It is an essential asset to finger printing, and it is the most effective way to determine the best engraving qualities needed for the print jobs you are in the process of taking on. So, how does this work?
First, exactly what is a banded anilox roller?
Our definition is: an anilox roller with two or more engravings to be used for testing purposes (i.e. finger printing, specialty applications, quality assurance)
How does the banded anilox roller go into the press?
The anilox should be treated the same as any fine screen anilox when it is put into the press.
While we’re thinking about a banded anilox roller, are there any other special items or tips we need to know?
A plate should be made to match the engraving bands in order to take full benefit advantage. A new doctor blade or rubber roller in the metering system should be used as well.
I have more than one color/ application/ coating I need to test (OR) I’m finger printing my press. Do I need a banded anilox roller for each station, or can I get by with just one?
In most instances, one banded anilox roller is sufficient.
How would I pick the bands of engravings to go on the anilox roller?
The engravings should be based only on the applications you will be running on the press. The most common, for example, would be printing four-color process, with a maximum of 150 dpi plates, running water based inks with standard viscosity, and a press speed under 200-250 fpm. You will look at engravings in the ranges of 600 LPI upwards to 1200 LPI.
Thinking about a banded anilox roller for four-color process printing, could I include a varnish application?
It is not recommended. This will take away from your true color applications.
The easiest analogy is to think about each engraving as if it were grits of sandpaper, then think of a doctor blade metering across it. If a large 300 or 360 LPI is added to the fine engravings on the banded anilox roller, these large engravings (which begin at twice the size of the process engravings in height and width) will pick up the ink transfer and cause the finer engraving specs closest to it to show up darker. This is due to the inability of a clean wipe from the blade. Even in microns, with advanced technologies used today, a slight height disadvantage on the engraving can lead to expensive unsatisfied applications. A rule of thumb, if over 600 LPI, a variation of 400 to 600 cells is acceptable. If under 600, the variation greatly decreases. Contact us for recommendations.
What about volumes? Is this a major factor as well?
Volumes (BCM) play a large role in ink transfer. A common rule is to keep the volumes at a minimum distance of .5 BCM in order to see a difference in color change and dpi coverage. There are many aspects to a banded anilox roller that give a huge factor to the end product. This is the most common. Contact us for recommendations.
Should I make the banded roller determination myself, or should I get assistance?
You tell us what you want to do and how you want to do it, and our job is to work with you, your plate supplier, and ink supplier, to recommend the engravings necessary for the banded anilox roller.
How much do banded anilox rollers cost?
CTS Industries’ banded anilox rollers belong to us. We engrave them to your specification and only charge a nominal set up fee. This fee is credited towards your purchase of a set of anilox rollers once the banded roller testing is complete. Other engraving companies charge their customers for the banded anilox roller. We understand that most companies only need a banded anilox for no more than a couple of weeks. If you wish to purchase a banded anilox roller from us, please let us know before you place the order.
How much of a lead-time should be given to CTS Industries to engrave a banded anilox roller?
Length of time is based on our engraving room production schedule. The average wait time for a banded anilox roller is six to eight weeks.
Thinking about four-color process banded anilox rollers, is there anything in particular that should be considered after the finger printing is complete?
It’s essential to understand a consideration of wear AND doctor blade control on a new set of anilox rollers. Take into consideration the amount of time the new fine screen anilox rollers are to run. A guide to follow for fine engravings would be, if the anilox rollers are operating 30-40 hours per week and are set up accurately w/ a doctor blade system, the wear life may reduce approximately 25-35% after a one-year period. This is to be taken into factor when considering densities.