Flexo Concepts has announced the completion of a new state-of-the-art doctor blade innovation lab in its Plymouth, Massachusetts, manufacturing facility.
The creation of the test centre emphasises the company’s commitment to bringing cutting-edge technology to the flexo printing industry.
The innovation lab contains a variety of testing and measuring equipment used to assess the various mechanical properties of materials being considered for new product development.
These tests include stiffness, wear, surface roughness and creep, the characteristic that describes how polymer material ‘relaxes’ over time when pushed against a hard surface such as an anilox roll.
The lab also houses a special machine to prepare samples for testing as well as high-precision optical and weighing devices to perform used blade analysis.
By analysing worn blades, Flexo Concepts can help customers determine the causes of their metering problems such as too much or little doctor blade pressure or when a doctor blade has been installed at an incorrect angle.
John Ferris, Flexo Concepts’ engineering manager, said: "Unlike some blade manufacturers, our objective is to test blades and blade materials in a way that replicates their use in the field. We have invested in a combination of custom-designed and standard industry equipment to do just that."