Eliminating Gravure Dragouts and Streaking

A Daetwyler Analyze, Design, Implement, Measure Success Story

Before Daetwyler

Identify dragouts, streaking and other quality issues

A major manufacturer in the decor market was having multiple problems with dragouts, streaking, and other similar quality issues. 

Due to their high-volume production, even the smallest of errors add up quickly to become big losses due to waste of an expensive substrate. 

Typically, such problems on a gravure press indicate blade wear or other blade problems. 

Fortunately, we looked a little closer before just supplying new blades.

How Analyze, Design, Implement, Measure Made a Difference

MDC longlife is a Doctor Blade product, produced by Daetwyler. The blade reduces defects in the entire print run and delivers precise ink metering.

Perform a thorough equipment analysis

Blade wear and tear is part of all printing and coating operations, but in this case, our client was using Daetwyler’s MDC Longlife blade and shouldn’t have been experiencing issues so quickly into the product’s service life, or as frequently as they had been reporting.

Because we like to test solutions to prove they work, we did a thorough equipment analysis and found that the doctor blade holders on the press were damaged, making it impossible to get proper performance from the blade itself. 

We tested this theory by conducting test runs with both our MDC Longlife and our MDC Standard blades with the damaged holders. Even with brand-new blades in the trial, the same dragouts and streaking occurred.

Upon replacing the blade holders with Daetwyler holders designed specifically to be compatible with most of the Rotomec presses on the market, Daetwyler and the client ran the tests again. This time, the mysterious and frustrating dragouts and streaks were almost completely eliminated.

After Daetwyler

Improve print quality and reduce downtime

The combination of Daetwyler’s blade holders optimized for Rotomec presses and the MDC Longlife blade was so effective, the client completed additional retrofits of blade holders on other presses that had been displaying similar problems. 

Not only did print quality improve, which was expected, there was also a significant reduction in downtime since press crews were no longer stopping and starting production to try and find the source of the errors.