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FLEXO Magazine : June 2014
...by choosing the right anilox and sleeve supplier! Apex offers you a complete Flexo product package! This is what Apex is known for: Quality. Service. Innovation. Reliability. No matter whether you choose GTT, our high-class Ultracell anilox rolls, the new Flexo Bridge & Plate sleeves, or our cleaning/maintenance products, counting on Apex always means counting on durable high quality products and perfect customer service. CONVENTIONAL ANILOX. UNCONVENTIONALQUALITY. ® THE FUTURE OF FLEXO ® ®ACCURATE, DURABLE & NEW APEX NORTH AMERICA Tel: 724 379 8880 www.apex-groupofcompanies.com firstname.lastname@example.org APEX FRANCE +33(0)475463942 fr ance @ap ex - eu rope. com t e APEX EUROPE +31(0)497361111 email@example.com t e APEX DEUTSCHLAND +49 (0) 2823 929 360 info@ apex - d eutschland .de t e APEX ITALY +39 (0) 331 379 063 firstname.lastname@example.org t e APEX IBERĺCA +34 (0) 93 583 1012 email@example.com t e APEX ASIA +65 (0) 6284 7606 firstname.lastname@example.org t e APEX LATIN AMERICA +55 (0) 41 3677 2678 email@example.com t e I nventedby ApexGroupofCompan i es Genet i cT r ansfer Techno l ogy EUROPE : EP2121339 USA : 8 . 397 . 633B2 CHIN A : ZL200880125338 . 2 JAPAN : 5301562 O t h erf o rei gn pa te n ts p e nd i ng GTT-Patents Awards, Certifications and Patents USE, CARE AND MAINTENANCE ADVICE Visit us! Visit us! Stand 5610 Stand 5610 BLADE ALIGNMENT Proper blade to anilox alignment is very im- portant when using a chambered inker setup to minimize the amount of force needed to meter cleanly and maintain desired contact angles. Both blades should contact the anilox roll at the same time and evenly across the face of the anilox roll. If there is any misalign- ment in any axis, extra pressure will need to be applied to get the blades to seat properly and provide a good wipe. E xtra pressure leads to flat contact angles that contribute to increased potential for spitting to occur. BLADE THICKNESS A general recommendation regarding the blade thickness is that you want to run the thinnest blade possible while still being able to achieve the desired wipe quality. For typical flexo water and solvent based inks, a blade thickness of 0.006-in. or 0.008-in. is effec- tive in most applications. When coatings or adhesives are being applied, a thicker blade is generally used to withstand the increased hydraulic forces applied to the doctor blade by the more viscous fluids. The same practice applies to UV inks. Blades that are 0.008-in., 0.010-in., or 0.012-in. thick are commonly used with UV inks with great success. Even though the base of the blade material is thicker, you still need a thin working edge to successfully doctor the UV ink. An initial working edge between 0.002-in. and 0.003-in. thick is needed to minimize spitting issues and is readily available with the 15 degree or long beveled blade. UV ink spitting is a common issue that can be successfully managed by following good operating and housekeeping practices. To minimize the potential for UV ink spitting, use a long life, tool steel doctor blade with a laser hardened beveled profile and thin initial working tip. Of course, it shouldn’t need to be said, but it is a common problem: Make sure the blade is installed correctly. The blade is always installed with the bevel facing away from the anilox roll. If you still have spitting issues with your normal blade thickness, a thicker blade should perform better. In general, work with your doctor blade, ink and anilox roll suppliers to determine the best overall solution for your application to minimize the potential for UV ink spitting. n About the Author: Bill Warner is the vice president of Allison Systems Corporation and is responsible for all operating, manufacturing and engineering functions. Throughout his 26 year career with Allison, he has been involved in the application of doctor blades and doctor blade related components for various printing processes. Specific areas of experience include doctor blade sales, tech support, training and R&D as well as the design of custom retrofit doctor blade holders and systems. He has a BS in mechan- ical engineering from Drexel University. Bill can be reached at 856-461-9111 or wjwarner@ allisonblades.com . JUNE 2014 | FLEXO 65