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FLEXO Magazine : July 2008
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Unprepared anilox: Surface contamination from water spots and fingerprints affect the transfer of ink. VERIFICATION N ow that we thoroughly understand how the anilox functions, as well as how to clean and track it, there is one final question to consider. How can we confirm we are using the correct anilox and that our cleaning system is doing an effective job? Anilox roll condition must be verified to ensure the roll really is clean. There are numerous tools that can be used to verify cleanliness that range in price from a few dollars to tens of thousands. Liquid vol- ume measurement is a less expensive way that comes in handy if all new rolls have been benchmarked. However, it only helps de- termine volume and not CPI. It can also be manipulated to some degree from person to person, depending on individual skill level with the equipment. Scopes offer far more accurate methods of determining CPI and volume, plus they have the capability to capture results via data and screen capture for future reference. It is certainly hard to deny the condition of a roll when you can see the cells for yourself. Scopes also have the capability of making multiple reads in a short amount of time. Of course, most scope systems can be tem- peramental, since the engraved anilox distances they relay may only be a few microns (millionths of a meter). Scopes perform best in a stable and vibration-free area. A pressroom environment typically does not meet that criteria, but a designated area for cleaning/care/examination of aniloxes serves very well. Both of the above mentioned methods work well if the need for informa- tion is immediate. Whichever method is used, always ensure the roll is clean to minimize costly downtime, waste, and ink usage during the setup of a job where the press is used in proofing. Preparation of the anilox inventory will always be an important and worthy endeavor for any print shop that wants to reduce press setup times and increase efficiency. It is important to mini- mize the guesswork that would otherwise occur at press-side. The impact of maintaining, documenting, and verifying aniloxes affects everyone involved in printing, job planning and partici- pating in anilox preparation. Remember, having them in a ready state often makes the difference on how well a pressrun initiates, proceeds and concludes. Cost reduction, shorter setups and prop- erly-run jobs are all required to be competitive in today's print industry, so take all these aspects into consideration when setting up a dedicated anilox care system. . ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sean Teufler is technical graphics advi- sor for Harper Corporation of America. He applies more than 17 years of experience in troubleshooting, consulting and teaching to help cli- ents achieve their printing goals. For more information, contact him by phone at 704-557-5106, or bye-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. J U L Y 2008 - www.flexography.org FLEXO
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008