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Choosing the Right Composite Blade for Your Needs

Composite BladeWhen it comes time to choose doctor blades for your printing press, you’ve got some decisions to make. Are you going to use metal or go with a different material, such as a composite blade. Whatever you decide to use, choosing the right blade for your print application is an important step.

Composites can be a smart selection as they provide long life at high speeds as compared to some other materials. Look at the type of products you print, and that will help you make the decision. If you need fine screen metering with a ceramic anilox roll, then a composite, such as Allison Systems’ Fiberglass Plus, is a good choice that is effective with most water-based inks including those that are abrasive or have high solids content.

Take a moment to think about what types of printing you do most often. Composites are ideal for line work and some process jobs on paper and board substrates. Composite blades which are blended with graphite are ideal for higher-end graphics on corrugated materials.

Allison Systems will offer blade selection guidance that will help you make the most effective decision on a replacement. A blade analysis, which covers blade alignment and contact angle, may also help you decide if the current type of blade you are using is appropriate for your application or if you should switch to another type.

Blade Selection Guidance

Plastic BladesWhen it comes time for doctor blade replacement, you may be wondering if another type would work better on your press, or if you should simply keep ordering the same type you’ve been using all along. There are many options on the market ranging from plastic blades to  composite to metal. Our team at Allison Systems has assembled a few points for consideration to help you make sure you get the blades you require for your printing application.

Consider your roller material, the length of the press runs you typically require, and the abrasiveness of the inks you use and that will give you a solid starting point for consideration of which blade material you should purchase. You will want to look at blade edge shapes as well to obtain good wiping characteristics and reduce ink leakage.

You also need to think about the product and the substrate being used.  High-end graphics or line work?  Paper, film, or corrugated substrate?  All these points need to be considered when choosing a blade.

Allison Systems will offer blade selection guidance by working with you to choose the right blade for your application as well as diagnosing any issues you are having with your current blade.  Learning about your current blade performance can help you to make decisions about any future changes.  A blade analysis is often part of this process and gives insight into the alignment and contact angle of your blade thereby allowing you to make setup improvements if needed.  Allison Systems will also provide sample blades for testing with your application to verify the chosen blade is effective for you before you commit to an order.

The Gravure Printing Process

Doctor BladeGravure printing was developed hundreds of years ago and is still a viable method of printing today.  Well known for its excellent print quality and consistency over long runs, it can be the printing method of choice for demanding print jobs.  Also known as rotogravure, it is a relief method of printing where the image to be printed is engraved below the surface of a chrome-plated cylinder.  The durability of the chrome-plated cylinder and the direct image transfer from the cylinder to the substrate are two of the reasons for the high quality and consistency of the process.  However, the process of engraving the cylinder can lead to high costs, particularly for short-run jobs, when compared to other methods of printing.

The gravure process is relatively simple in theory.  The engraved cells are filled with ink while the cylinder is rotating and partially immersed in a pan of ink.  A doctor blade is applied to the surface of the cylinder in a manner that removes all the surface ink from the cylinder without damaging the cylinder.  The ink remaining in the cells is then transferred to the substrate as the substrate becomes sandwiched between the cylinder and impression roller.  The substrate with the wet layer of ink then goes thru dryers so that the ink is completely dry before the substrate moves to the next station where another ink color is applied.

Printing Blades for Printing

Printing BladesYour printing job is only as good as the quality of materials that are used to create the product. That applies to every element at each step along the way, from the design to the inks, substrate, and other components to the press itself.

Your printing company can truly only control some of those steps along the way, not the entire journey itself. However, the elements you can control, like the performance of the press, benefit from your full attention to detail and professionalism. When you examine the first piece off the press and the last piece off the press, it’s your ultimate goal for the two to be indistinguishable with the quality just as high from first to last.

Allison Systems will help you maintain your company’s reputation for quality by providing doctor blades that perform flawlessly on each job. There is no worry of streaks or imperfection in the images due to blade defects with Allison doctor blades which are manufactured under our ISO9001:2015 certified quality management system.

As a busy print shop, you go through many blades and need a trusted, affordable source for quality components.   Allison Systems offers a range of materials from metal to plastic to composite in a variety of edge shapes. In this way, you are sure to get the exact blades you need for your application.

Custom Designed Systems for Your Needs

Flexo Doctor BladeThe printing industry features a diverse array of presses and applications. That’s why the best flexo doctor blade systems adapt to fit your needs. Using a customizable system that’s designed to work with your equipment gives you more operational flexibility and optimizes your press’s performance across multiple jobs.

How do they work? First, the designer examines a computer model of your press configuration to determine optimal wiping angles. Then, the blade system is calibrated to produce the best results based on that model. This effectively eliminated problems commonly found in blade holders.

It also allows you to improve consistency. When you can quickly and easily recreate the perfect blade setting every time you run a job, you effectively distribute ink every time it’s needed. That level of reliability lets you ensure quality control for every customer – all with a single upgrade to your press.

