets forming.

If your press lacks the convenience of an automated drying system, incorporate ‘wipe-down’ of your anilox rollers as part of your washdown procedure, to eliminate excess moisture and water droplets forming.

Anilox care and maintenance to avoid print issues

Maintaining anilox rollers in top condition will be to the benefit of your business’s productivity and producing consistently high-quality print.

If you need advice about the care and maintenance of your anilox rollers then contact our team. We’ll be pleased to support you in keeping your anilox rollers in top condition enabling you deliver optimum print.

For more ‘Top Tips’ regarding the maintenance and care of your anilox rollers, view our blogs here

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