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Roll Cleaning Options for Your Printing Business

Run after run, your printing presses can get pretty dirty. Your goal is to turn out quality products and reduce waste. For this, your operation needs a cleaning solution that removes the evidence of a previous run and offers you a clean roll to work with. For many, the Eliminator is the solution. This liquid concentrate is an acidic solution that removes the residue.

The Eliminator is an anilox roll cleaner that is known as a highly effective cleaning product from The Flexo Factor. This product gets rid of the dried ink from chrome-engraved and ceramic rolls. Look for this product only from an authorized distributor.

Cleaning with the Eliminator

For many people, cleaning seems pretty mundane, but it’s essential to the quality that rolls off your printing presses. Even little bits of ink or residue can ruin an entire run and require you to do it all over again, wasting time, resources, and money. Then, too, presses that aren’t cleaned regularly and properly can experience damage to the machinery. New rolls are expensive.

We’ve found the anilox roll cleaner known as the Eliminator works well on ceramic and chrome rolls. It’s acidic, making it strong, but not too harsh, and cleans thoroughly. Add several drops to an E-Razor applicator sponge before wiping clean, then continue until all of the residue is removed from the roll.

We recommend daily, weekly, and deep cleaning as essential for protecting an anilox roll, as well as the printed product. Otherwise, residue can show up on what you’re printing, as well as building up in the cells of the roll itself. And this residue interferes with ink delivery and the quality of your printed product.

Selecting Custom End Seals over OEM Parts

Your operation is running those presses as much as possible to keep up with business. However, sometimes, you may experience problems due to leaks in the end seals. In the short term, this calls for immediate replacement. And in the long term, you might want to look at the supplier.

You may not be using the right product, causing your operation to suffer losses. In this case, look for a seal supplier that has a long history of serving companies by providing top-notch printing parts. And also, consider using custom end seals.

The Advantages of Custom End Seals

Customization comes best from a company with an excellent reputation in the business. This is because you need precision to ensure the new seals are doing their job correctly while meeting their purpose and lasting for a good many print runs. We’ve found seals made with high-speed CAD-cutting equipment provide the best fit for our customers. This offers you the customization you need to prevent leaks, as well as speeding along the printing process and improving quality.

Customers like you may find that traditional seals, made with a die-cut process, may warp, leak, and suffer from concave edges. These impact the products you’re turning out on your presses and ultimately show up in the bottom line. For these reasons, many customers are opting for custom end seals over OEM products.

When the results are lacking, look to a company that can resolve these issues. Even though you use seals with OEM specs, there can be slight variations. And it’s these variations that cause you problems. Seek a consultation with a reputable manufacturer who’s willing to work with you to solve these problems. As well as tweaking the specs, the right manufacturer will test different materials that might work better for the end seals you use in your printing operation.

Blue Metal Doctor Blades Will Meet Your Printing Needs

Choosing the right blade makes all the difference in large-scale and commercial printing. These metal blades — known as doctor blades throughout the industry — control the amount of ink that remains on a printing cylinder. It helps keep ink evenly distributed for a more precise and careful print. There are many to choose from, but we would like to highlight one of the options at Allison Systems: the blue blade.

Why Use Blue Oxide Blades?

Blue doctor blades are made from carbon steel. This material is known to be economical and it can be used for short-run process jobs with non-porous substrates and non-abrasive inks. The blue steel blade itself is made of carbon steel with a blue oxide layer.

The original purpose of the blue oxide was to give the blade makers of a bygone era a better way to identify the bevel of the blade. The bevel is easy to identify because of the contrast between the blue material color and the polished steel edge color. While this treatment is no longer necessary in the manufacturing process, it can still be helpful to more accurately identify the beveled edge to ensure correct installation orientation when the blade needs to be changed.

Blade Specifications

The blue oxide blade is available in 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 18, and 20 mil thicknesses, with a number of different beveled edges. Some of the bevels only come in certain thicknesses, so make sure you’ve already identified which blade is best for your printing press equipment. If you’re unsure, we’d be happy to help you identify the right metal blades for your equipment.

