To utilize the service, rolls are sent to Flexo Concepts' headquarters in Plymouth, MA, USA, where they are deep cleaned using MicroClean anilox cleaning equipment. The clean rolls are then returned to the customer within several days to be placed back into inventory for future use. As part of the service, the customer receives a roll analysis report which includes microphotographs of the cells before and after cleaning, as well as critical cell dimensions such as volume, depth, opening, and wall thickness.
"The roll cleaning service allows us to offer the MicroClean technology to printers who can't make the investment in the equipment,” says Tara Aubut, customer service manager for Flexo Concepts. “Offset printers with anilox tower coaters are a perfect example; they tend to clean rolls by hand, typically have a small anilox inventory, and often can't justify the expense of bringing a machine in-house." She noted that printers have also used the service as a way to test the effectiveness of the equipment before purchasing a MicroClean machine.
Plugged anilox cells have a direct negative impact on product quality. Clean anilox cells are necessary to deliver a predictable and consistent volume of ink or coating to the substrate. Anilox manufacturers typically recommend a regular cleaning regimen which includes light daily cleaning in conjunction with periodic deep cleanings to ensure product consistency, minimize costs and prolong anilox life.