Printing Bureaus

On-line precision cleaning shortens process and reduces downtime


Build-up of ink and grease on printing machinery can cause alignment problems and high scrap rates. In addition, clogging of vent slots and material build-up on other components can result in reduced print speed. Often, traditional cleaning methods to remove this build-up, such as scraping and wiping with chemical solvents, are delayed as long as possible to avoid lengthy production downtime. The process allows safe and effective online cleaning in a fraction of the time of traditional methods.

In a typical cleaning process, manual scraping requires 20-30 man-hours per piece of equipment. Using the dry ice blasting process, the same piece of equipment was cleaned in less than two hours. With this type of speed and efficiency, there is no longer any need to wait for the next shutdown to clean. It is now cost effective to do your cleaning between jobs, on the press, resulting in increased production.

Dry ice blasting replaces the use of dangerous solvents, scrapers, chisels and emery cloths and eliminates the need to dismantle the press, reducing many direct and indirect costs such as downtime, poor printing quality, scrap, wear of machined parts, hazardous waste and solvents.

In many plants, the cleaning of the side frames and print deck mechanism is usually avoided until absolutely necessary. Typically, several hours are spent on each color station to scrape and wipe the critical surfaces. With today's modern presses having six to eight color decks, cleaning downtime can easily add up to several thousands of dollars of lost production per cleaning cycle. However, when using dry ice blasting, because the cylinders can be removed to provide easy access to all surfaces, both sides of the deck can be cleaned in as little as 10-15 minutes before going back into production. In addition, dried out drip pans and fountains can easily be cleaned as well.

Printing with fluid inks at high speeds also creates an "ink mist" of fine droplets that comes from the splitting and transfer of the inks from the printing plate to the substrate being printed. These droplets settle on the "between color dryer boxes" and eventually clog the vent slots or nozzles, resulting in a reduced and uneven airflow, which in turn inhibits proper drying. To compensate for this reduced airflow, the press speed is reduced, which immediately results in lost production and lower quality. Not only does dry ice blasting speed up the cleaning process, but it cleans better too.

Cleaning with Dry Ice Blasting in the Printing Industry Provides:

  • Non-abrasive process

  • Decreased scrap

  • No secondary waste

  • Reduce down time

  • Reduce labor costs

  • An in-place machinery clean

  • An environmentally responsible clean

A Few Proven Printing Applications for Dry Ice Blasting Include:

  • Grippers / Rollers

  • Drums

  • Ink Trays

  • Gears and Deck Guides

  • Side Walls

  • Feeder / Delivery Units

  • Letterpress

  • Flexography

  • Gravure Presses

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