As we are quickly approaching the warm summer months, when in-plant temperatures often soar to the 90’s and above, it’s time to take a step back and face some facts about our printing environments. The most glaring fact: the time spent maintaining both the ink control and coating viscosity that are required to achieve high quality print when the pressroom temperatures fluctuate so drastically.

While we all know that viscosity plays a huge role in the printing press, were you also aware that for every degree the temperature rises there is a direct correlation to ink/coating waste if that viscosity is not controlled – either manually or automatically? I’ve listed a few figures below to emphasize what a major difference this can make for your business:

The cost of not controlling your temperature/viscosity:

2 second increase in viscosity = 10% increase in ink consumption
8.0 volume anilox / 40” x 40” sheet / 25% coverage
Ink at $1.50 per lb. / 200 sheets per min.

1C Press2c Press4c Press
1 shift 5 days / 52 weeks$8,580$17,160$34,320
2 shifts 5 days / 52 weeks $17,160 $34,320 $68,640

Averaging just a 1 second increase in viscosity throughout the year, on a 4-color Evol, at 300 sheets per minute, one shift will cost $25,740 in increased ink consumption!

According to the numbers above, by simply controlling the temperature and viscosity in your press environment, you can significantly lower waste and increase your savings. The best way to begin addressing these issues is to ask yourself the following questions: do you have a dedicated person monitoring your viscosity at each press or coating station? Do you depend on your press folks to check the viscosity of the ink/coating when they have a minute or does this only occur when they see a quality issue? Basically, do you know where your ink control and coating viscosity are right now or do you only see those details when you have to make an adjustment?

Depending on your answer to the above questions, automatic monitoring could be what you’re looking for as  a long-term ink control and viscosity solution. In the past, the devices for monitoring these items were very unreliable due to the probe not being able to be cleaned easily. GAMA has changed all that with a flow-through device that gets cleaned every time the chamber is cleaned at the end of shift or during a color change because the unit has been thoughtfully designed to be in line with the ink delivery system.

At Pamarco, we understand printing and the issues associated with viscosity control. We represent GAMA Systems in the USA, the leader in temperature, pH and viscosity control systems, because it is a system we can stand behind with confidence (so can you!). With a short ROI, you can increase the quality in your pressroom while reducing your ink/coating costs substantially. Depending on which GAMA system you choose, it would be wired into your press monitoring pH, temp and viscosity – and adjust each as necessary. We offer completely customizable systems – choose one that monitors all these adjustments or just one of them – whatever suits your needs.

I’ve made a short list of a few of the biggest advantages this type of system can offer, just to summarize:

  • Saves money longterm by controlling temperature
  • Improves print quality
  • Controls pHInks remain consistent
  • Plates/anilox/press components stay cleaner
  • Controls viscosityKeeps color consistent
  • Reduces downtime for color matching
  • Reduces print defects
  • Frees up operator labor

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to learn more about these products before summer is upon us and the struggles begin!

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