- Cleaning Process Questions
- Dry Ice Blasting Questions
- General Technical Questions
- Laser Cleaning Questions
- Liquid Cleaners Questions
- Roll Maintenance Questions
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NO. Dry Ice, although not technically harder than Baking Soda, will cause surface damage to soft substrates because of the high velocity it requires in order to work effectively. Dry Ice can also cause an exothermic reaction on “layered” substrates, causing failure or damage. For example, printing rollers found on printing presses should never be blasted with Dry Ice, as the ceramic top coat of the roller will “peel away” from the steel core it is bonded to when subjected to severe temperature changes.
Dry ice blasting is a blasting method that uses dry ice pellets as the blasting material. Dry ice is CO₂ in solid form. To better understand, there are three steps in dry ice blasting:
- Kinetic – When dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air and strike a hard surface, the pellets crack and loosen the coating or soil on the substrate being cleaned.
- Thermal – The extreme low temperature (-79˚C/-110˚F) of the pellets makes the coating brittle and loosens it and allows the dry ice to dislodge the coating or soil.
- Sublimation – Dry ice permeates the coating and immediately sublimes, which means that the dry ice instantly goes from a solid state to a vapor state. This resulting increase in volume creates an “explosive” effect that lifts the coating off of the surface.
No – any contaminants which are removed during the dry ice blasting process need to be contained and disposed of properly.
Dry ice needs to be handled carefully as the temperature of dry ice is −109.3 °F (−78.5 °C). Gloves should be worn when filling the hopper with Dry Ice.
Dry Ice comes in 500 lb bins. All orders must be in increments of 500 lbs with the minimum order being one 500 lb tote.
Dry Ice will last 2-5 days, and is subject to sublimation (solid to gas conversion) from the moment it gets shipped to your plant.
No. Dry ice blasting equipment is unique and contains several engineering features not found on soda and sandblasting equipment.
Yes – but be aware that dry ice will replace the oxygen in an enclosed space with carbon dioxide so wearing a proper tethered hood system is a must.
We firmly believe a top-notch maintenance program includes both a deep cleaning method and a daily wash up routine. In between deep cleanings, we recommend the daily use of liquid cleaners as a way to keep rollers from getting plugged or “dirty” prematurely. When liquid cleaners are used during the press wash-up cycle, everything the ink touches will also get cleaned, including ink pumps, chamber assemblies and doctor blades.
Today, many rollers / sleeves and chamber assemblies are made of aluminum or contain soft metal components. Many cleaners on the market today are not metal-safe, and can quickly ruin and corrode these expensive parts and pieces. All of our products are safe on aluminum and soft metals.
No. If you notice on the label or MSDS the mention of Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide, it is a caustic-based cleaner. It will work, but will also cause roll damage, especially if it gets underneath the roll’s ceramic coated surface or into the interior of a sleeve. Oven cleaner is a caustic based cleaner, and should never be used to clean a dirty roll.
Yes. Many companies don’t realize their plates can also be cleaned to extend their life vs. throwing them away. One company we work with invited us in for a demonstration, and we literally took “scrap” plates out of their garbage, cleaned them with our line of cleaners, and showed this company a way to save a lot of money.
Yes and no. Cleaning off water-based inks or coatings requires different surfactants and other chemical components than UV or Solvent based inks or coatings. Gravure inks can also present unique cleaning challenges. Some companies will market their cleaners as “all-in-one” chemistries, and even though they may work, you will spend more than necessary if your primary concern is removing one vs. the other.
We recommend making a decision based on what your plant does. To maximize cleaning performance, make sure you choose a cleaner specifically designed for your soil condition. There is a big difference when attempting to remove water based materials vs. solvent or UV based residues.
Although there seems to be overlap in some of the product descriptions, each formula is unique. There are many types of inks, adhesives and coatings that would fall under the same basic category but, when looking at your particular residue and considering your cleaning application, we can narrow the choices down further.
For example, there are SO MANY types of UV-Curable Inks featuring various characteristics such as: coating thickness, cure time due to the UV-Light intensity and curing temperature which makes it impossible for us to guide our customers and/or claim that a single cleaner such as Ink Blaster FG removes all UV-Curable Inks. Therefore, we recommend our customers to evaluate both Ink Blaster FG, Ink Blaster OS (on the solvent side) and Optima 2000GP Aqueous Ink Remover on the detergent side. The same concept/philosophy is valid for other types of inks such as: Flexo Inks, Polymeric, Solvent-based, etc.
Therefore, we always offer 2-3 of our ink & adhesive removers to our customers so that they may try these products side-by side in their cleaning equipment (immersion, immersion with ultrasonic, high pressure cabinet washers, etc.) to determine which product will serve their needs the best.
If your plant is subject to either USDA or FDA regulatory requirements and your packaging or product is used in conjunction with food or food applications, chances are the liquid cleaner used in your plant should be Food Grade. This does not apply to all situations, but most companies we talk to who are under USDA jurisdiction just use water to keep their rolls wet and hope it will rinse off the leftover ink found on their rollers.
We have one client, the largest tissue plant in North America, who was using the water-only method. It was in working with them that we discovered the need for a product like this. After a rigorous testing process, we successfully formulated a liquid cleaner that removes their ink and complies with all CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) requirements. Click here for more information on this product.
