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FLEXO Magazine : December 2011
• Scoring—when it is present, use of rare earth magnets, combined with some type of filtration to remove contami- nants from the ink train. A main cause for score lines is over-impression of the doctor blades. Other reasons for over-impression include, leaking end seals, blade holds or chambers that are not aligned properly and, dirty clamps that lead to wavy or uneven doctor blades. • Impact damage—use of roll covers will help protect the surface of an anilox. Covers are typically used for storage and transportation from the storage area to the press. When possible, use roll covers during the installa- tion or removal from press. This is where the majority of damage occurs. Discuss concerns with operators/help- ers to see if there are other areas, where impact has oc- curred, that could be padded or rubberized, e .g. storage racks, hand rails, press frame, etc. In addition to identifying which rolls need replacement, due to wear and/or damage, it may be a good time to take steps to minimize the options and variability available to operators. Consider the range of anilox specifications needed for overall job mix and quality demands. Determine optimum cell count/volume combinations needed to achieve targeted solid ink density (SID) and dot gain for process work, as well as desired color strength and overall coverage for spot color; plus coat weight required for OP varnishes or adhesion. Tools available to ensure a scientific approach include band- ed anilox rolls, coating application worksheets and supplier involvement! Be sure to factor in any changes made to other components in the print package—printing plates, material, line screen, mounting tape , ink system, even ink supplier. Involve the necessary individuals through- out this entire process, most importantly, the press operators. Their experience and knowledge can offer insightful suggestions and ideas when given the chance. They are the individuals that work with these compo- nents on a daily basis. Operators know which rolls to go with when times get tough. Finally, don’t stop with the anilox roll! Overall care and maintenance of all components and good housekeeping practices are needed to be successful. This includes, training and awareness, the correct tools, preventative maintenance, documentation, checklists, as well as standard operating procedures, etc. Develop a team to perform internal audits of processes to ensure all are meeting expectations. Determine which components need to be inspected, variables need to be measured, equipment needs to be greased and what press accessories need to be replaced. The time has come to take a snapshot and put a plan in motion—a plan to minimize variables, improve efficiencies and increase profits. Believe me, your team will embrace the thought. Within a short time, all will see the results of working smarter, not harder. n About the Author: Bill Malm is the Midwest / West Coast technical graphics advisor for Harper Graphic-Solutions, a division of Harper Corporation of America. Prior to joining the Harper team, Malm had been in the narrow web print- ing industry for 14 years. During this time, he was involved in a number of process improvement teams, focusing on issues of corporate standards, color management, and setup reduction. He has run a variety of presses in the production of labels, multi web constructions, coupons, and games. Magnification of anilox cells reveals clean quality engraving, (left), plugged cells (center), and impact damage (right). Example of achievable results when variability in inventory is reduced Damage caused by bent sling guard. 66 FLEXO DEcEMbEr 2011 www.flexography.org CPI BCM CPI BCM 1400 1.6 1200 2.0 1200 1.8 900 3.0 1000 2.2 700 3.5 900 2.8 550 4.5 800 3.0 700 3.2 600 3.4 600 3.2 500 3.5 500 4.0 400 5.0 400 4.2 360 5.2 360 4.6 BEFORE AFTER PURPOSE PURPOSE Combo / Screen Process Process Combo / Screen Line / Solid Heavy Spot Line / Solid Heavy Spot