No printer is unaware of the need to have an anilox cylinder in optimal working condition. The intensity of the color, the definition of the patterns or the homogeneous spread of the ink depend on the anilox, to name a few examples. A good choice in recording it allows us to obtain superior performance, thanks to the different technologies we have, but it will not be achievable without a good cleaning maintenance plan.
The importance of deep cell cleaning
An anilox cylinder is never 100% emptied when working, nor is it possible to clean fresh ink completely when we finish a job or the workday. It always has a tendency to accumulate ink residues at the bottom of the cells, which over time solidifies, forming a sediment that reduces the supply of ink. This reduction in volume will cause print quality problems, sometimes imperceptibly in short periods of time and sometimes irregularly. Manual cleaning tasks can be uncomfortable, as they are delayed in time or are not carried out in a homogeneous way, which is why the automatic cleaning of cylinders using ultrasound anilox cleaning equipment is increasingly being implemented.
The advantages of the automatic process
This type of equipment, such as the Ibeslab IE02 US, works through a process of bubble formation called cavitation. Cavitation consists of generating high frequency waves, by means of electrical currents in a liquid bath. Microbubbles allow access to places that are more inaccessible for other cleaning methods. A mains water bath is generated in which a concentrated, water-based detergent is added. The water is heated to a temperature between 40 and 50 degrees, in which it partially immerses the anilox cylinder. The anilox turning system allows the shafts to be out of the bath. The action of the ultrasonic waves combined with the aqueous detergent cleans the cylinder completely in about 15 minutes. Then we can rinse it with water and dry it with the built-in air gun, leaving the anilox ready for use. The Ibeslab IE02 US equipment is designed for the placement of different sizes of anilox, with a simple sliding support system, as it is common in many printing shops to have machines with different printing widths. Also, for anilox sleeves, there are adapters that are made to measure. Likewise, the equipment can be manufactured for the simultaneous cleaning of more cylinders, or with a water rinse stage in parallel. For large anilox, special cleaning machines are designed, adapting to the needs of production. The ease of use and the effectiveness of the cleaning system allow printers to always have the anilox in their original volume, avoiding quality problems due to color variations or other causes, at an extremely low cost.