ICE BLASTING IN THE PRINTING INDUSTRY
Time and Waste
Today's ink and varnish polymers are designed to adhere to most
surfaces, resist scratches and, in some instances, be solvent resistant.
These characteristics that make their use attractive, also make
the removal of dried ink very difficult. Ink buildup on the gears
and deck guides causes poor alignment and results in low print quality
and high scrap rates. To compensate for this phenomenon, plate mounting
generally needs adjusting several times to register critical graphics
in order to produce an acceptable quality level. Generally, each
"press run" to check the register of the colors results in thousands
of feet of wasted material. This inherently
wasteful process can now be eliminated due to the on-line precision
cleaning ability of Cold Jet dry ice blasting.
In many plants, the cleaning of the side frames and print deck mechanism
is usually avoided until absolutely necessary. Typically, several
hours are spent on each color station to scrape and wipe the critical
surfaces. With today's modern presses having six to eight color
decks, cleaning downtime can easily add up to several thousands
of dollars of lost production per cleaning cycle.
However, when using Cold Jet dry ice blasting,
because the cylinders can be removed to provide easy access to all
surfaces, both sides of the deck can be cleaned in as little as
10-15 minutes before going back into production. In addition, dried
out drip pans and fountains can easily be cleaned as well.
with fluid inks at high speeds also creates an "ink mist"
of fine droplets that comes from the splitting and transfer of the
inks from the printing plate to the substrate being printed. These
droplets settle on the "between color dryer boxes" and eventually
clog the vent slots or nozzles, resulting in a reduced and uneven
air flow, which in turn inhibits proper drying. This can also be
caused by an overflowing fountain pan, which occurs when a press
stops suddenly. To compensate for this reduced air flow, the press
speed is reduced, which immediately results in lost production and
lower quality. Just a small reduction of 100 fpm (30 m/min) in speed
can reduce production time by 1-2 hours per day. Not
only does Cold Jet dry ice blasting speed up the cleaning process,
but it cleans better too.
a typical cleaning process, manual scraping requires 20-30 man hours
per piece of equipment. Using the Cold Jet dry ice blasting process,
the same piece of equipment was cleaned in less than two hours.
With this type of speed and efficiency, there is no longer any need
to wait for the next shutdown to clean. It is now cost effective
to do your cleaning between job changes on the press, giving you
more production time and higher production rates.
Ice... Non abrasive and Clean
methods used to clean printing presses involve strong solvents and
other media that must be collected, treated and disposed of.
Most solvents that are strong enough to
remove the inks are hazardous or even flammable and their disposal
is highly regulated and costly. Wearing personal protective equipment,
required by OSHA, also limits the effectiveness of using hand tools
to perform this method of cleaning. Furthermore, the scraping and
chipping action of hand tools wears and destroys the machined parts
causing high repair costs and lost production time. Repeated cleaning
in this way eventually destroys the accuracy of cylinder adjustments,
making it increasingly difficult to produce a quality product.
Cold Jet, we understand the critical need for clean gears, bearings,
journals and screw adjustments for controlling the variations in
printing registration. With highly accurate
impressions, residue build up from inks and varnishes can constantly
inhibit the smooth operation of the printing cylinders which can
affect your productivity. Cold
Jet dry ice blasting replaces the use of dangerous solvents, scrapers,
chisels and emery cloths without having to dismantle the press thus
eliminating the following direct and indirect costs:
down time hours due to intricate machinery cleaning.
products and increased scrap
from improper alignment.
of hazardous waste and solvents.
wear of machined parts and their high
injuries due to use of hazardous solvents and hand
labor costs inherent to
your potential savings with dry ice blasting by going to our
And for more specific
and technical information see our technical