It’s all about the numbers –
anilox metrics translate into consistent print metrics
Metrics dominate our lives- the more the results matter, the more we measure and set performance standards and tolerances. Flexo printing is no exception to this – when offset quality is the benchmark and staying ahead of digital challenges a necessity, then improved metrics are mandatory.
Just as LAB values and delta E’s are measured, make ready times, run costs, ink losses etc are all measured by the printer, similarly high-end quality driven anilox manufacturers have metrics in every part of the production process. Only by doing this can Pamarco guarantee the out of the box print performance standards our global OEM and converter partners demand.
In principle, anilox manufacturing is similar from all suppliers; chrome oxide is plasma-sprayed onto a roll or sleeve which is then ground, polished and fibre-laser engraved. Finishing and QC inspection is standard. So all aniloxes are the same, right? Wrong!
Yes, the basic techniques are the same. But the detail of the individual processes, the metrics applied to those individual processes and the organizational commitment to be able achieve, record and repeat those metrics roll after roll across different production lines and plants differentiates anilox suppliers at a fundamental level.
This is critical to converters that need to satisfy international brand managers print standards on a range of substrates, across a range of presses and production facilities.
Creating the perfect anilox roller
As the longest-serving anilox manufacturer, producing its first anilox roller back in 1946 and developing the first ceramic anilox roll in the 70’s, Pamarco has the experience to deliver consistently. Over the past 70 years the company has built and refined a market-leading manufacturing process which ensures that the highest quality product is always achieved, bringing consistent and repeatable print for all our customers around the world.
- Coating Application
The first stage of the process is to ensure the base roll or sleeve achieves the highest quality coating. The ceramic coating provides a consistent, hard-wearing anilox surface that is highly resistant to scratching, scoring and corrosion. Too hard a coating and the ceramic is brittle, too soft and it wears quickly. The goal is to ensure the optimum combination of hardness and porosity.
Pamarco has invested in the latest technology computer-controlled plasma spray systems that manage gas, powder and coolant flow within +/- 1% deviations. Critical components are fully replaced every 250 hrs to maintain consistency. Spray samples are consistently measured to guarantee hardness and porosity remain within acceptable tolerances. All parameters are continuously recorded to ensure traceability.
- Laser Technology
The second stage of the process is to ensure the base roll or sleeve achieves the highest quality laser engraving. Ink release, densities, contrasts, dot gain, etc all depend on both the optimal cell geometry and the consistency of that geometry across the roll surface.
Pamarco has invested in the latest technology and is equipped exclusively with fibre-optic multi-hit lasers which allow for outstanding engraving capabilities with an almost unlimited range of cell geometries. Combined with white-light interferometers for laser setup and QC certification this creates an incredibly high capability for repeatability. All engraving parameters, cell geometry data and CellBase QC inspection data is continuously exported to the Pamarco ERP system operating across all plants. This traceability ensures precise repeatability to meet the demands of the most quality critical converters.
Striving for Perfection
Pamarco’s commitment to performance measurement, consistency and repeatability is central to our offering. This culture goes well beyond just the coating and engraving aspects of any anilox roll. Just as critical are the detailed engineering parameters that ensure a roll is supplied or refurbished to OEM specifications for trouble-free press operation.
Talk to Pamarco and see how our commitment to performance measurement can help drive yours.