The innovative Laser technology represents today the most effective and safe system to clean Aniloxe rolls (both ceramic and chrome ones), because it can remove any type of residual, even dry, nested deep in the cells. The energy of the laser beam is able to pulverize instantly every material contained in the cells that has a lower hardness as ceramic. The printers are well aware that even an apparently clean Anilox roll can still have a significantly lower volume according to the nominal values. This is due to the polymeric component of the inks, the transparent resins, practically invisible to the naked eye, which remain deeply grabbed on the ceramic, reducing its load capacity. The Anilox is apparently clean, in the sense that it does not contain residual pigments of the previous work, but still slightly clogged. The laser, unlike all other traditional cleaning systems (ultrasound and bicarbonate), also acts on these resins, and is able to bring the anilox back to the original conditions, restoring its nominal flow rate and restoring the original surface tension of the ceramic.
The physical phenomenon of the original surface tension favors the filling and above all the complete emptying of the cells, avoiding that the ceramic ‘holds’ particles and guaranteeing therefore an excellent printing quality.
The laser also perfectly cleans Anilox rolls of extremely high line screens, where other systems show their limits; unlike other technologies it doesn’t damage the sleeves in any way because it only works on the engraved part (not in immersion) and does not require consumables, since it is a dry cleaning. The pulverized residue is collected in a special filter and disposed of as waste. Moreover, in the case of slightly damaged or cracked coatings (typically due to accidental impacts during handling), where the anti-corrosive treatment is compromised, the laser represents the perfect cleaning system, because it removes residues without aggravating the situation.
It is also important to consider that Anilox rolls are considered “finished” when they no longer load a suitable quantity of ink. Often this reduction in volume is not due to the actual capacity of the ceramic coating, but to the dirt nested in the cells, which is almost impossible to remove with traditional systems.
A six-monthly laser cleaning program allows you to prolong the lifetime of your Anilox rolls and helping you saving the money of recoating costs.
ULMEX propose not only the purchase of the new laser cleaning machine, but offers also an interesting home cleaning service: a specially equipped ULMEX truck, with highly specialized staff reaches the customer’s plant and cleans their entire Anilox park efficiently and quickly.
Thanks to the newest equipment, ULMEX is able to offer both an OFF LINE service on board the truck and an exclusive IN LINE service for those rolls hardly or impossible to removed from the machine (for example to the WALLED CARTON compartment). The OFF LINE service is normally carried out outside the plant and does not interfere in any way with production. Operating however at the customer’s seat, ULMEX works according to all regulations in force concerning safety at work and provides the customer, before the intervention, with all the necessary documentation as civil liability for damage to third parties and other GTPL items.
The newly cleaned Anilox roll is ready to use instantly, with significant advantages in terms of logistics and work planning, as well as savings transport costs (and avoiding the related risks). The effectiveness of laser cleaning allows the removal of all types of residues: traditional and UV inks, primers, paints, lacquers and glues, and is therefore used both for the cleaning of Anilox rolls in the traditional flexography printing sector as also for those of flat offset machines or for those of special coating machines (melamine coated paper, eco-leather, special treatments, etc.).
ULMEX also offers a measurement service of the Anilox cell volume before and after cleaning, so that it’s possible to check the conditions of your ceramic coating, and plan, if necessary, a recoating or exchange.