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Plate Handling: Best Practices for the Plate Room & Beyond

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Quality control and best practices in the plate room, as well as plate care on press and after the run. Discussion topics include configuring and analyzing quality control checkpoints, as well as proper post-run cleaning & storage procedures.

Publicada em: Tecnologia
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Plate Handling: Best Practices for the Plate Room & Beyond

  1. 1. An FPPA-Sponsored Webinar Plate Handling Best Practices for the Plate Room & Beyond Jessica Harkins Harrell Technologies Manager Anderson & Vreeland
  2. 2. • Simplify the control check-point process • Create a checklist of regularly monitored control-points • Give peace of mind that the “print problem” is not a “plate problem” Purpose A B C ?PLATE ROOM
  3. 3. What is Critical? • Dots, lines & other elements must form well on the plates – Repeatable, everyday with every operator • Within an operating tolerance • What impacts the plate making process?
  4. 4. “You Don’t Know What You Got (Till its Gone) - Don’t know what it is I did so wrong…” Cinderella, 1988
  5. 5. Recommended Tools Bench Micrometer UV-A Meter Digital Thermometer Light Table 50-100x scope Trans Densitometer Plate Measuring Device Images from target.com, ebay.com, transkat.com, fasttech.com, betascreen.com, Providentgrp.com, andvre.com
  6. 6. What Impacts the Plate Room? Equipment Consistency Raw Materials Room Environment Dots, lines & other elements must form well on the plates Operator Commitment
  7. 7. Best Practices Room Environment 1. Cleanliness a. Remove dust a. Wipe down all flat surfaces b. Vacuum and mop floors i. Interval: Daily-weekly depending on production b. Reduce the amount of Corrugated/Paperboard used in & around the plate room a. Overtime corrugated fibers release into the air with movement creating dust
  8. 8. Checklist Room Environment 2. Temperature/Humidity Sheet a. Optimal Room Temperature: 72 F b. Optimal Relative Humidity: 45-55% 3. Temperature/Humidity Liquid a. Optimal Room Temperature: 70-75 F b. Optimal Relative Humidity: 55-65% i. Important for hitting proper caliper consistently Environment Checklist: Date Temperature Humidity
  9. 9. Plate Room Equipment Equipment Consistency Imaging Exposure Processing Drying Post/Detack • Laser • Film Output • UVA Exposure • Solvent • Water • Thermal • Solvent • Water • Solvent • Water • Thermal
  10. 10. Best Practices Imaging 1. Routine PM visits a. Interval: 1-2x per year by certified technician 2. Visual Inspection a. Interval: Every plate! b. Tools: Eyes Raw material Laser Ablation Equipment Consistency
  11. 11. Best Practices Equipment Consistency 3. Focus & Stain Test a. Interval: Minimum 1x per week & when Visual Inspection fails b. Tools: Transmission Densitometer Laser Trans. Densitometer Imaging
  12. 12. Best Practices Equipment Consistency 1. UV output check a. Measure 9-points across the bed i. Interval: 1x per week ii. Tools: UV-A Meter image c/o Flint Group – Flexo toolbox app Exposure Frame UV-A Meter Document Imaging
  13. 13. Best Practices Equipment Consistency Imaging 2. Temperature Check a. Measure 9 points to verify good air circulation i. Interval: 1x per week ii. Tools: Thermometer w/ probe or infrared Digital Thermometer Left Ctr Right Back 120 125 121 Mid 124 128 125 Front 122 126 124 Document Exposure Frame
  14. 14. Best Practices Equipment Consistency Processing Solvent Processing Thermal Processing Water Processing 1. Check with your manufacturer for recommended practices!
  15. 15. Best Practices Equipment Consistency Processing 2. Monitor Percent Solids of Solvent a. Too much = inconsistent washout b. Too little = wasteful 3. Inspection of Brush Condition a. Look for: Solvent Processing a. Damaged, chipped or missing dots/fine text, un-even washout. b. Extended wash time c. Fuzzy looking shoulders on mid-tone dots; Dots that measure larger than normal on plate-measurement device. 4. Wiping Rollers a. Look for: i. Pooling solvent or residue left on plate – replace socks
  16. 16. Best Practices Equipment Consistency 1. Monitor pH a. pH maintained by water hardness, soap, & polymer level i. Tools: Use pH meter ii. Interval: to start, measure approximately every 4 plates 2. Temperature a. Water that is tool cold will not effectively wash away the un-exposed polymer i. Tools: digital thermometer ii. Interval: 2x per day Processing Water Processing
  17. 17. Best Practices Drying 1. Check Dryer Temperature a. Should maintain temp between 140-145 F i. Tools: Thermometer with probe ii. Interval: Weekly or if suspicious of issue Digital Thermometer Left Ctr Right Back 140 145 144 Mid 142 144 140 Front 141 145 143 Document Equipment Consistency
  18. 18. Best Practices Equipment Consistency 1. Measure UV-A & UV-C output a. Post Exposure sets the plate; Detack changes the plate surface tension to best transfer ink i. Tools: UV-A meter, UV-A, UV-C Meters & Protective Eye-wear ii. Interval: 6 months UVA & C Meters Left Ctr Right Back Mid Front Document Post/Detack
