We’ve all experienced the convenience fee. Sometimes it comes in the form of a small bottle of pop costing the same as a two-liter bottle, or entertainment tickets purchased online that boast one price until a fee gets tacked on at the last second. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that what makes our days easier often costs us more, but that’s not always the case. When it comes to cleaning your anilox rolls, Pamarco’s Cleaning Plate is the ultimate solution: convenience and a relatively small price tag.

Anilox Roll, half cleaned with one of our blankets,

The advantages don’t end there; this method of cleaning packs one heavy punch in the press room. Are you looking for ways to improve your ink density, job after job? Tired of wasting time and money trying to keep your rolls clean? Are you paying to shut off your press and using valuable man hours scrubbing rolls instead of mounting plates for the next job? If you answered yes to any of these, I’m happy to tell you that your search for a better way is over.

So what is the Cleaning Plate, really? Why is it different than any other cleaning method out there? I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you about it and why I would absolutely recommend it as a superior anilox roll cleaning method. The easiest way to explain these things is to simply tell you the facts about the Cleaning Plate, what it has done for others, and what it can do for you.

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The very first thing I do when presenting the Cleaning Plate to someone who hasn’t seen it before is show them a miniature sample. The reaction is the same, time after time: “Wow. Why didn’t I think of that?” The ability to see those light bulbs going off is a major perk of my job, especially in the eyes of the guy who has been cleaning these rolls by hand. This is a life-changing moment for them. It’s something they already know how to use, but it completely changes the difficulty and safety levels of cleaning anilox rolls.

close-up image of a cleaning blanket

Designed as a blanket that mounts on a mylar backing just like a printing plate would, the Cleaning Plate picks up soapy water rather than ink. Because it is slightly closer to the roll than a printing plate, it also does the work of scrubbing. If you have a press helper scrubbing an anilox roll, just one pass would take twenty minutes. And who knows how many passes it will take to truly clean it? Cleaning by hand is rough work; where you start cleaning is likely going to be much cleaner than where you stop. Or you could have the blanket do the work for you with a thorough, even clean over the entire anilox as the result.

Pamarco- Anilox Cleaning Blanket- Anilox Cell Before Cleaning-min

In terms of safety, the Cleaning Plate is an outstanding way to avoid using toxic chemicals. While many auxiliary cleaners do a good job of getting the roll clean, they’re often around 14 pH, which is extremely hazardous for the person cleaning. Another issue with using highly basic chemicals on a piece of ceramic is that the high pH level will pop it off all the way down the roll if it gets under the surface and begins rusting.

While there are many other reasons to transition to the Cleaning Plate, three really stand out in the crowd. First, there is no labor involved. The second reason is time. Within an hour you’ve got a clean roll; and it mounts as quickly as a plate, but there is no registration because nothing is being printed. And the third reason is durability. The Cleaning plate lasts a long time, so in the end it’s relatively inexpensive. By the time you buy the laser or the cleaning chemicals, scrub brushes, and pay someone to do the scrubbing, this is a good deal less expensive.

Pamarco- Anilox Cleaning Blanket- Anilox Cell After Cleaning-min

Because the Cleaning Plate does require a small amount of dialing-in during the first few runs, it’s a learning game for everyone in the beginning. Once the uncomplicated task of tuning is completed, clients regularly comment on how much of an impact it has had on their volume levels. For example, I recently ran a before and after at a major paper company so we could establish just how much it was making a difference. Their volume went from an 8 to a 10 BCM- that’s a 20% difference! The most common feedback after it’s been installed for a while is simple, but perfectly so: “It’s quick, and it really works.” What more is there to ask for?

In the end, we know that corrugated is all about volume. Everyone wants to keep their anilox rolls clean so they can run faster and longer without losing out on ink density. There is so much competition in the industry that rolls are constantly running, but often without proper cleaning. If they get plugged to the point that dark brown becomes light brown, it’s going to take a long while to clean. It’s worth it to stop ahead of time, and the Cleaning Plate is the perfect tool for handling the task efficiently.

Achieving the advantage of a consistently clean roll doesn’t have to include a costly fee or hours of manual scrubbing at the risk of safety. With the Cleaning Plate, anilox roll cleaning can be done quickly and easily, and it’s something your press is already prepped for. No taking rolls off press or learning new installation techniques. Make your days easier, improve your ink density on a consistent basis, and save your time and money with the Cleaning Plate. It’s cleaning convenience without that big ole fee


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