Proper Care of Doctor Blades

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Shops with Flexographic and gravure printing machines often pay close attention to caring for their rolls and ink while overlooking their doctor blades. Several blade options are available, made from different metals and plastics. Although there are differences between these blade types, you can follow some basic care guidelines for the best results.

Follow the Guidelines

One of the biggest mistakes a printer can make is using too much pressure to get a better quality print. A dirty, damaged, or improperly installed doctor blade will not connect properly with your roll, resulting in a low-quality print. The result is that printers up the pressure. This leads to you using more ink than necessary, wasting resources, and damaging your anilox roll. Instead, follow the printing guidelines for your machine and make sure your blade is in good condition.

Replace Your Blades

Many printers believe it is possible to clean their blades rather than replace them. However, it is never advisable to clean your blades. As cheap as doctor blades are, it will be better for your machine and printing shop if you replace them.

Select the Proper Holder

Your blades will only perform as well as their holder. To avoid problems, you need to make sure you select the proper holder for the type of blade you are using. For instance, you want to avoid putting plastic blades into a holder designed for steel.

It is a common misconception that doctor blades are less important than anilox rolls and ink. Giving proper attention to your doctor blades will improve your printing results. By maintaining this small part, you can greatly improve the performance of your machine. Proper care will increase how long your ink lasts. It will also reduce waste. It can also reduce damage to your anilox roll. The key is to follow the guidelines, replace your blades, and select the proper holder.

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