Star Product: Trelleborg Vulcan Aqueous blanket
By Jenny Roper Friday, 09 December 2011
This metal-backed printing blanket increases efficiency while reducing costs
What does it do?
How does it work?
The new blanket features a unique chemical compound on the top layer, which manufacturer Trelleborg Printing Blankets says is more hydrophilic than typical rubber compounds. This chemical compound ensures that the blanket stays cleaner than conventional blankets, Trelleborg claims, because more ink and dust-repelling water stays on its surface. The company says that this means there is less chance of ink being smudged onto the wrong areas of the newspaper being printed, or of paper dust build-up (which would result in the blankets having to be cleaned mid-production run).
When was it launched and who is it aimed at?
The blanket was launched this October at IFRA Expo 2011, and is designed specifically for newspaper production. Francesco Ferrari, technical service manager at Trelleborg Printing Blankets, explains that the lower quality of paper used for newspapers makes it crucial to use a blanket that keeps paper dust build-up to a minimum. "It’s very important that this new chemistry keeps everything cleaner, because a lot of dust is created due to the type of paper they’re using," he says. "That dust might block the press and of course if a newspaper press is blocked during the night, that’s a really big problem. Also, they need a blanket to have very good paper release, which the Vulcan Aqueous does."
What’s it USP?
The blanket produces a better quality of print not only at the start of every run, says Ferrari, but also offers much greater quality consistency. "With a conventional blanket, during the night the inks start to cover the blanket so that the print quality is getting worse and worse," he says. "You have to remember that in an offset process, the non-printing area is more important than the printing area, because it’s much easier to transfer the ink than to keep the blank areas clean." The blanket is also more efficient and cost-effective than its predecessors, says Ferrari, as printers can now leave presses running all night without having to stop and clean the blankets. "This saves production time and money," he explains, "as to clean the blankets means to waste paper and obviously paper is the most important cost for printers."
How easy is it to install?
"This blanket is more flexible than its Vulcan predecessor," says Ferrari. "It’s easier to move it around the cylinder which is key because the market is increasingly demanding easy-to-mount blankets."
What service support is available?
Any technical problems will be dealt with swiftly by Trelleborg, asserts Ferrari. The customer would need to call their distributor, who would notify Trelleborg so that the two companies could work together to rectify the problem.
What are the sales targets?
Trelleborg is testing this blanket at printers in Belgium, Germany and Italy, and hopes to extend it to others. "At the moment, we don’t have many customers, but those we have introduced the blanket to have seen that it gives great benefits," says Ferrari. "Next year, Trelleborg’s goal is to use these top chemical compounds for all newspaper blankets in our range. In a year’s time, I would like all our blankets to have switched to incorporating the new chemical compound which the Aqeous Vulcan uses."
Construction Metal-backed blanket with two-ply carcass
Printing surface colour Blue
Printing surface finish Microbuffed
Surface roughness Ra 0.8-1.0/1.2-1.4µm
Type of compressible layer Closed cell
Average load value at 230nm 250n/cm2
Ink compatibility Conventional and hybrid
Feeding Available in positive and neutral versions
Price On application
Contact Trelleborg +46 410 670 00 www.trelleborg.com
Conti-air steel CTZ 71
The Conti-air steel CTZ 71 is a metal-backed printing blanket also designed for coldset printing of newspapers. The blanket delivers excellent ink transfer, maximum precision and high printing quality, claims Contitech. "Ink buildup is less than on the earlier type CE51/71," says Markus Gnass, head of application engineering and sales at ContiTech Elastomer Coatings. "This shortens the washing intervals and reduces consumption of washing agents and energy for the machine drives."
Construction Metal-backed blanket with C7 carcass
Printing surface colour Blue
Printing surface finish Ground
Surface roughness (DIN 4768) 8-14µm
Average load value at 135n/cm 0.2mm
Ink compatibility Conventional, waterless and hybrid
Feeding Neutral and slightly negative
Price On application
Contact Contitech +49 5551 702 1933 www.conti-online.com
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