Thursday, February 16, 2012

Solvent Supply to CI Flexo Press

How to bring solvent to your ink buckets via Gravity Feed. Use something like this with a solenoid valve in each of the feed lines. Connect those valves to your control system and you've got it !!  You can also use a pumped in solvent feed, instead of gravity feed but keep the pressure low, about 1 bar.

Air Mixer Stabilization

For years there has been a trend away from centrifugal ink pumps to diaphram and/or peristalitic pumps. The problem with this trend is that it removes mixing from the main tank and thus inks, coatings and varnishes are not mixed well and viscosity control and/or product consistency falter.

Likewise some of this trend has been because of the use of water based ink and the centrifugal pumps can create foam in the ink [ this is a real no no :( ]. But without mixing your situation is still going to be bleak.

This air mixer has a 15:1 gear reducer !!! This means you can run it at slow speed and not stall out, like with a non gear reduced mixer.

This will stabilize your product. So simple yet so powerful. Check out our posting on


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Paint Tank - Viscosity Control

You see here one easy way to control a large tank of paint, base coat, varnish, ink or other liquid which is being sent on to some kind of application system. The M8B, mounted to the side of the tank, is a tank mount viscosity sensor. It can go on tanks up to 6ft / 2m deep. Turbulence, vibrations, density (specific gravity) changes and level changes do not affect the reading of viscosity.

Whether you are using a Zahn, Din, Ford, ISO or another cup we can control so close that you cannot see changes in viscosity. Except if you add a large amount of uncut paint :) Cheers !

Same Ink / Different Material - Different Color

Shown in this blog is a fabulous handout from Flint Ink. As the resolution of my post is not clear;
The question is:     "Which stocks are printed with the same ink ?"

The answer is:     "Here's the same ink on a variety of stocks."

Please note that Color Quiz is a registered trademark of  Flint Ink.
Be sure to visit:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

gram/second-centimeter ??

What is viscosity ? It is the ratio of Shear Stress / Shear rate which when you it through you end up with grams/second-centimeter.  Now this is a mouthful and is named for Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille . If you want a worksheet that details how to follow the units of measure let me know at or visit wikipedia.

Please ! Can we just all slow down for a minute ?

The world keeps changing faster and faster. Our customers want things more and more quickly with better and better quality.  How many of you engineers, managers and business owners wish things could slow down - just for a few minutes.  Well, I was going through some old files and found these show signs from the late 1960's. It made me think back to my grandfather and father. Think back to the many thousands of individuals whose lives we have touched through something as interesting as viscosity controls. While this blog is a long way from these signs the force behind both remains the same. A focused company knowing how to solve a myriad of viscosity control issues with care and consideration. May you all have a great year.

Baseball Bat Varnish

When my kids see the red cap, from a number of years ago, they say: " Dad, did you guys really wear those ?". I reply that there are people all over the world who like different types of baseball caps. But then I ask them if they know how Norcross helps the manufacturers of baseball bats finish the job ? Well to all of you who are involved in varnishing, printing, coating, laminating or the like rest assured that Norcross helps the final coating of varnish to go on smooth and efficiently.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Using blended solvents

Does your printing system use a solvent blend. There are a number of solutions for a viscosity control system to use multiple solvents. One is shown here.  When the viscosity rises above the set point then the controller simply opens two valves, each for a different time. The times are based upon the ratio of solvent you desire.

There, it is that simple.

Flexographic Printing Ink Viscosity Control - I Dare You !

Viscosity control of printing ink. This chart comes from an application note that we offer free of charge to anyone who emails us a request. This comes from a real test on a real flexo press running solvent ink in the UK. Points A-F show the ink viscosity under manual control. H and on show what happens with auto control. J is what happens when an ink attendant adds uncut ink to your ink pail. Our control system brings the viscosity back to where it belongs. BUT the ink man should have pre-thinned the ink before adding it.

If you have no viscosity control then by putting on such a control system you can see savings of between 15 and 60 percent !!  Yes you can.   Tally up your annual ink cost and look at the numbers.

There is no rational excuse for any printer any place in the world who is running solvent based inks with jobs that last for more than 1 hour not to use viscosity control.  The only excuses are that 1. you don't believe, 2. you have had a bad experience with a poorly designed viscosity control system or 3. you like spending more money then you need to.

The pay back is there. You may not believe it but it is. I stand ready to prove this to anyone anyplace in the world. You contact me, we study your system, I give you a quotation, you get approval, you issue a conditional purchase order and I will supply you with three days of free use of a viscosity control system and so long as I prove savings the purchase order becomes validated.

Go ahead - Try me - I dare you.

Making a switch intrinsically safe

There are times that  you may have an industrial application where there is a limit switch in a hazardous location. To connect that switch back to the control system trying to monitor such switch you can use explosion proof conduit, cabling, seals and the like. These cost you lots of money, time and inconvenience.

A wonderful technology is the intrinsically safe barrier. A typical one, as shown in this photo, is mounted with your control system in the NON Hazardous area.  The left side of this barrier connects to your controller. The right side is connected to the switch in the Hazardous Location.

The power ( ie  voltage * amps ) and the inductance and the capacitance are all limited by special circuits in the barrier so that if the wiring to or in the switch was damaged and the two leads were able to make contact in the presence of some flammable or explosive gases, which in turn have the best ratio of oxygen present to allow for ignition, then the short circuit current would be limited to a level so low that the ignition cannot occur.

This is great technology as it allows you to use ordinary wiring to your switch and you can even use non explosion proof rated switches safely and easily. One caution is that he path that the cable takes from the switch back to the barrier must be such that the gases are sealed off ,so they cannot migrate back to the control system. This is simple to do.

See my posting # 19 as well.

Can Coating % Solids and Film Thickness

I found this old steel can recently. I wonder if the manufacturer of this had been using viscosity control for their interior varnish and exterior over varnish ? First, all of us in the can coating world know that you need to protect steel from the material it is containing. Second we also know that you need something to protect the printing. Third the percent solids is critical and the best way to measure that is by measuring it's viscosity.

The rusted spikes, around the can did not need any coating. They are just simple iron tools doing their job for a given time. These obviously have served their purpose.  Have a great day :)