Problems at a sheet-fed offset printing plant in wintertime
A printing plant, with a wide range of products from school yearbooks to business cards, was facing printing problems using their sheet-fed offset printing presses during winter.
Low humidity in the wintertime, causing changes in paper size and print registration errors, make it difficult to perform accurate and reliable printing.
Static electricity built up causes double feeding at the feeder, paper jams and machine malfunctions, which all lead to press shutdowns.
Because of this, the plant significantly reduced their production during the winter, thinking this was the only way to avoid the problems brought on by low humidity.
However, some deadlines could not be postponed, and the plant met them on their reduced schedule and barely compensated for it by changing procedures on the fly and increasing overtime labor.
Changes in paper size, slowing down printing speed, rearranging job schedule and paper jam
When printing double-sided pages, they would normally print one side of the paper one day and the other side on the next day. However, over night the low humidity led to changes in paper size, ultimately leading to a low-quality end product. To produce a high-quality product the plant had to print both sides on the same day whenever possible.
In addition, in order to curb problems brought on by static electricity, which was especially problematic when a large quantity of thin sheets were used, the plant was forced to enact special procedures, such as slowing down the printing speed, rearranging the job schedule, moving up jobs not as sensitive to static electricity and putting off sensitive jobs until humidity levels increased.
The plant's staff pointed out that operators could work with the problems in the delivery unit, but when paper got stuck at the feeder, there was nothing they could do.
Improved print quality and work efficiency with Dry Fog Humidifier AKIMist® ”E”
Since installing Dry Fog Humidifier AKIMist® “E”, the plant is able to maintain an even humidity level even during winter, reducing the problems caused by static electricity.
Their productivity was greatly improved by drastically reducing the issues such as double feeding, paper jams, machine malfunctions, press shutdowns and the disordered stacks of prints at the delivery units.
The time it took to load paper into the sheet-fed printer was cut by about 10%. Print quality was substantially improved by resolving the problems with changes in paper size and print registration errors.
The printing process runs more smoothly, and printing jobs can be run on schedule, reducing the need for unexpected changes in the production schedule and overtime work.
Secondary benefits of humidification: improved work environment
There were unexpected benefits. In the winter, the heating system in plants without humidification causes dry air. This dryness becomes even more irritating because of ink vapors, paper particles, and powders, which is an issue when it comes to the respiratory health of the people who work in these plants.
Thanks to the humidification provided by AKIMist® “E”, sick time was cut nearly in half at the plant, leading to less sudden schedule changes and overtime.
Summary: 3 benefits of Dry Fog Humidifier AKIMist® ”E” for sheet-fed offset printing
- Improved print quality by preventing paper curling and reducing print registration errors.
- Improved work efficiency by reducing problems such as double feeding at the feeder, paper jams in the machine, machine malfunctions, and thus press shutdowns, and disordered stacks at the delivery unit.
- Improved work environment and reduced time taken for sick leave.
Dry Fog Humidifier AKIMist® ”E”: a non-wetting fog for indoor humidification
IKEUCHI AKIMist® “E” produces ultra-fine “Dry Fog” for humidity control in various industrial applications. We call our Dry Fog “non-wetting fog” because it only contains very small droplets of water. The tiny droplets (7.5 microns on average) evaporate before reaching any surface.
Therefore, humidification is possible in an area without the risk of wetting products and machines. The AKIMist® “E” can spray the Dry Fog over 13 feet (4 meters) from each nozzle and can cover a wide area with a single unit.