On the other hand, it also allows the same press to meet flexible job requirements by retaining the fountain roll. Custom-made systems are the best way to blend consistency and adaptability, two factors that define your ability to meet industry needs and your reputation as a trusted leader in quality printing that your customers can count on.

Sample Blades for Your Business

Doctor BladeThe right doctor blade makes all of the difference in the printing industry. When you buy yours, make sure you have the best in the business. Choose a reputable supplier with free samples available. These crucial resources allow you to build confidence with crucial applications like:

Testing – Making sure the blades in question perform well and work with your equipment before committing to a minimum purchase means that when you do buy, you can do so without worrying about wasted resources.

Comparison – Companies that are confident in their products aren’t afraid of competition. Sample blades let you compare the results you get from a possible new provider to those of your current setup. See if the change solves issues you experience and find out if you’d really be making an upgrade, all before you spend money.

Analysis Value – Avoid the experience of waiting until after a purchase to find out if the price point was worth the outcome. With free samples, you know exactly what you’re paying for, and that the investment you make yields appropriate results for the resources you allocate.

A sample doctor blade can save you money and give you the insight you need to make a purchase. Buy with confidence in the quality of your blades.

Flexo Doctor Blade – It’s All About the Ink

Flexo Doctor BladeA lot of ink and substrate can go to waste in the printing business. Much of this is due to the quantity of ink being delivered to the plate. Additional ink film needs to be eliminated or the print quality suffers. This is why many printers are choosing higher quality, long life versions of the flexo doctor blade to solve this expensive problem.

A properly chosen flexo doctor blade makes the whole process much more precise, thus reducing wasted ink and  substrate, since  control is established with a metering system that carefully distributes the optimal amount of ink film based on the anilox engraving. The improvements in the product are visible immediately as there is consistency, so the final product doesn’t vary in color or quality.

You need to increase your efficiency and ensure the final products contain quality images and accurate colors, and of course, reduced waste is good for business, as well as the environment. Plus, your customer ends up with a beautiful product with the printing looking just as it was meant to be — such a little thing to make a big difference in your printing business. Contact the team at Allison Systems Corporation for more information about our products.

Doctor Blades – Providing the Edge in Printing

Doctor BladeYour printing business depends on meticulous attention to detail because it’s the little things that make a huge difference when you’re printing thousands of impressions for an order. One tool that many printers find invaluable is a doctor blade to control the thickness of the ink film. These blades are of great importance to reducing waste as they play a crucial role in achieving accurate metering and consistent results.

Your goal is to get as many copies as you want of a label,  package, or brochure. You also want these copies to look the same as far as quality and color go. You don’t want to throw away printed materials because the color  or appearance is variable, rather than consistent.  The correct doctor blade is an essential tool that gives your company the advantage.

Whether rounded, standard, or  Superhoned®, a doctor blade that fits the needs of your printing press is essential for performance. You need a reliable tool with the edge that produces results. As printing is changing continuously, your company must respond with products that result in higher quality products for your customers with less waste and higher efficiency for you.  Contact the team at Allison Systems Corporation for more information about our products.

The Advantages of Using Our Doctor Blades

Blade Printing ServicesGravure and flexography printing have enabled printing companies to produce more and improve their processes. As machine-oriented processes, these printing methods require sophisticated equipment and materials to deliver the best possible results. The doctor blade is one component that allows printers to produce brilliant materials. Learn how Allison Blade Company utilizes its blade printing services to help customers attain the best possible results.

The doctor blade is a component that wipes away excess ink and similar material from moving parts. Essentially, it ensures the clean and precise transfer of inks in high-speed printing processes. It is a smart addition to a press since it leads to consistent, quality results.

Our blade printing services produce blades in different materials. Metal doctor blades are a smart and economical choice thanks to their versatility. The steel is available in various grades to accommodate different inks and substrates, as well as coatings to lengthen performance life.

Blades made from plastic and composite materials are also available, providing cost-effective performance in a variety of printing applications, such as high-speed printing. Upgrade your printing equipment and consider adding doctor blades to your production line. To learn more about our products, you can give us a call at (856) 461-9111 or send an email to

Welcome to the Allison Systems Corporation Blog

Doctor Blades for Flexo PrintingAllison Systems Corporation is committed to helping printing companies save time and resources while optimizing production. We design and manufacture doctor blades for flexo printing, as well as other applications. With our skill, experience, and use of high-quality equipment and materials, our products empower clients to do more.

Since our incorporation in 1968, we have stood at the forefront of innovation in our field. We developed doctor blade finishing machines to give printers more control over their manufacturing processes, and have since expanded to offer a wide selection of pre-finished blades. It is our commitment to continual improvement and client satisfaction that has allowed us to become a trusted doctor blade and printing accessories supplier for printers throughout the industry.

The printing industry is always changing, and we are continually improving our products and processes to meet new challenges. We continue to research, engineer, and manufacture sensible solutions so that our clients remain competitive.

On our blog, you will find helpful information and topics about printing, doctor blades, and more. We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our offerings, including our many blade manufacturing, finishing, and training solutions. Contact us today at (856) 461-9111 for more information about our products.

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