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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
Technologies & Techniques Solvent-based inks tend to be the easiest to remove form the engraved surface. They usually will rewet with the ap- propriate solvent. Again, the roll should be scrubbed clean and the ink not allowed to dry on the surface or in the cells themselves. Remember that hardened particles of ink can and will damage or score the anilox, blade and printing plate surface, so removing or preventing dried ink on the roll, tip or back of the blade is recommended. Fundamentally, plugging of the cell is what causes the ma- jority of problems for printers and ink technicians. That is why it is essential to keep the anilox cell free from contamination and dried ink which will have an immediate impact on its ink/ coating carrying capacity, ink mileage, ink cost and overall print quality and productivity. So, in summary of line count and volume choices. • Heavy coatings: <200lpi, >12.5bcm • Solid and line print: 200 to 360lpi, <12.5 to 5.5bcm • Text and tint: 400 to 700lpi, <4.5 to 3.0bcm • Process screen: >85lpi to 900lpi, 2 .5bcm or less. Now, I know for some these suggestions my seem too wide, and for others too narrow, but as I have said, there are so many variables that must be taken into account for each printer. As a basic guideline, this will get you started in the right direction. I know also that many printers will have built up an exten- sive library of line counts and volumes in their anilox but in my experience the narrower the range, the easier time your printer and ink technician will have in planning your jobs. With the right mix of rolls, you will be able to print a good range of product and graphics. Clearly there will always be exceptions to the rule with certain special jobs needing unique engraving configurations. For these, you will need more rolls produc- ing if you cannot adjust your repro to suit what you have or to meet a particular customers needs. For many printers that want to take a much more scientific approach, getting all of your vendors together and carrying out a full fingerprint test of each of your machines is highly recommended, as a means to helping you make the best pos- sible combination of inks, plates, tapes, prepress, anilox line counts and volumes. This may include engraving a single anilox roll or sleeve with several line counts and volumes, often referred to as a banded roll or sleeve. This can help to determine your engraving selection and speed up the process as you can run multiple engravings at the same time. It is not a perfect process but has proven to give a very good guideline for many printers. Remember: A fingerprint is a snapshot in time. If you change any item in the process, you really will need to do it again. Even if you don’t physically change anything, your machine will age, anilox will plug, print cylinders/sleeves will develop mechanical issues, etc., s o fingerprinting of each press is inevitable if you want to maintain best possible print quality and production efficiencies, not to mention keeping the customer happy! www.flexography.org august 2010 FLeXO 97 Even Mom can’t clean this good! ANILOXROLLCLEANING The Sonic Solutions family of Ultrasonic Anilox Roll Cleaners are unsurpassed when it comes to a fast, simple, low-cost, high-quality method of keeping your rolls at full cell volume. For information on our entire line of ultrasonic cleaning systems, Call Toll-Free 1-877-654-7800 SS-6500 SS-2800 Ultrasonic Cleaners for Laser Engraved Ceramic Anilox Rolls Sonic Solutions, LLC 9850 West 190th Street • Unit L Mokena, IL 60448 www.sonicsolutionsusa.com August2010_mech.indd 97 8/13/10 1:23 PM
Sustainable Summer 2010