ADVANCED ULTRASONICS …and its importance and relevance in todays’ Flexo
From both technical and commercial aspects, companies who produce ultrasonic anilox cleaners have, for the past 30 years faced many challenges, ranging from scurrilous bad-mouthing and various dirty tricks from Jetwash and Laser competitors to an almost incessant increase in screen counts, cell shapes and depths. For sure it’s been tough to keep up at times.
Not that we’re complaining. Continual anilox development has without doubt kept the minds focused. For sure we’ve all been fortunate through being involved with a technology that has the potential to be developed in line with the anilox.
Improvements to the core technology, along with very specific peripheral features have led to a point whereby should a 3000lpi anilox be launched today, the technology would be tweaked to clean it within a week.
Keeping on top of anilox cleanliness is arguably the most important aspect within the process of flexo and without doubt is the main culprit for poor quality, false starts and the subsequent loss of profit. It is realized now that within pre-press, there are indeed five elements, not four as previously stated.
The human element was not considered before and of course, it is the human who has potentially the biggest impact on how a job is presented to the press. Out of these five elements, once correct the plates, ink and substrate tend to stay on track, leaving the condition of the anilox and the performance of the human as the biggest obstacles to delivering what is required for a consistent, speedy, and successful first-time start-up of any print job.
It is important therefore that the pre-press operator has the skill, knowledge, training, enthusiasm and equipment to carry out such an important operation, quickly and consistently.
While there is very little that any supplier can do to train the operator per se in every part of his or her job, support can be given through the supply of the very best technology for controlling the anilox, along with features both included and as options that will enable the optimum control of the system itself. After all, managing every aspect of the cleaning system makes controlling the anilox itself that much easier, more manageable and effective, as well as assisting with enthusiasm through job satisfaction.
Keeping on top of anilox cleanliness is arguably the most important aspect within the process of flexo
…So What’s Changed?
The ability to measure ultrasonic activity has opened the way to a technology that is not only ultra-effective, it’s also ultra-safe and should the customer require, enables even hourly cleaning of even the highest screen count rolls, with written roll safety and performance guarantees as standard against damage to aniloxes from any manufacturer.
However, this is only part of the story. Apart from our award winning Alphasound Dual Frequency technology, patented features such as ‘Active Cavitation’ and ‘Auto-Roll Reversal’ speed up cleaning. Patented ‘Betasound Technology’ ensures the guaranteed optimum in cleaning performance and safety, even for the highest screen counts. Chemical Condition Monitoring advises when to change the chemistry for consistency and cost saving. Current Monitoring of the generators enables a very tight control of the performance of the ultrasonics and patent pending Cavitation Validation enables the condition of the transducers also to be monitored.
Add to this, generator tuning equipment, dosing pumps and washable stainless-steel filters for daily control and planned maintenance, it’s easy to see why Advanced Ultrasonics is so popular Worldwide, with evidence of it’s effectiveness being the sheer number of print awards won by it’s users. (pre covid of course).
It’s also fair to say that Advanced Ultrasonic cleaning of anilox rolls has come a very long way in the past 30 years and has recently been independently shown to be the very best technology available, with cleaning efficacy, ease of use and safety of the anilox found to be better than any of it’s competitors.
There’s more potential in this technology yet to be realized, but the primary point to take from this is that anilox development, wherever it may end up in the future will never again out-strip the ability of Advanced Ultrasonics to clean effectively, consistently and above all safely.