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10 Steps to Optimize Anilox Tooling Inventory

Apr 27, 2018

Maintaining optimum anilox tooling and performance is essential to high-quality, efficient printing. Following these simple steps can help you operate at peak efficiency.

  1. Order anilox tooling from a respected manufacturer with a proven track record of quality.

  2. Upon receipt from the manufacturer, measure each anilox to verify cell volume as specified.  This sets a baseline for future measurement and comparison.  It is recommended to use an anilox measurement device/system that allows identification of each anilox and storage of that information for future measurement tracking.

  3. Determine a suitable location for a storage rack for safe storage of anilox inventory.

  4. Develop a safe handling procedure for moving aniloxes from the storage rack to the press.  Moveable storage carts often come with printing presses to assist with this.

  5. When purchasing a printing press, select one with easy access for anilox exchange.  This helps to avoid damage during anilox exchange (job changeover).

  6. Select a press with an automatic and thorough washup system.  This helps to avoid hardening and buildup of ink.

  7. Develop a safe handling procedure for moving aniloxes from the press to the cleaning area.

  8. Thoroughly clean aniloxes after each use and prior to returning them to inventory.  Laser anilox cleaning has proven to be very effective in removing almost any type of ink, adhesive, etc. from aniloxes.  Measure each anilox after cleaning to log and track anilox condition and any potential wear.

  9. Develop a process to determine the appropriate time to replace tooling.  This optimizes spending on anilox tooling without compromising print production quality.  Replacing tooling too early increases costs; replacing tooling too late reduces print quality.

  10. Develop a process to determine if tooling can be re-engraved rather than replaced.  This will also help to optimize spending.