Board Converting News, April 4, 2022

Cleaning, IR Drying Technology Push Boundaries In Corrugated Printing BY LEE SIMMONDS AND MYLES LE-MONTE SHEPHERD With the steady rise of e-commerce and increasing need for high graphics printing further fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for corrugated production is un- precedented. Yet the market is fragmented, with many corrugated printers and tough competition, making it in- creasingly important for printers to employ leading-edge technology at every step of the process to achieve opti- mum results. With automated plate cleaning, drying and IR/UV curing systems in place, high graphics corrugated box printers can produce works of unmatchable quality and unbeat- able speeds in a manner that is safer and more eco-friend- ly than traditional methods. Like many of the industry’s innovators, Baldwin has historically striven to make the press operator’s job easi- er and safer. The development of most technologies have been inspired by press operators themselves. Automated Cleaning Advantages Plate washing and the removal of print defects can cause significant downtime and this can happen at all stages of production -- at the beginning of the run at set up, within the print run, and at the end of a print run once the printed job in completed.

Downtime or micro stops are not always accounted for by production managers and huge amounts of time can be lost on each shift for many reasons, such as print defects caused by hickeys, board wraps, premature ink drying and ink viscosity change, which all lead to the requirement to clean printing plates. Cleaning also takes place before good boards are print- ed at the beginning of a print run especially on multi-color work once the register between the colors is achieved and also at the end of the print run on the final washdown. With the FCB, the plates can easily be removed from the machine clean and dry and directly stored in less than four minutes. Automated cleaning can optimize the productivity, quality and efficiency in most print production environ- ments. Technical advancements such as precision spray distribution, automatic plate thickness adjustment and high-speed air knife for eliminating moisture on the print- ing plate mean that hickeys can be cleaned in an instant and full plate washing along with drying of the plate can be achieved in minutes. And printers have the option to clean plates simultaneously or on a selected unit. The cumbersome and costly nature of manual cleaning that was the long-established norm in offset printing led to the development of automatic blanket cleaning. For many years now, almost every offset printing machine has an automated system to clean printing blankets. It became a CONTINUED ON PAGE 48

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April 4, 2022

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