The Importance of Regularly Cleaning and Maintaining Your Flexography Equipment

If you work with flexography printing systems, you know that nearly every piece of flexography equipment at your company comes into contact with ink and gets “dirty.” From the anilox rolls and doctor blades to the flexo plates and the ink trays themselves, almost nothing is exempt from this phenomenon. Over time, ink buildup and other sources of contamination can begin to have direct impacts on your printed products, thus costing you time and money and negatively affecting your bottom line. Components of your flexography printing system may also stop working for a variety of mechanical reason if regular inspections and maintenance appointments are not scheduled. To ensure that you don’t have a component breakdown in the middle of the work week, it is imperative that you stay on top of regular maintenance. In this short article, our flexopgraphy cleaning professionals here at Flexo Wash have compiled several reasons why regularly cleaning and maintaining your flexography equipment is the right move for your business. We’ll also give you some information on our very own line of specialized flexography cleaning machines. Read on and contact our team at (888) 493-5396 today!

Keeping Everything Running Smoothly

In the flexography printing business, efficiency and quality are everything. You want to be able complete a wide range of printing jobs as quickly as possible, and you also want each and every one of those jobs to meet the expectations of your clients. For these reasons, having properly-functioning equipment day in and day out is vital to your business. A dirty anilox roll can lead to unsatisfactory ink distribution, which will in turn lead to compromised detail and image rendering on final products. Cracked or dirty plates won’t be able to transfer ink as effectively to the substrate, leading to similar quality diminishments on final products.

These problems are bad enough in and of themselves, but when they happen in the middle of a workday, production halts and bottom lines plummet. Thankfully, such issues can be avoided through regular cleaning and maintenance. Keeping your anilox rolls, flexo plates, doctor blades, and ink trays clean at all times will greatly reduce the likelihood that your finished prints will turn out poorly. Plus, regular cleaning will help save you time in the long run. By scheduling regular maintenance inspections for your equipment, you will be able to identify problems before they arise and schedule necessary repairs or replacement wherever needed without losing a day (or more) of work and compromising your bottom line. Maintenance inspections will also alert you to any practices you may have been neglecting or performing incorrectly, helping you to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

Keeping Costs Low

As a business owner, you want to keep costs low. For this reason, regular cleanings and maintenance inspections might seem like a bothersome or unnecessary investment. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. By scheduling regular maintenance inspections, you are protecting yourself from unwanted equipment mishaps and malfunctions down the road. Should a component of your machine break in middle of a busy printing day, you will not only be out the cost of a new component — you’ll have also lost at least a day’s worth of business. By scheduling regular maintenance inspections, you will know to repair and replace parts ahead of time, keeping your bottom line and your peace of mind intact.

Regularly cleaning your flexography equipment will also help keep costs low. Regular cleanings will extend the lifespans of nearly all components of a flexography system, thus saving you money on untimely replacements. By investing in a specialized cleaning machine like one of our many state-of-the-art models at Flexo Wash, you will be able to clean the components of your flexography system efficiently and effectively for optimal perseveration and performance.

Keep Clean With Flexo Clean

When it comes to cleaning your flexography equipment, there is simply no better choice than our fully-automated cleaning machines here at Flexo Wash. Used by some of world’s leading printing companies, our machines are designed for maximum efficiency and cleaning performance across a wide range of flexography products. We proudly manufacture machines specifically designed to clean narrow web products, wide web products, and gravure products respectively. To learn more about our product line, and to speak with one of our flexography professionals about cleaning your flexographic equipment, give us a call at (888) 493-5396 today!

The Best Techniques for Keeping You Anilox Rolls Clean

Your anilox rolls are a vital component of your flexography printing business. Anilox rolls control just how much ink is distributed onto printing plates, which then transfer the final image to a substrate. When anilox rolls fail to work correctly, it is impossible to get a properly-rendered finished product. Plus, an anilox roll that is not well cared for may need to be replaced, costing your company several hundreds to thousands of dollars. One way to keep your anilox rolls working better for longer is to keep them clean. Cleaning anilox rolls may seem intimidating; after all, they’re expensive, fragile, and vital to your printing process — small mistakes can be costly. To help you out, we’ve compiled this short guide on the dos and don’ts of anilox roll cleaning. Below, you’ll get advice from our experts on anilox roll cleaning frequency, best practices, and other maintenance considerations. We’ll also give you the opportunity to explore our efficient and highly-effective anilox roll cleaning machines, designed and manufactured to clean anilox rolls for both narrow and wide web products. Read on for The Best Techniques for Keeping Your Anilox Rolls Clean, and contact our flexography professionals at (888) 493-5396 today!

Knowing When to Clean

Perhaps the most frequent question we get regarding anilox roll cleaning is “How often should I clean my anilox rolls?” The answer is: it varies. While there’s really no such thing as too much cleaning (provided you’re doing it properly), some companies may need to clean their anilox rolls less frequently than others. Cleaning frequency is highly dependent on the volume of work your anilox rolls take on. An anilox roll that comes into contact with a lower amount of ink per day will need to be cleaned less frequently than an anilox roll that comes into a higher amount of ink per day.

Cleaning frequency also partially comes down to preference. Some businesses prefer to clean their anilox rolls quite frequently, which keeps the cleaning time per session relatively short. Other businesses may wait longer in favor of a more intensive clean with less frequently. Whichever you choose, be sure not to wait too long: excessively dirty rolls will not only damage your finished products — they may also sustain long-term damage themselves.

At Flexo Wash, we recommend cleaning your anilox rolls after every printing session. However, our specially-designed anilox roll cleaning machines are capable of providing thorough cleans to anilox rolls that haven’t been cleaned in much longer time spans. Provided your rolls aren’t dirty enough to affect your product, you may have to clean them weekly or even monthly, especially with automated systems like our anilox roll cleaning machines.

Using the Right Cleaners

At the heart of anilox roll-cleaning best practices are proper cleaning products. When cleaning your anilox rolls, it is important to use safe and non-corrosive cleaners with a pH value between 6.5 and 10.5. Do not use 100% acidic, ammonia, or chlorine as cleaning liquids. Aside from common chemical cleaners, there are several other anilox roll cleaning methods, including baking soda cleaners, plastic (poly) bead systems, and ultrasonic techniques, each with their own unique advantages and drawbacks. At Flexo Wash, we highly recommend using our anilox roll cleaning machines, which use specialized cleaning solutions, powered washing techniques, and directed air drying to effectively and efficiently clean anilox rolls of all kinds. You can learn more about our machines in the final section of this article.

Other Considerations

Before moving on to the final section of our article, we’d like to remind you of several general care and maintenance tips that will help your anilox rolls safe and clean. Firstly, proper handling of rolls is essential. Try not to touch the rolls’ ceramic with your hands; instead, handle them by their ends. We recommend using protective sleeves to keep rolls safe at all times. We also recommend storing your rolls in a two-arm rack with a half-inch clearance on each side of the roll. This system allows the majority of the weight to rest on the thicker part of the journal rather than the ends of the journal.

Effectively and Efficiently Clean Your Anilox Rolls With Flexo Wash

At Flexo Wash, we proudly design and manufacture a line of several machines designed to effectively and efficiently clean anilox rolls of all kinds. Used by some of the leading printing companies in the world, our specialized anilox roll cleaning machines clean narrow web products, wide web products, and gravure products. Follow the links for more information on each of our highly-specialized anilox roll cleaning machines and learn how you can have your anilox rolls effortlessly cleaned in under 20 minutes.

Have more questions about anilox roll cleaning? Contact our professionals at (888) 493-5396 today!