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Leading the Way Towards Sustainability AND Clean Rolls

It’s not often a “green” technology is also a BETTER technology.  Usually some sort of sacrifice needs to be made to “go green”.  Not so with our latest technological development – the Eclipse® Laser Anilox Roll Cleaning System.

Let me back up……ARCS pioneered the effort to deep clean anilox rolls using the baking soda method over 25 years ago – we know a thing or two about cleaning rolls!  Soda is still a wonderful way to perform on and off press deep cleaning – it’s eco-friendly, goes pretty fast, and today’s equipment runs dust-free.

However, soda technology doesn’t allow for automation, and for some plants we work with, the risk of dust generation is unacceptable.  Fast forward to 2012, when ARCS had its first experiences with Laser cleaning systems.  We have learned and awful lot since then.  For instance, using the wrong style laser scanner can lead to roll damage – not good!

As we endeavored to learn more on how to adapt lasers for roll cleaning, it led us on quite a journey.  Literally!  I went on a research mission to Europe, where lasers have been used to clean rolls for quite some time.  I witnessed first hand the pitfalls of early generation lasers, and saw them damage roll surfaces over and over again.  One of the roll manufacturing companies I visited said they were starting to receive in more client rolls for resurfacing due to laser damage vs. operator error.

Upon my return, I continued to search out next generation lasers, and finally found one which had already proven itself in a completely different market:  art conservation.  The same laser technology we use today for roll cleaning has already been in use for several years cleaning priceless works of art.  The adaptation process ended up being straightforward, but the testing phase was lengthy.

We went “live” in 2016 and haven’t looked back.  To date, our laser has not caused any damage to rolls it has worked on.  This includes all types – anilox, coating, gravure, chrome, and trihelicals.  Our client list includes a who’s who of the converting business, and the testing we have performed has been extensive and included outside analyses by our client’s roll suppliers.

What exactly makes our technology different?  It’s all about the scanner!  All lasers start out as a point of light like a laser pointer.  Traditional industrial lasers, also known as linear lasers, move the point of light from left to right in a straight line at a rapid rate so that it resembles a beam.  As the laser point changes direction, it first has to stop and then go into reverse.  When the laser stops, it deposits heat, and it’s that hot spot that can quickly lead to roll damage. 

That’s what I witnessed over in Europe, and it’s also what is still being offered in the marketplace today.  Our scanner never stops – it’s rotary.  We start out with the same point of light – but because our scanner goes in a circular fashion, there is no opportunity for it to leave behind any thermal energy. 

Yes, we have built a better mousetrap, and yes it cleans better than any other cleaning system on the market today.  On average, you can expect to increase your volumes by 10-20% when compared to existing deep cleaning technologies.  And don’t forget about all of the environmental benefits:  no waste, low power consumption, quiet and safe operation.

ARCS sells these systems and can also provide a cleaning service using this equipment should a company not want to make the capital investment.

Want to put us to the test?  We welcome your inquiries, and are happy to clean your first roll for free.  We also host visitors from all over the country.  We have a half day program designed to educate, observe, and help a company make an informed decision (and did I mention we have a great cheesesteak place right around the corner?)

I hope to hear from you soon – please call or email me to discuss any of this further.

Anilox Roll Cleaning System


Jeff Paduano
President and Owner
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