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FLEXO Magazine : September 2012
Liquid Photopolymer Plate Processing Room Specifications By Randy Reynolds Processing liquid photopolymer plates requires a dust-free environment, similar to other photographic processes, such as film development. The ideal room has a low level of environmental pollutants, e.g. dust and chemical vapors. Technology required for this is both common and relatively inexpensive. Benefits realized in production and material savings far outweigh the costs. For your health and comfort, make sure your plate processing room is properly ventilated to allow fresh air into the room. Also, be sure to follow the safety recommendations given in the instructions, labels, and Material Safety Data Sheets. ROOM LAYOUT Your plate processing room should be designed for easy cleaning (dusting, mopping, etc). Ideally, the room does not allow for through traffic. Entrances and exits should connect to low dust environments. Furniture should produce a minimum of particles and be easy to clean. • Lighting—Use lighting fixtures that eliminate or minimize dust collection - Cover any light sources (exposed windows, fluorescent lamps, etc.) with UV filters. These clear plastic films are extremely effective, last for many years and their cost is easily recouped by the money and time saved by not having to replace a set of mounted plates • Temperature—The ideal temperature is 78° (+/- 5° F). The ability to control temperature is important and essential for adequate liquid photopolymer viscosity control • Humidity—Ideal relative humidity is between 55 and 65 percent • Ceilings—Drywall ceilings with a smooth finish work best. Drop ceilings made from dust-free, non-flaking panels may also be used • Walls—Walls should be painted with a smooth, low-glare finish. Avoid walls with ledges, chair rails or panels that collect dust • Floors—Floors may be solvent-resistant tile or epoxy-sealed concrete that can be mopped for easy cleanup. Rubber floor mats may also be used • Airflow—Room design should include multiple air ducts (ceiling inputs and cold air returns) with a high-efficiency filtration filter About the Author: Randy Reynolds is business manager for AVantageTM liquid photopolymers manufactured by Anderson & Vreeland, Inc. Reynolds is respon- sible for all external sales and support for AVantageTM liquid photopolymers, including corrugated, multi-wall bag and stamp resins. He is a seasoned veteran in the flexo industry with 16 years of sales and management experience. Exclusive to FLEXO The Label Life • Spear USA • Overnight Labels • Seneca Tape & Label • Ichris Industries • Tapecon • Century Label • Artcraft Label SepTember2012W i nan i Pad ! V isit FT A at La b elex p o B oot h#1815TechTip#2