IDE Online Magazine Abril 2017 - Page 88

Managing static and contamination on a labelling press

Iain Cameron (Marketing Director, Meech International)

The series of issues that static can cause when present on a production line are numerous, which is why today’s businesses operating in the labelling sectors need to be aware of its effects, especially its ability to attract considerable amounts of dirt and dust to the web’s surface. Not only will this result in a series of labels with poor print quality, it also means the labelling press will require frequent cleaning and subsequently slow production down.

It’s no good if a labelling company offers a fast service if they have to keep interrupting production flow to clean their machines because of the build-up of contamination attracted by static charges, or if at the inspection stage labels are rejected, which not only qualifies as wastage, but also expense. This matters even more if the end use for the label is perhaps medical or a clean environment.

End users are demanding more sophisticated standards in the goods they purchase than they may have done a number of years ago. For instance, filmic materials are being used more commonly now as they are pleasing on the eye, but at the same time they tend to generate higher static charges. Or take a digital label printing line as another example, where a massive static charge can be generated both during the printing process and as the film or paper is unwound from a roll. These charges are capable of attracting dust to the web from several feet away and once it has deposited on the material, it will negatively affect the final print quality.

Static and high-speed webs go hand in hand, and when you add in the range of substrates