By Shawn Martin, FlexoWash US Customer Service Manager
Welcome to my new column where I will share best practices for Flexo Wash technology and common flexo challenges. I want to answer your real world questions so be sure to send them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature them in an upcoming column. As your partner, I look to handle all your issues as soon as possible and offer lessons learned…
I’ve been a customer for years, and my anilox rolls don’t look as clean as they should. What should I do to get back on track?
Answer: We get the occasional call here at the shop where this is the case. Before we start checking different mechanical items on the Anilox Cleaner, the first thing that needs to be addressed are the 3 T’s: Time, Temperature, and Turbulence.
Let’s take a closer look at these…
Time–Time is simply the amount of time that the anilox is being cleaned during the low pressure wash cycle. If you have an extremely dirty anilox roll or sleeve, then you may need to
increase the wash time for that particular roll or sleeve. During a new unit startup, we like to clean the anilox for 10-20 minutes to make sure that we get a good, deep clean on them. With a regular wash schedule on the anilox rolls or sleeves, the low pressure wash time may be able to get cut down to 5-10 minutes. However, if you have an anilox that has been in the press a while or has only been wiped down and then stored, you might need to take a look at the wash time. Coating rolls normally take a longer wash time than an inked roll.
There are two different temperatures that will need to be checked. The first is the temperature of the cleaning solution. The standard for cleaning inks is setting the temperature betw
een 128-132F. If you are trying to clean a coating roll, then you can bump that up a little to around 136F. It is important to note that the temperature will drop some during the wash cycle. If you see a large drop in temperature, then your diaphragm pump is running too fast. Remember: the diaphragm pump only needs to run fast enough to keep the roll wet. There is a flow valve on the pump for setting the pump speed.
The second temperature to check is that of the high pressure rinse water. This should be set between 80-85F. If the rinse water is set too high, this can cause a “staining” effect on the roll.
Turbulence–Turbulence is the amount of pressure that the high pressure rinse pump is producing during the rinse function of the unit. There should be a pressure gauge on the high pressure pump and normal operating range is between 1500-1700 PSI. If your rinse pressure is below this range and it can’t be turned up by adjusting the black handle on the pressure regulator (turning clockwise), then there might be another issue that needs to be addressed.
So, before you make the call, check the 3 T’s to make sure that the settings are correct. If you do need to call us, have the 3 T information handy and that will help us diagnose the issue.
As always, if you need immediate assistance, call us at Toll Free: 888-493-5396
| F: 888-543-5396
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