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FLEXO Magazine : June 2011
Technologies & Techniques greater variety of coatings in coming years. Choose a doctor blade partner, not just a blade...Considering the achievement of the flexographic process over the past 30 years, there are more diverse applica- tions than ever, often in the same pressroom. Just consider the following: • 150 lpi screens. • Solvent based inks. • 1200 lpi anilox rolls. • 1,000 fpm press speeds. • Solid opaque white, water based ink. • 250 line count anilox rolls. • UV ink and coating. Fortunately, doctor blades have been developed to meet each of these challenges. There are blades that don’t cor- rode in hostile environments, are able to run for extended periods at high speed, can run on multiple jobs and can prevent UV spitting. By selecting a knowledgeable doctor blade partner, one that offers the latest strip steel and blade technology and takes an open consultative approach, a printer can avoid costly missteps. An ideal doctor blade partner is one who: • Offers a wide range of new materials better able to meet sustainability objectives. • Conducts pressroom assessment audits to determine application needs. • Offers used doctor blade evaluation reports. • Offers specific doctor blade recommendations. • Is willing to conduct blade evaluation trials. • Assists with operator doctor blade optimization training. • Helps printers to optimize their production process. Conclusion... The good news for today ’s flexo printer is, “ You are not alone.” There are a number of qualified doctor blade suppliers that offer the technical support necessary to match the right doctor blade to each type of anilox roll available. n About the Author: Paul Sharkey is the founder of FLXON Inc. and has worked in the flexographic printing industry for more than 35 years, primarily in the areas of anilox rolls, ink transfer and ink man- agement. Figure 10: Worn edge of doctor blade made from fine grained strip steel. Figure 11: Coated doctor blade tip. 48 FLeXO June 2011 www.flexography.org
Sustainable Spring 2011