If you regularly print on plastic or other types of material, you’ll be familiar with flexographic printing techniques. These operations have made the printing process a lot more efficient and effective. However, for the best results, you need to make use of flex storage solutions.
1. Cleaning your plates
Before you put your plates into storage, it’s important to clean them thoroughly. This can sometimes be done with brushes or sponges. Cleaning alcohol is also often used. However you choose to do your cleaning, making sure it’s done immediately after printing will produce the best results.
If you fail to clean your plates properly, they will deteriorate more rapidly. This can lead to problems with your printing or poor quality products. It will also increase your business costs, since you’ll have to buy replacement plates more often.
2. Storing your sleeves
While one option is to stack your sleeves after printing on them, the general opinion is that this can lead to your plates getting damaged. A more effective flex storage solution is to use a flexcart, which allows you to stack your sleeves either vertically or horizontally. This storage method allows sleeves to be moved around more easily. Your sleeves can also be handled more carefully, since it’s no longer necessary for workers to touch them each time they need to be moved.
3. Decide between horizontal or vertical storage
Flexcarts allow you to stack your sleeves both vertically and horizontally. A flex storage solution with vertical stacking is usually preferred, because horizontal stacking can cause sleeves to become misshapen over time. This happens when the pressure of gravity causes sleeves to develop an oval shape, which makes it extremely difficult to use them for printing. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to store sleeves in a more compact manner if they’re stacked vertically.
Many flex storage systems will come with roller wheels attached, which will allow you to move the vertically-stacked sleeves easily from side to side and find the particular sleeve you’re looking for. Stacking your sleeves securely brings additional benefits to your employees beyond the printing process. The main one is workplace safety. While there’s a real risk that sleeves can fall on a worker if they try to remove one from a stack, a good flex storage system removes this danger.
To make flexo printing easier, some companies have designed cleaning carts. These are great for cleaning and maintaining your sleeves. Cleaning carts often include a basin so you can place your sleeve over it while cleaning. This allows the dirty cleaning fluid to run out through a drain after you’ve finished the cleaning process.
Another important factor in maintaining your sleeves is protecting them from wear and tear while they’re in storage. This can be accomplished by using sturdy storage frames so the sleeves don’t get scratched or pick up debris. In addition, some firms include rubber padding in the flexcart for the sleeves to sit on, making sure that the top and bottom edges of your sleeves don’t get damaged.
Many flex storage solutions can be customized to meet your needs. Alternatively, storage units can be expanded at a later date as they are often based on a modular design. This means that your flex storage system can grow as your business develops. The wide variety of flex storage products means that the cost to purchase the best system for your company’s needs will vary.
Flex storage providers often give you an option to request a quote on there website so you can do some research before buying. If you need further assistance, most companies will be happy to advise you on which product would be most suitable for you.