IT’S been said before but bears repetition: the anilox roll is at the very heart of the flexographic printing process. While substrates and inks provide the visual result, it’s the anilox that brings these elements together.
Innovations in all press components continue to raise the bar in flexo printing allowing converters to match or exceed the print quality of offset.
To capitalise on relentless improvements in anilox technology, printers need to understand matters such as anilox screen specifications, engraving type and cell geometry.
Ultrafine anilox expands tonal range
Since signing up as Cheshire Anilox Technology’s local representative in 2017, Rotocon has made significant inroads into the local market for anilox rolls.
Among the many products on offer, Cheshire’s ProFlo engraving, developed specifically for ultrafine screen specifications, features an improved cell profile that provides a more consistent ink laydown while eliminating the chance of uncontrolled dot gain. This high-release cell delivers up to 15% additional ink compared to conventional engraving, enabling the production of finer anilox rolls that deliver the required colour densities at extremely fine line counts.
Another common problem area in UV flexo is spitting.
In closed-cell engraving patterns, ink cannot flow across the engraved anilox surface as it rotates; the only way out of the cell is upwards. Owing to high viscosity, UV inks tend to accumulate behind the doctor blade causing the blade to lift, allowing ink to pass underneath and cause spitting. The use of channel engraving is an effective way to eliminate this.
A channel engraving such as Cheshire’s MaxFlo+ allows ink to flow within the engraved channel across the anilox surface decreasing ink build-up behind the blade.
According to Rotocon director, Pascal Aengenvoort, MaxFlo is Rotocon’s best seller in South Africa as it eliminates ink spitting and offers ultrafine ink distribution. He also points out that Cheshire won a coveted EFIA Gold Award for Technical Innovation for its cutting-edge MaxFlo technology.