Using Real Cleen Solutions for Press Cleaning

The importance of purchasing the right cleaner for your presses cannot be understated. Since a lot of ink goes into large-scale and industrial printing, it is going to take an impressive cleaning solution to ensure all dried on ink is removed to ensure a high-quality print every time. But how do you decide which press cleaners will best meet your needs? Here at Allison Systems, we fully recommend checking out The Flexo Factor’s “Real Cleen” solution as a starting point.

The Real Cleen Advantage

Beyond being a popular choice for most press equipment, The Flexo Factor’s “Real Cleen” solution is water-soluble and contains lubricants and rust inhibitors to help protect the equipment you’re cleaning. Furthermore, this solution is designed to remove dried inks from equipment surfaces on contact. This works for water, glycol, and UV ink applications.

Specs and Usage

You can purchase this solution in either ready-to-use or concentrated forms. This liquid has a pH 1% solution rating of 10.3 to 10.8 and is amber in color. The cleaning solution is environmental and operator safe, though you should always use safety glasses and gloves when handling it. For use, apply and rub it into the surface you are cleaning, and then rinse with water. When not in use, keep the container closed tightly and rinse any empty containers before disposal.

Exploring Your Options

If this solution doesn’t provide you the results you need, you can check out many of the other press cleaners provided by The Flexo Factor. We’d be happy to supply you with our recommendations at your request.

Picking Your Doctor Blades

Plastic blades being displayed as a fan.Doctor blades are the key to successful production but choosing the best one for your needs is often a complex process.  You need to know your intended application, as well as the advantages and drawbacks of different blade types.  Fortunately, we are here to help. Before you order new blades, consider some of the best uses for two styles you can buy:

  • Metal Blades – The material of choice for high-quality and repeatable doctoring results, these blades come in several forms. Each one has its advantages, such as the long life of tool steel blades or the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. The important thing to remember is that metal should be your go-to for doctoring that’s consistent across numerous jobs.
  • Plastic and Composite Blades – Certain flexo, coating, and gravure applications require cost-effective performance but not necessarily the benefits of metal blades. A couple of examples would be applications that use low screen count anilox rolls or corrugated applications.  You can count on plastics and composites to deliver this performance. These blades tend to have a long life at high speeds and are ideal for use on laser-engraved ceramic anilox rolls.

Are you still unsure which blades you should buy? Don’t be afraid to ask an expert! A reputable supplier should be happy to work with you to determine the best product for your situation.

Make the Most of Your End Seals

End SealsWhen it comes to printing applications, your choice in consumables makes all the difference.  One of the most critical pieces in your arsenal are your end seals.  Unfortunately, the wear they face during high-speed printing processes means that they may need replacement sooner than you would like.

If your seals are not lasting as long as you need, it’s crucial to get new seals that deliver the level of performance you desire.  With modern technology, most seal designs are easy to replicate when you use the right provider. The key is recognizing which supply companies give you the best product for your money.

For long-lasting seals that support your success, you want a partner that uses high-speed CAD cutting equipment to produce durable replacements.  This state-of-the-art approach offers the best balance of speed, customization, and quality. Most importantly, it avoids many of the problems with traditional die-cut seals, such as:

  • Warpage
  • Concave Edges
  • Chamber Leakage

Depending on your needs, you might also want an alternative material or chamber-specific seal geometry change. This is where custom design and material capabilities that include foam, rubber, felt, and composite design makes a massive difference.  By working with suppliers who have a versatile range of products and the ability to tailor their production to meet your needs, you get the best possible results.

The Advantages of Steel Doctor Blades

Printing BladesThe doctor blade is a crucial component of the flexo printing and gravure printing processes. It removes ink from the surface of the roller so that the intended volume of ink can be transferred. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of steel doctor blades.

