New cleaner for flexographic printer promises cost cuts

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Printing

The new CI Drum Cleaner from RG Egan Equipment delivers less down time, improved operator safety and uses fewer cleaning solvents, according to its manufacturer.

The cleaner is designed to be used alongside the company's printing wide web packaging material and with central impression printing presses. The cleaner uses fabric to remove ink, dirt and colour slip from the drum every five minutes for 24 hours; after which time the fabric must be replaced.

The cleaner can lead to a six per cent reduction in downtime saving tens of thousands of dollars​,” Greg Egan, the company’s sales manager told

Automatic cleaning function

It also improves operator safety, he said. “When operators have to clean the (printing) drum manually, they have to jog it which can sometimes cause injury.”​ The automatic cleaning function of the CI Drum Cleaner avoids the need for manual cleaning.

Finally, the cleaner significantly reduces the need from cleaning solvents, claims the manufacturer. After testing the drum cleaner, one plant manager reported to Egan that he had been able to cut his use of cleaning solvent from six gallons a day to one gallon.

Food manufacturers use print processes that can print between four to 10 colours at one time. Most printing presses use a large central impression drum with color stations located around the drum, explained Egan. As the packaging material travels around the drum the colors are transferred from a flexographic plate to the packaging film. The CDI Cleaner cleans the surface of the central impression drum while the press is printing leading to reduced down-time, he added.

Central Impression Drum

"We're proud to be the first manufacturer to design, build and sell this type of machine. It's definitely efficient – and safe – to have the option of cleaning the central impression drum while the press is in production printing. Our customers don't have to go through the lengthy process of stopping printing and then relying on the operator to do the dirty job of cleaning the central impression drum by hand with rags and cleaning solvents.”

“In addition to needing fewer cleaning solutions, the working environment is now a great deal safer for everyone, particularly the operators​," said Egan.

This product retrofits to most central impression Printing Presses, said the company.

The CI Drum Cleaner is available worldwide and costs about $25,000.

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