The Max Daetwyler Corporation, Huntersville, NC, USA, has developed an Enclosed Chamber Test Machine used for the research, development and testing of steel and plastic doctor blades, end seals, cleaning chemistries, inking system magnets, and filters. This test machine can simulate the conditions on a flexo press to help to facilitate and promote products that will improve printing processes while replicating results seen in the actual pressroom.
Keeping up with the demand for higher graphics and specialty printing, longer lasting doctor blades and end seals play an important role in the printing process. The new MDC Enclosed Chamber Test Machine gives Daetwyler the ability to research and test new materials for end seals that will last longer and perform better, as well as help to determine doctor blade life and wear based on the application. The ability to also test new cleaning chemistries on a variety of inks will lead to improved pressroom performance for cleaning rollers and presses.
“This is an internal testing machine that we built and we use to develop new technologies (blades), but also fix converter problems,” says Bobby Furr, flexographic service manager for Daetwyler. “If a converter was to call us with a problem and wanted to test the machine to fix the problem, we would oblige the customer with no problem. A good example: Last week Vince DiTrolio of the DiTrolio Flexographic Institute called us while he was in a label plant in Cleveland doing some consulting work. The converter was using a .006 radius edge doctor blade, but could not get a clean enough wipe to minimize his dot gain and get sharp highlights. Because we know that a .006 is a very good blade thickness to use, we were able to put an 800 line anilox in the unit, utilize a .008 blade, but reduce the tip to a .005 thickness to keep the blade stiff enough without the blade back doctoring because of it being potentially too thin. The blade worked well in the unit so we sent some samples to Vince to arrive the next day. The blades cleaned up the print and it made all of us look good.”