Ink density - anilox or formula impact?

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Moderator: Frank Burgos

Re: Ink density - anilox or formula impact?

Postby barb » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:25 am

Gory, technician from our anilox supplier was here today.

I'm still shocked but also disappointed/ashamed because up until now I just refused to believe that our aniloxes were the main problem. I always compared the 5 year old ones that are at our other machine - but never did occured to me that there is so much difference in maintenance depending on what liniature are they.

As it turns out, the wear on them caused the enormous 40% drop in volume. :(

Well then, remember kids - never make conclusions without experts by your side!

Inkmans are still coming over so I'll just make sure we get the best formula we can from what we can gain with these aniloxes until we repair or replace them...
barb
 
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Re: Ink density - anilox or formula impact?

Postby Frank Burgos » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:33 am

That's great, Barb.

I recommend that you guys get a 400x coaxially-lighted microscope and allow the operators and other folks that handle aniloxes look at the anilox surfaces with the scope on a regular, frequent basis. When pulling from storage, before cleaning, after cleaning, when storing, when problems arise, when the rolls are just sitting there are they're bored, etc. Wear or cell plugging that is enough to affect volume is apparent. Operators will learn to correlate cell appearance/condition with performance. The insights gained are among the most important an operator can possess, in my opinion.

Frank
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Re: Ink density - anilox or formula impact?

Postby barb » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:44 pm

Hi Frank, thanks for the advice. Yup, right after they left we started talking about buying one of those microscopes :smile:

This was a huge eye-opening for everyone included in pressroom so I believe in the future we will pay way more attention to maintenance and check-ups.

I completely agree with your statement, once you know for sure what you're working with it's easier to solve any issue that comes up.
barb
 
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Re: Ink density - anilox or formula impact?

Postby Frank Burgos » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:09 pm

You're welcome!
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Re: Ink density - anilox or formula impact?

Postby barb » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:24 pm

Well Frank, if it weren't for this forum or your videos on youtube, I wouldn't have know at least the half of things I know right now, so no welcoming needed :wink:

Now, after sleeping over and drinking few beers after the initial shock the only thing left to do is to decide where do you go aftewards. What's the smartest thing to do. Since we're a smaller company we absolutely can't afford to change our aniloxes every one to two years so we're definately considering to down it even to 360 or 340 lcm. But what volume would be appropriate? How do you even calculate what's best for your machine? Suppliers seem to be a bit uninterested - they recommend their volume but with no explanation whatsoever - so far.
I'm still a newbie at this point so my main concern is how will our press behave regarding our previous prints if we go for example from 450 l/cm, 4,5 cm3/m2, to 360 l/cm, 5-6 cm3/m2.

Oh man, two years ago I barely knew how the flexo printing plate looks, and here we are now, I have to figure out and decide what aniloxes and volumes would be suitable for our needs. :(
barb
 
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Re: Ink density - anilox or formula impact?

Postby Frank Burgos » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:24 am

Hi Barb,

I'm so glad you found help here.

I want to add that if you associate your ink formulas with aniloxes, by serial number, in your documentation, including job ticket, over time, even as the aniloxes wear out, your formulas will be gradually adjusted to compensate for the decrease in volume and you will see fewer instances of adjusting color and swapping out aniloxes for color strength.

At most companies I visit, operators are free to swap aniloxes to adjust strength. This is poor practice. Anilox volumes are optimized for reasons more important than only color strength. Swapping aniloxes just to adjust for color strength is symptomatic of a lack of understanding of the anilox's role and guaranteed to cause headaches, wasted time and wasted materials.

An environment where an operator is free to swap, without any protocols mitigating the decision and the result, is out of control.
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