Yes, the chemistry of your cleaner does matter, especially with your ceramic roll. Ceramic is porous which can allow a too aggressive product to get “inside” your roll. Other methods of entry include chips on the ends of rolls, damaged and worn rolls, or getting inside of sleeves while being cleaned.
It is important to know the pH levels (ink vs. cleaners) of your products. Most water based inks range from 8.5 – 9.4. For safe practice, it is recommended to use a cleaning chemistry that does not go below 5.5 or exceed 11.8. Other considerations include ventilation, PPE and disposal. Consider owning a pH meter.
Yes, it is important to know the pH levels (inks vs. cleaners) of your products. Most water based inks range from 8.5-9.4. For safe practice, it is recommended to use a cleaning chemistry that does not go below 5.5 or exceed 11.8. You may consider owning a pH meter.
Absolutely! The key is making sure the detergent is classified as non-hazardous, does not contain any caustic ingredients or RCRA metals, and has no or low VOC content. It is easy to check out this information – make sure that you ask for a product’s SDS as this document must identify any of the above mentioned compounds.
Yes. Please click here for a suitable replacement product.
In addition to employee safety and product effectiveness, there are many things to consider when evaluating chemical costs. Please click here for a cost comparison between Ink Blaster OS vs. Acetone, MEK and Methylene.
Laser Cleaning is the greenest and most technologically advanced way to clean rolls using only a low temperature light beam.
Laser Cleaning Technology has been popular in Europe for over 10 years. The technology was introduced into the United States in 2013.
Eclipse™ Laser Cleaning Systems are available for both on and off-press cleaning applications.
The laser system is safe for most types of printing and coating cylinders, sleeves and rollers.
The Eclipse™ laser cleaning systems can remove most types of inks, coatings, adhesives and glues.
The laser system can handle all line screens on the market as well as any engraving pattern.
No, the laser system does not generate any heat. The roll does not retain any heat and can be used immediately after cleaning.
Our Off-Press Eclipse™ Laser Cleaning Systems are rated as Class I laser systems and do not require eye or hand protection.
Our On-Press Eclipse™ Laser Cleaning Systems are rated as Class IV laser systems and properly rated laser safety glasses must be worn when operating these systems. Hand protection is not required.
Our laser beam uses a much lower intensity than what is used to laser engrave a ceramic surface.
The average cleaning speed is about 1-6” per minute depending on the type and amount of residue / build-up present.
The laser system uses about the same amount of energy as a household dishwasher.
No rinsing is required. The roll is ready for immediate use.
Contact us for more information on scheduling a demo.
There are several variables to determine your ROI. Please contact us for help in determining your plant’s ROI.
No, we do not but the systems are no longer being produced by the OEM. Contact us if you are looking to replace your old MicroClean™ System or would like to discuss the latest roll cleaning offerings available today.
Yes. Contact us for a quote.
We use a specially formulated baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) engineered to clean anilox rolls. This neutral pH baking soda is fine enough to clean the highest of line screens. The baking soda found in your home and in the grocery store will not work for this application.
The most obvious sign that a roll needs cleaning is when your color density or your coat weight diminishes. Another way to find out your current roll volume is by using a Capatch Test Strip – if it is plugged 50% or greater then it is time to clean it.
Usually 1 – 4 times per year makes sense for most plants with whom we work. Companies like box corrugators may only require our service on an annual basis while high-end flexographic printers usually require more frequent visits (sometimes monthly) in order to maintain their superior print quality.
ARCS has a full line up of eco-friendly ink removers. We recommend that they be run through the press with each wash cycle. We even offer a one-of-a-kind food grade ink remover currently used by one of the world’s largest paper towel makers.
We use a 200 power microscope prior to cleaning as a visual check and also take a Capatch reading. Capatch is a liquid volumetric test that determines where your bcm level (or ccm) lies. We do the same procedure after cleaning to determine the cleanliness of the roll as well as the improvement in volume (bcm or ccm).
We can clean gravure, embossing, anilox, chrome, glue and coating rolls using either method.
50 LPI up to 1500 LPI.
No, we have not, but just in case we do, we also have the ability to clean rolls off press at your facility or ours.
Typically we are able to clean rollers at 2-4 inches per minute. A 40” roll takes about 15 – 20 minutes to clean and a large diameter jumbo roll that is 120” will take about 2 hours.
You can send your rolls to our facility to be cleaned. With this service we offer a same day, 24 and 48 hour turnaround time. Also you will receive a written roll report with before and after cleaning BCM readings and we will document any visible wear or damage on the roll.
Yes, we sell both of these items.
ARCS has three offices, which combined, services plants located in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest. We also work with other companies who perform roll cleaning using baking soda for areas outside of this coverage area.
Usually just one pass is required, but on occasion two passes may be needed if the roll has never been deep cleaned or is plugged with a very thick coating.
Not that much air is required – about 40cfm, which is the same as a 15HP air compressor.
Depending on the type of roll, our baking soda process cleans at a pressure of 20-35 psi. Our laser cleaning systems do not require the use of any compressed air.
Lines Per Inch. This is how many cells a roll has per linear inch.
Our baking soda systems use a specially formulated baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) engineered to clean anilox rolls. This neutral pH baking soda is fine enough to clean the highest of line screens. The baking soda found in your home and in the grocery store will not work for this application.
Our laser cleaning technology uses a low temperature light beam to deep clean rolls.
Cubic centimeters. This is what foreign roll manufactures use as a measurement standard for the volume of a roll.