The use of solvents to clean the cells and maintain the quantity of ink transferred and, thereby, the quality of the graphics, has an effect on the environment. Air pollutants are released and hazardous waste is generated. As the amount of solvents used and converted to waste increases, so do demands on the printer to comply with increased regulatory requirements. Thus, the need to maintain the cleanliness of the anilox rollers becomes a critical event in the conduct of business. The cost of cleaning properly and environmentally responsibly must be weighed against the cost and liabilities of allowing rollers to plug and degenerate graphic quality, as well as the cost and exposure experienced by the printer after hazardous waste is generated.
Cleaning lies in a three-pronged attack on the plugging and drying of inks in anilox roll cells.1. Planning: Specify ink formulations that will
The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and plastic bead techniques are both considered effective by their respective users. Roller companies are concerned about the ramification of the powders beating on very thin walls of high cell count rollers. The possibility exists for breaking down walls and creating ink transfer inconsistencies.
An established cleaning system is the ultrasonic tank. The success of this method relies on the additive used in the cleaning tank water. There are formulations that prevent a film from coating the surface of the rollers and creating problems with adequate transfer of inks. However, there are concerns regarding the ability of thin cell walls to withstand the pressure of the ultrasonic waves.