When quality is your production priority, you cannot go wrong with a steel doctor blade. Blades made with this material are specially manufactured so that printing processes generate consistent, high-quality results. Many printers prefer steel doctor blades because they are:

  • Cost-Effective: Carbon steel is highly economical. Its durability makes it an excellent choice for short-run production jobs, as well as projects that use non-porous substrates or inks that are not very abrasive.
  • Durable: Doctor blades crafted from tool steel are designed with longevity and toughness in mind. Abrasive inks, such as white inks or those containing titanium dioxide, solids, or rough anilox rolls, can cause wear and tear due to friction. Tool steel doctor blades can withstand the abuse.
  • Long-Lasting: One significant cost in the printing production process arises from press downtime due to the need to change or adjust the doctor blade.   Many grades/types of steel and edge shapes are available so that you can choose the best option for the application.  Running long life tool steel in high wear applications and other grades in less demanding setups will help ensure that all of the blades will need replacing at the same time.  By replacing blades less often, you will save on production costs.

There are many advantages to running steel doctor blades. Contact Allison Systems to learn more about your options.

Things to Consider When Ordering Custom End Seals

End SealsWhen it comes to printing, consistency and quality will make or break your enterprise. Many printing firms are turning to custom end seals as a way to ensure they are getting the best possible results. Custom parts that fit your equipment are a great way to enhance your productivity while improving your business’s cost-effectiveness.

End seals are an essential component of your production processes. However, that never means you have to settle for the same end seal you are currently using if it is leaking or causing other problems. With a custom end seal, you can adjust the shape or material of the end seal to help solve issues with the current design.  End seal geometry can vary slightly from OEM specs, especially if you have switched suppliers one or more times.  Slight changes in geometry can cause the end seal to not mate with the doctor blade or anilox roll as it should and create leakage points.  If necessary, the material used to produce the end seal can also be adjusted to better match your current run conditions.

By working with Allison Systems, you will find it easy to keep up with the demands of your business. Request a consultation with us to learn about your options.

Durable Gold (QR) Metal Blades

Metal BladesIn printing applications, abrasive inks can wreak havoc on the metal blades that your equipment needs to function. Allison Systems strives to solve this problem by offering a product with exceptional durability, specially created to last as long as possible by employing innovative design. Offering a number of advantages over traditional blades, our Gold (QR) option is available with several bevel options and in thicknesses of:

  • 0.006”
  • 0.008”
  • 0.010”
  • 0.012”

Excellent at enduring abrasive inks, QR blades also serve to reduce scoring issues. As they wear down, they produce smaller particles than other materials – particles that easily flush away from the blade instead of sticking between it and the cylinder. That means less frustration for your team and better results when you print, especially over time. It also translates to less waste from unusable materials.

Value isn’t the QR blade’s only advantage, however. It’s also versatile. Available for use with gravure and flexo doctoring, it also supports containment applications with both chrome and ceramic rolls. With expansive uses and a long lifespan, this product stands out as an excellent choice when you want premium quality and the freedom to make the most of your blades.

Using CAD-Driven Equipment to Create Custom End Seals

End SealsEnd seals are a vital part of modern printing applications. With today’s CAD-driven processes, these valuable components are easy to customize in accordance with your operation’s needs. Turn to a company that offers specialized cutting equipment and enjoy all of the benefits of contemporary custom seals, including:

  • Personalization – Depending on your equipment and its intended use, any number of specific designs might be necessary to deliver the right results when you print. Because seals made with CAD-driven technology are easy to customize and create using various materials, they offer tailored precision without a hassle. Some of the available materials include foam, rubber, felt, and composite.
  • Replication – Since CAD systems can easily replicate an existing design, even highly customized variants are easy to reproduce with quick turnarounds. This is ideal for larger operations in need of numerous seals, as well as ensuring that quality replacements are easy to obtain when needed.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – In addition to saving time and delivering dependable results, CAD-driven cutting equipment creates the seals you need without breaking the bank. Those savings don’t come at the cost of quality, either. Superior to die-cut equipment, these designs help you avoid issues like warpage, concave edges, and chamber leakage.

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