Corona treating on a solvent line? Welcome to conventional thinking overturned.
Conventional thinking directs many to think that pretreated material doesn't require additional inline treatment when using solvent-based printing. However, printers like Tufco in Green Bay Wisconsin are impressed with the results they see from their lines with Enercon corona treaters. The Tufco team has first hand experience with treating for both solvent and water based printing. Suffice it to say that quality and productivity are important to them. The impressions they make on Fortune 500 companies are backed by an ISO 9000 1:2000 certification.
Base Operations Manager Bruce Pagel says the company had run older lines without corona treaters and has seen dramatic results with the ones that have treaters. "There's no doubt that our lines with corona treaters have less delays and downtime. The treaters provide a safety net that assures surface dyne levels are optimal for printing."
Not all printers are as progressive as Tufco. Fox Valley Technical College's Steve Utschig uses his flexographic training seminars to try and teach more conventionally thinking printers that surface treating can make a big difference. He says, "If there are printers who reject the idea of surface treating, they should possibly reconsider their thinking. Films are pretreated, but they're not guaranteed to be perfect when it comes time to print. Treatment degrades over time so that's one issue you have to contend with. And, even if the film makes the grade on a dyne test you still have the possibility of additives rising to the surface. These surface imperfections can result in pinholing and other quality issues. A corona treater can help to eliminate these problems."
Tufco's Pagel supports the assertion that not all pretreated film is created equal. "Variances in dyne levels of pretreated material can be considerable. If your film supplier is overseas or if you've had the material in storage there can be a significant decay in pretreatment levels over time."
Smarter Customers Progressive printers and educators aren't the only ones who recognize the benefits of in-line treating. Tufco's Bobbi Marchand says her customers are getting smarter about corona treating and the printing process as well.
"There's no doubt that our lines with corona treaters have less delays and downtime. The treaters provide a safety net that assures surface dyne levels are optimal for printing."
- Bruce Pagel
The Flexographic Printing Sales Manager says, "Many of my customers will ask if we bump treat in-line. They're aware of the improved adhesion that results from consistent dyne levels. And it also helps minimize the chance for roll blocking." Marchand adds that it makes her sales job easier having corona treaters on Tufco's presses. From films to non-wovens she knows Tufco can handle many jobs successfully that other printers can't.
Consider the experience of Fox Valley Technical College Steve Utschig. He's one of the top Flexographic Printing Instructors around and his expertise is the result of over 22 years in the converting industry. Steve says, "Whether you're using water or solvent based printing you want to ensure the surface energy of the substrate is as consistent as possible. The best way to guarantee ink adhesion consistency is with a corona treater."