It is a fact that every printer asks themselves the same daily questions. How do I best clean my anilox? What anilox cleaners do we have? Are these the best available anilox cleaners?
I have spent decades in the flexo industry. Much of this time was spent manufacturing all types of anilox rolls and sleeves. The challenge with anilox is maintaining consistent performance of the anilox during every print run. This is a daily challenge for printers globally.
The reality is many printers do not attempt regular cleaning of their anilox. Another reality is that printers try to clean anilox with sub-optimal cleaners. They may use what ever generic cleaning products happen to be around the press room.
Fortunately, my career takes me around the world. This results in the good fortune of testing hundreds of anilox cleaning solutions. I have also tested many models of anilox cleaning equipment and tested the equipment in every flexo market segment. Because of this invaluable experience I know what works the best.
The Challenge is that multiple ink chemistries are sometimes used on the same press
The challenge for Flexo printers in particular is that multiple ink chemistries are sometimes used on the same job and hence the same press. This can include water based, UV and solvent based inks and coatings. Even if the inks and coatings are supplied by the same manufacturers the inks and coatings often do not react well together. As a result this sometimes creates a cross linked chemical mixture that often will resist most anilox cleaners. This is why it is important to match the anilox cleaning solution to the application.
Another problem for many printers is that the ceramic coating applied by many engravers may be very porous. This problem in addition to the engraved anilox cell means that all types of inks and coatings tend to aggressively attach themselves to the coating which leads to additional cleaning difficulties.
Sandon Global Anilox
This is one of the reasons we offer Sandon Global anilox which have virtually no porosity due to the method of plasma coating and sealants which makes the coating much easier to clean. Sandon Global anilox also resists plugging for the same reason.