Gama launches time-saving wash-up blade system
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Printing press cleaning systems developer Gama Systems has launched a new wash-up printer blade system that reduces blade replacement time.
The Washington, Tyne and Wear-based company’s new patented product, SlipTip, has been in development for four years.
It enables the user to adapt Gama’s existing InkSink printer wash-up liner system – which Heidelberg currently supplies to its customers under the name Saphira Wash-up and Go – for any offset press. This is said to offer significant time and money savings on changing wash-up blades.
On a standard press the wash-up tray has to be removed and fully cleaned before the operator can start to remove the wash-up blade, with adjustments also often needing to be made to ensure even blade pressure.
But Gama said that with SlipTip, while the operator still needs to remove the tray, there is no need to clean it; they can just wipe the blade, swipe it out then replace it with a new one.
Gama Systems manager Mark Rogerson said: “The two products that we sell look at parts of the printing process that seem to get overlooked when it comes to saving time and money. Cleaning waste ink trays and changing wash-up blades are two of the jobs everybody hates to do.
“Traditional blade replacement is a painstaking process, requiring the user to remove and clean ink-filled bolt heads and wash-up trays. SlipTip allows printers to change a blade in less than one minute, with no tools or readjustment needed.”
He told Printweek: “We could really only manufacture the liner product that we make [InkSink] for Heidelberg machines because they use the metal and rubber blades, whereas all the other press manufacturers use plastic blades or a variation.
“So we stuck with Heidelberg for years but we were always trying to come up with a way to get our product on more machines and SlipTip seems to be the correct fit.”
SlipTip is said to “drastically reduce” downtime and minimises the use of harmful chemical solvents, which traditional printing press cleaning requires.
Gama said the product can save users up to one hour 48 minutes’ replacement time per six-tray press and estimated a typical average cost to the business of using SlipTip on a six-tray press as £280.46, compared to £645.34 with traditional blade replacement.
SlipTip is currently being field tested and a full commercial launch is expected in “around three to four weeks’ time”. Rogerson said the product will work on all major offset press manufacturers’ machines and will be available to purchase directly from Gama.