Enclosed Doctor Blades

Description

Enclosed Doctor Blade Systems on Press
Enclosed Doctor Blade Systems on Press

Enclosed doctor blade systems (sometimes called chambered doctor blade systems) improve print quality and provide environmental benefits including reduced ink consumption, less waste, and fewer VOC and HAP emissions. Enclosed doctor blade systems provide better control on ink usage, more consistent color and improved performance of the inks on press. The enclosed system also may reduce the amount of diluent or solvent that will evaporate during operation which results in reduced VOC and HAP emissions and worker exposure to these chemicals.

Best Management Practices & Pollution Prevention

Use of enclosed doctor blade systems has been recognized as a pollution prevention (P2) technology by the U.S. EPA. Adding an enclosed doctor blade assembly to an older press or buying new equipment with the systems as standard equipment can reduce emissions from air pollutants.

During idle, emissions on a press equipped with an enclosed doctor blade system can be reduced by as much as 50% comparing a traditional two-roll ink feed system. During press operation, this difference is approximately 20%.

Enclosed doctor blade systems reduce leftover inks at the end of a press run because the doctor blade chamber is smaller than the traditional two roller, reverse angle doctor blade and ink pan configuration. The enclosed doctor blade system holds less ink that can become contaminated or needs to be handled as "Press Return Ink".

Enclosed doctor blade system cleanup generates fewer VOC emissions and less waste because the volume of cleaning solvents used and waste generated is drastically reduced.

Doctor blades should be stored in doctor blade racks in the press area and/or other storage locations in order to prevent damage. Some doctor blade systems are automated for wash-up wile the doctor blade remains in the printing position. Automated cleaning systems can further reduce waste volume.

Spent doctor blades should be recycled along with other metal scrap generated at the facility.

For access to vendors who may supply alternative materials and equipment, see the PNEAC Vendor Directory.

Health & Safety

Gloves the guard against sharp objects should be worn when handling doctor blades, as the thin metal blades can seriously injure the person handling them.

Additional Information

Fact Sheet

Fact Sheets: Reducing Ink and Solvent Use in Enclosed Flexographic Inking Systems

Reducing Ink and Solvent Use in Enclosed Flexographic Inking Systems