How ink residues can affect plate demounting behavior and what you can do about it.
When it comes to plate cleaning, the industry likes to rely on the support of machines. Many flexible packing printers use plate washing machines to clean printing plates. Sure, it’s more comfortable and saves time, but is it really more effective?
One of the biggest drawbacks of using an automatic plate cleaning machine are the nitrocellulose (NC) solvent-based ink residues that are left on the reverse side of the plates. During the cleaning process the printing plates become contaminated with the NC ink and cleaning solvent mixture. Even the thinnest layer of ink can potentially cause serious damage. Internal laboratory tests show that the thickness of the ink layer is a critical factor: the thinner the layer, the harder the demounting behavior of the plate. For this reason most machine operators don´t notice the ink residues on the reverse side of the plate, they just feel the increase demounting force required to remove the printing plate. To avoid these negative side effects, we recommend an additional cleaning step after the automatic plate cleaning. However, this additional effort is not an efficient or feasible solution for most companies. A more practical solution is to use a tape with ink resistant plate side adhesive to help prevent the risk of plate damage during the demounting process.
Regardless of your plate cleaning process (manual or automatic), we have the right solution. Our tesa Softprint® assortment provides high-quality plate mounting tapes to fulfill any flexo printer's requirements.
tesa Softprint® TP is an ideal product to support the automatic plate cleaning process. Its special ink resistant adhesive prevents hard plate demounting issues caused by automatic plate washers. With tesa Softprint® TP additional cleaning steps are not necessary. The benefits are clear: less downtime in production, higher lifetime of plates and cost reduction.
tesa Softprint® FE-X is our high-performance product. The low tack adhesive provides fast and easy plate mounting and demounting. When manual cleaning procedures are used this product offers a secure bonding with excellent resistance to edge lifting.
Having the perfect combination of printing plate and plate mounting tape is essential for achieving optimal print results. Want to find out which tape suits you best? Our Foam Advisor helps you to select the right plate mounting tape for your processes and requirements.
Close contact to our customers is one of the key factors for tesa’s success. We know our customers’ needs and are continuously developing new products for their individual requirements. Together, we can enhance the print production process even more. Would you like to know more? Get in touch with us!
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