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FLEXO Magazine : June 2014
Doctor Blade Optimization, Testing & Analysis What to Know to Get The Most From Your Equipment Johnny Stamey I t is always an exciting time when a printer installs a new press. There are usually big goals set for pro- duction numbers, gaining new customers and new jobs, and all with better quality. But just because a printer installs a new press, does not mean it will achieve better print quality—it just means the printer has a new press. A common mistake made on a new press install is a printer will use the same equipment it had on its old press. That includes: • Plates • Anilox rolls • Doctor blades • End seals • Other key components for the printing process Why would a printer duplicate components of the older presses and expect a better print quality? Always remember: Any time something in the process changes—a press, inks, an anilox roller, plates—always start an optimization project to make sure the process is as effective as possible. Think of optimizations as an act, process or methodology of making something as fully perfect, functional or effective as possible. In this case, such a project needs to involve all of your suppliers. OPTIMIZATION From a doctor blade standpoint, the supplier should make a press- room visit and perform the proper press/pressroom audit. Part of that will be gathering the recommended OEM specifications on proper sizing of the doctor blade. This information is critical to have before any testing is done to ensure proper fit of the doctor blade. Overall blade length, blade width and thickness are the most important spec- “Think of optimizations as an act, process or methodology of making something as fully perfect, functional or effective as possible. ” 52 FLEXO | JUNE 2014 TECHNOLOGY & TECHNIQUES Anilox Roll, Doctor Blade, Ink Selection Guide