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FLEXO Magazine : June 2011
Precision in Play As flexographers we all share a common passion. It revolves around a single intent, namely, seeing every consumer product company ’s dream fulfilled. We endeavor to: • Put better looking product on store shelves! • Let the packaging speak for itself! • Deliver clean, crisp print that gets noticed! • Achieve the desired result, each and every time the job goes to press. Collectively, we engage in the never-ending struggle to answer the constant call for precise, controlled, repeatable, quality results. As a consequence, we’re forever managing variables and their effect on print quality and process efficiency. The ap- proach, which goes a long way toward minimizing the challenges that we face on a daily basis, requires constant monitoring and measurement. It also mandates a carefully planned and well orchestrated preventive maintenance program. Options and possibilities for improvement must be studied. Fine details need to be addressed. The mission: maintain optimal press conditions—from start-up to end game. Critical components must be analyzed and common concerns ad- dressed. This month we focus on two specific elements—the anilox roll and doctor blade. The two enjoy an intricate relationship, interact constantly and rely on each other to perform as expected. Of course, certain rules of engagement apply. That’s exactly what we explore in this our “Anilox Roll & Doctor Blade Selection Guide.” From cell geometry and line count; to surfaces, chambers and seals; the ink me- tering system is dissected from top to bottom. Problems, like chatter, streaking, dot gain, UV spitting, scoring and back doctoring are presented, as experts offer advice on how they can be controlled and avoided. This month’s authors agree that, when it comes to fundamentals of ink transfer, precision comes into play. It’s the only way to address print contrast, solid ink densi- ties, dimensional stability and a host of other concerns—ranging from use of 2,000 lpi anilox rolls or printing plates designed to hold a 1-percent dot. The quest for compatibility hinges on matching blade to anilox roll with print outcome in mind. That way, performance will speak for itself in terms of ink transfer and blade life. The collection of articles presented comment on the evolution of the anilox roll and the establishment of the 60-degree hex as flexo’s standardbearer, but they also delve into the latest engraving technologies and their impact on expanding print graphics capabilities. Adaptability to specialized coatings, and the all-important minimization of anilox roll ink film thickness is also covered. And, when it comes to doctor blades, form and functionality are clearly deciphered. From material—steel, plastic or composite—to thickness, contact area, angle, alignment, edge profile, tip format and even the retrofitting of chambered systems –FLEXO’s definitive Anilox Roll & Doctor Blade Selection Guide presents it all. It’s been argued that proper attention to these intricate components of the flexographic printing system can maximize performance at a fraction of the cost of buying a new press. And, remember, in this industry it’s long been said that the anilox roll, let alone its relationship with the doctor blade, stand at the heart of the flexo press. publisher’s ink 8 FleXO June 2011 www.flexography.org FTA TODAY BOARD OF DIRECTORS FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Danny Christianson, Farnell Packaging Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, PCMC Greg Collins, C -P Flexible Packaging Dan Doherty, Prairie State Group Peter Hartman, Harper Corporation of America Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Allen Marquardt, Kimberly-Clark Corp. Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller & Hoelscher Lon Robinson III, Tension Envelope Corp. Hank Welter, Exopack BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOUNDATION OF FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Danny Christianson, Farnell Packaging Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, PCMC Greg Collins, C -P Flexible Packaging Dan Doherty, Prairie State Group Peter Hartman, Harper Corporation of America Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Allen Marquardt, Kimberly-Clark Corp. Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller & Hoelscher Lon Robinson III, Tension Envelope Corp. Hank Welter, Exopack PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Mark Cisternino EDITORIAL ADvISORy COmmITTEE Richard Cervarich, DuPont Packaging Graphics Catherine Haynes, All Printing Resources Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Brad Keys, Staples Print Solutions John Meyer, Color Resolutions International Dave Nunez, International Paper John Paine, C -P Flexible Packaging Paul Wilson, Encore Washington Ltd.
Sustainable Spring 2011