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Maximizing Efficiency in Your Inkroom

(January 2008) posted on Tue Jan 29, 2008

One effective way to boost production, improve efficiency, and reduce inventory costs in your shop is to utilize ink-management equipment. This article explores a variety of options available for ink handling, mixing, and dispensing, as well as the benefits these products offer.

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By Lori Leaman

Both queuing systems work with the Vale-Tech IDS dispensing systems (Figure 5). The IDS10 holds 2.5 gal of ink in each vessel, the IDS25 holds 6 gal of ink in each vessel, and the LV allows users to dispense from 55-gal drums. Steven Presutto, Sun Chemical’s manager of technical information and training, explains that with the IDS10 and IDS25 systems, air pressure forces ink to the valve, and the valve opens and closes when it is instructed to by the software. A trolley, or balance on a motor, carrying the ink container moves to the appropriate valve, and the valves open and close through pneumatic controls to dispense a precise amount of ink as it is weighed on system’s scale. The IDS LV uses pumps instead of air pressure to deliver ink to the valves.

David Holmes, sales director for Vale-Tech says there is a common misconception that the IDS10 system is only suitable for larger printers. He goes on to say that with advances in computer and control system technology, it is now economically viable to install such systems for use by small- to medium-sized businesses. In fact, it is now feasible for any operation where blending and dispensing is required on a just-in-time basis. Ink-dispensing systems afford screen printers a high degree of flexibility in production planning and offer a faster, more flexible service to customers and with an enhanced color range.

Vale-Tech’s LV model uses a pump to support the removal of large amounts of ink from the large vessel. This system actually uses the same valve system, hoses, and trolley as the IDS models, but the ink-delivery system differs.

The dispensers can be built with 12-24 vessels, depending on the number of base colors that the customers needs to use. With 24 vessels, customers can use two separate ink systems when one ink system includes nine base colors, black, white, and clear.


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