While technology has continued to evolve and increase efficiency in print, it is still important to be proactive to help prolong the life of your anilox rolls. Over the past ten years Pamarco has performed roll audits on well over 70,000 anilox rolls.

These audits tell a detailed story of how an anilox roll is cared for and the cause of failure. What we find is that approximately 25% of rolls show sufficient wear and we recommend a re-engrave to the customer, 10% show roll damage from improper handling and require a re-engrave but 65% show rolls that have lost volume not from wear but from poor cleaning.

Often cell volume in these rolls is reduced by over 50% from ink plugging. We have found that the elongated cell design lends itself to better cleaning results on press. This improved cleaning ability provides print consistency and reduction in downtime associated with dirty print. Think of this example reported by one plant, saving fifteen minutes a shift on anilox cleaning related issues for dirty print is worth roughly seven shifts of production, lost or saved by using the correct technology and taking the time for proper maintenance.

Flexo Printing Rolls

In order to address this cleaning issue on all cell designs, corrugated printers require products that are specifically formulated for them. There are many cleaners available in the marketplace today, it is important to choose a non-corrosive product and one that is specifically designed for use with ceramic rolls.

With the continued advancement in laser technology, anilox engravings have a very bright future and have limitless potential in the range and complexity of the cell structure to suit a variety of applications, however as the data supports, without a dedicated care and maintenance program in place, the anilox can be rendered useless and needless cost will have to be expended in both lost production time and re engraving of the cylinder.

By John Rastetter