Mette Laursen of Flexo Wash says a clean anilox is crucial to quality print
It is now almost a cliché that the anilox is the heart of the flexo process. But, it is critically important for consistently high quality print and for constant output with minimal downtime that the need to maintain anilox rolls correctly is essential to survival in our competitive world. If you want to excel, you need to install a rigid regime of thorough cleaning to stay ahead of your competition.
The absence of good cleaning practice will lead to a reduction of the available cell volume and difficulties in transferring the correct amount of ink. These issues will create an end result of inconsistent print quality. A clean anilox has to be seen as a quality tool. It ensures an even higher output on the press with less set-up time and reduced labour costs.
The best thing is to be proactive from the beginning. Make sure that your aniloxes are properly clean from day one, and clean them after each job, and before storage. Never leave them standing around, because ink becomes more difficult to remove from the fine cells, and the longer the ink (or coating) dries in the cells, the more difficult the cleaning process becomes, and the more important a strict cleaning method becomes. Pads, abrasive cleaners, and brushes are losing their effectiveness in today’s deeper and smaller cells, and can also cause damage to the expensive roll.
Clean is Clean – you decide how!
Flexo Wash supplies two ways of cleaning your expensive and delicate aniloxes: the first is cleaning with liquid and high-pressure water; and the second is the fast-emerging laser technology. Both give a perfect cleaning result and will reduce your downtime and expense from printing with dirty aniloxes.
But how do you choose between the two technologies? As a converter, you need to consider which solution makes sense to you by asking yourself a few questions:
– how much time do I have for cleaning aniloxes?
– how large/limited is my anilox inventory?
– how many aniloxes do I want/need to clean per cycle?
– where do I want to place the anilox cleaner/what connections do I have available?
– are there any corporate mandates or concerns regarding waste stream?
– do I use very difficult inks or coatings?
Flexo Wash Liquid Anilox Cleaner:
This system is fast and proven, and will clean 1-9 aniloxes in 10-20 minutes. It offers very effective deep cleaning that you can carry out on a daily basis, knowing that you will always get back 100% cell volume. Choose this method if you have more than 20-25 aniloxes to clean per day. Flexo Wash has more than 3000 liquid and high-pressure water anilox cleaners in daily service worldwide.
Flexo Wash Laser Anilox Cleaner:
This emerging technology allows you to clean 1-2 aniloxes per cycle in 30-50 minutes, with no waste stream or consumables. Choose this method if you don’t have access to utility connections or need to clean only a few aniloxes each day. It is a very effective way of deep cleaning, especially on today’s difficult 2K inks and coatings, and will also get back 100% cell volume. With anilox cleaning, it’s not ‘whether’, it’s ‘how’ that you have to decide!