Wide Web CI Flexo Printing


Precise ink metering is crucial to achieve high-quality flexo printing. Selecting the correct metering and containment blades as well as their set up and position in press is important. Doing it right can prevent dot gain, dirty print, end seal leaking, back doctoring and anilox damage or wear.

This article explains the importance of ink metering for high-quality flexo printing and provides guidance on how to set up the correct metering and containment blades. By following these instructions, you can prevent common printing issues and achieve precise ink metering for optimal printing results.

Metering and Containment Blades are Different

It is important to understand the differences between metering and containment blades, and to know they have a different purpose and require the use of different materials.

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The metering blades only job is to remove ink from the anilox surface.

This blade engages the anilox facing against the direction the anilox turns, in a sheering position. The blade and its edge must be kept rigid to maintain the narrowest possible contact area. Typically, this blade should be thicker than the containment. To achieve tight metering, the metering edge should be beveled or lamella; and radius for use on white inks, coatings and lower line anilox. The composition of the metering blade’s steel is critical. It should be a low abrasion material to reduce blade and anilox will wear.

The Containment Blade has two jobs to do

  1. Allow ink back into the chamber
  2. Keep ink inside the chamber.

This blade engages the anilox surface facing in the same direction the anilox turns. This blade should flex. Because its edge is not metering, it can be polished radius. To help flex, the blade should be a thinner to be less rigid than the metering blade. While the life of the steel used in this position should match the life of the meter blade, its composition is not as critical. A mid-range material can be effective.

On the front or downside of the CI, the meter blade is always in the chamber’s bottom position.

On the back or upside of the CI, the meter blade is always in the chamber’s top position. (downside = bottom / upside = top)

Metering Blade Edge Direction

If the metering blade includes a precision metering edge; bevel or lamella, that edge must face into the chamber.

Swedev coated doctor blades team

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