  19. 19. Best Practices Raw Materials 1. Acclimate the material a. Material should be stored in the same controlled environmental conditions as the plate room b. Move material from warehouse at least 24 hours prior to use c. Storage of Liquid Photopolymer: a. Between 60-100 F – warm up to 70 F before use
  20. 20. Checklist Bench Micrometer 2. Raw Sheet Material Gauge a. Measure overall plate thickness i. Interval: each box ii. Tools: Bench Micrometer b. Record Thickness with Lot Number and Date Raw Material Checklist: Date Lot Number Gauge Raw Materials
  21. 21. 6 Month Checklist Review 6 Month Checklist Date Laser/Film PM Exposure PM Processor PM Dryer PM Check Post/Detack lamps UV-A UV-C
  22. 22. Weekly Checklist Review Weekly Checklist Date Clean all surfaces/Floor Laser: Focus/Stain tests Exp UV-A output & temp UV-A Temp. Dryer temperature Temp.
  23. 23. Daily Checklist Review Daily Checklist Date Clean all surfaces/Floor Room Temperature (AM) 71 Room Temperature (PM) 73 Room Humidity (AM) 52.4 Room Humidity (PM) 50.3 Raw Material Type/Gauge Lot # Measured 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
  24. 24. Add Plate Room Checkpoints & make INFORMED decisions Cause Effect Drop Glass 0.026” Breaks No Min Dot Plate Relief > 0.025”
  25. 25. Creating a Fool-Proof Checkpoint 1. Create a Control-Strip a. Placed on each plate b. Created as a linear file c. Run at typical lpi/resolution No curves applied
  26. 26. Creating a Fool-Proof Checkpoint 1. Create a Control-Strip Text for verifying imaging, washout & exposure
  27. 27. Creating a Fool-Proof Checkpoint 1. Create a Control-Strip Standard stain test for digital plates.
  28. 28. Creating a Fool-Proof Checkpoint 1. Create a Control-Strip Minimum dot to check laser/film imaging. Include the linear value of the dot fail point (digital).
  29. 29. Creating a Fool-Proof Checkpoint 1. Create a Control-Strip Tint patches for measuring on plate reading device
  30. 30. Creating a Fool-Proof Checkpoint 1. Image this target on each plate/film. Imaging Visual inspection for laser lines or any imaging defect in especially the solid (100%) areas. Look first with naked eye, and/or scope on a light table. After… Laser Lines = poor imaging quality
  31. 31. Creating a Fool-Proof Checkpoint Post/Detack Clip the control strip from the plate – away from the other images. Follow the steps below. Measure the Relief Inspect min dot upside-down on light table with scope Measure 10, 30, 50% After…
  32. 32. Document the Data 1. Customizable Web Database
  33. 33. Document the Data 1. iPhone App – syncs to web database
  34. 34. Document the Data Initially, documenting helps to realize the target, Upper Limit Lower Limit as well set the usable range.
  35. 35. Document the Data Develop an Action Plan for those points outside of the Target Range Upper Limit Lower Limit
  36. 36. • Operators take the time to collect the data… USE it! • Schedule time as a team to review regularly – (Weekly/Monthly)
  37. 37. Sheet Plate Cleaning *confirm with plate manufacturer!
  38. 38. Small dots (1%) Sheet Plate Cleaning Flexo Plate *confirm with plate manufacturer! Pantyhose Mesh
  39. 39. Small dots (1%) Dot without top… Sheet Plate Cleaning *confirm with plate manufacturer!
  40. 40. Sheet Plate Cleaning *confirm with plate manufacturer! • Pamarco Care Pads or Horse Hair Brush • Open fiber • Will not catch dots
  41. 41. Sheet Plate Cleaning • common cleaners • harsh chemicals • multiple different products *confirm with plate manufacturer!
  42. 42. Sheet Plate Cleaning *confirm with plate manufacturer! • common cleaners • harsh chemicals • multiple different products • Cause Plate Cracking • Plate Curling • Plate Lift • Plate Breakdown
  43. 43. 1st Recommended Cleaning Solution 100% Ethanol Alcohol Sheet Plate Cleaning *confirm with plate manufacturer! Complete a swell test with any solution 2nd Recommended Cleaning Solution 0-20% Acetate 80- 100% Ethanol Alcohol Okay for use with most solvent produced plates
  44. 44. Sheet Plate Storage *confirm with plate manufacturer! CLEAN plates before storage Store FLAT and as square as possible Never Face-to-Face! • Store FLAT • Face-to-Mylar Backing – with foam interleave • Out of Direct Light (envelope)
  45. 45. Liquid Plate Care/Cleaning *confirm with plate manufacturer! CLEAN plates before storage • Always clean plates before storing. • Use a detergent & water solution for cleaning • Solution temp must <140 degrees F. • Use a soft horse-hair brush • Dry completely before storage 70% Iso. Alcohol Industrial Ammonia Solution 10% 20% 70% Water
  46. 46. Liquid Plate Care/Cleaning • Plates must be kept out of UV light • Wrap plates in dark envelopes or sleeves • Store in a cool, dry, dark place *confirm with plate manufacturer!
  47. 47. Liquid Plate Care/Cleaning • Too high of a storage room temperature can damage plates • Heat increases the likelihood of: • Ozone cracking • Excessive tack • Plate shrinkage • Optimal storage conditions: *confirm with plate manufacturer! 70-100 degrees F 60-80% RH
  48. 48. Plate Handling Best Practices for the Plate Room & Beyond Jessica Harkins Harrell Technologies Manager Anderson & Vreeland

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