When the Armex® Anilox Formula is delivered at the appropriate PSI (35 PSI for Ceramic, 25 for Chrome) by the Sanilox™ System, there is a micro explosion that causes the media to break down and scour the dried ink from the inside of the cells. If delivered at lower pressures, the media cannot break down properly which provides an ineffective clean. Many systems also have sub-par dust collection systems which can’t effectively vacuum the cleaning media and roll contamination.
As mentioned in the previous Tech Tip, baking soda is ideal for cleaning anilox rolls because its crystal size allows for penetration into even the smallest cell opening. The particle breaks down from a 75 micron particle to less than 6 microns. The opening of a 2000 LPI cell is 10 microns, thus making it effective for any line count, cell geometry or volume. In addition, baking soda is softer than the ceramic or chrome coating on any anilox or gravure roll, making it extremely difficult to damage the engraving.
Eaglewood Technologies will be participating in the 3M Flexo Symposium July 13th at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, MN. Our own Peter J. Mulheran is among the industry experts and will present “Effective Anilox Care – Utilizing Continuous Improvement Methods”. Other authorities at the sold out forum will speak on a range of quality issues such as, educating your workforce, plate quality and driving global brand consistency.
Why is baking soda cleaning so effective in removing inks, coatings and adhesives from anilox rolls? Cleaning with baking soda has been around for decades. This media is a natural, water soluble, inorganic compound with a soft crystalline structure that makes it an ideal cleaning agent.
Baking soda cleaning evolved from cleaning monuments, historical buildings and aerospace components all the way to cleaning ink out of the cells of anilox rolls. Baking soda is a natural for cleaning anilox rolls due to how soft the particle is in comparison to most substrates. Yet the crystal size allows the media to penetrate the smallest cell opening. The Armex® Anilox Formula is made specifically for use in the Sanilox™ Roll Cleaning System to remove dried inks, coatings and adhesives from anilox rolls.
From the anilox roll cleaning experts, you asked and we listened! Eaglewood Technologies has produced a new Sanilox™ video with the latest features highlighted. The video illustrates the new touchscreens as well as on and off press cleaning in a concise video. Some customers feel the video provides enough detail that a live demonstration isn’t necessary! Watch the latest in anilox roll cleaning technology on our website, www.eaglewoodtech.com, or on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JogCeKNizCM&feature-youtu.be
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Careful consideration and time goes into choosing the correct line screen, cell geometry and volume to deliver the right amount of ink or coating to a substrate. Anilox rolls do not always deliver a perfect result. On average, each cell releases only 50% of the ink from the cell. The remaining ink stay behind creating the need we know all too well.
Anilox roll cleaning is crucial in maintaining the quality of the print. If you neglect to clean your roll inventory, you will not get the most of your anilox investment. As printers, you must ensure you get the same volumes from run to run so profit margins aren’t consumed by color correction.
Daily cleaning is essential in removing the deposits of ink left behind from your jobs. A great liquid cleaner and a brush can never be replaced. However, daily cleaning can’t remove all ink deposits from the cells of all anilox rolls. That’s where an automated cleaning solution comes into play. No amount of scrubbing or the most hazardous of chemicals can achieve the results that most cleaning technologies can accomplish.
An effective cleaning program should result in longer anilox life, fewer job rejections, less waste, reduced press downtime, consistent print coverage and precise volume transfer of inks.
There are many variables when selecting an automated technology that suits your needs. Use your anilox provider to help in this decision. Have the cleaning companies perform demonstrations on your rolls to assure their process can clean your roll line count and ink chemistry both cost effectively and timely.
To learn more on how the Sanilox™ System has helped alleviate roll cleaning issues like yours, visit www.eaglewoodtech.com.