A guide to checking the quality of your ultrasonic system
GRAPH 1 - typical ultrasonic system
There are both spikes and troughs of sound in the above graph. The spikes show areas of potential damage to a roll and the troughs indicate areas where cleaning would be poor. The ‘spread’ on the ‘Y’ axis at 17.8mV should also be noted. This graph was taken from a system that was recently sold into Flexo.
GRAPH 2 - Alphasonics
Here, with our Advanced Ultrasonic Technology, please note the ‘spread’ at only 1.6mV. The ‘spikes’ can never be completely eliminated, but can be rendered so small that they cease to be an issue. It is this incredibly even distribution that enables rolls to be cleaned on a weekly, daily or ever an hourly basis, should the customer desire.
Risk to the anilox is eradicated
Here, we show some graphs that highlight the activity in an Alphasonics Advanced Anilox
Cleaning System and in an alternative device.
Note the ‘Y’ Axis. Our technology has a very even distribution of ultrasound, whereas the
competition’s device shows an erratic distribution of sound. What this highlights is that the fears
in the industry (stoked up by competitors) are partially correct. But only partially. Moreover, this
half-truth is only applicable to poor examples of ultrasonic anilox cleaners, which are sadly
prevalent in the industry.
Although it is highly doubtful if these alternative suppliers actually understand ultrasonics, or
indeed, as to why damage to an anilox is possible, this ‘fear factor’ has historically been a good
sales tool with which to sell poor performing equipment with high running costs and a negative
environmental impact (despite the claims to the contrary).
In today’s world of Flexo, most companies are looking to print higher quality and in that regard,
the average screen count is now typically 1200lpi, with cell walls between 2 and 3μ. This is
incredibly delicate and requires a very special device to clean both thoroughly and safely. If you
have an ultrasonic system there is a very easy way to see for yourself if it has the potential to
damage your aniloxes.
Ultrasonic foil test
To do a foil test simply tear off a strip of kitchen foil and insert the sheet into your tank vertically for 20 seconds. If when you pull out the sheet, there are pinholes in the foil, the system has the potential to damage
an anilox. If you have an Alphasonics unit and conduct this trial, there will not be any holes in the
foil, clearly showing that the sound is incredibly even and therefore safe for anilox cleaning.
The spikes of sound generated in a commercial-grade system are in themselves only small in the
milli-volt range, but it is the incessant spiking every few seconds that will erode a cell wall over
time. It could take months or even a few years, but if the spikes are there, they will punch holes in
the tin foil, thus indicating the potential for roll damage.
This is a rudimentary way of checking the safety of your anilox cleaning device for roll cleaning.
Feel free to contact us directly for any further information on what to look out for in any anilox
cleaner and how Advanced Ultrasonics can work for you.