Brad Gasque, technical service consultant – Advanced Printing, shares his thoughts on "Save Time and Money - Plate Room Housekeeping" in his blog post below. Be sure to check back soon for more content from our team!
A quality improvement effort to maintain your plate room and platemaking equipment has many advantages. So why doesn’t every customer practice good housekeeping and preventive maintenance (PM) in the plate room? For the same reason customers cut corners making plates. Everyone wants to save time. If you take a look at the long-term benefits of preventive maintenance, you will see that taking a little extra time, once a day, once a week or once a month can pay off. A PM program can:
1. Extend the life of your equipment
2. Increase predictability and reliability (reduce downtime)
3. Consistently produce quality printing plates
4. Ensure customer delivery dates
5. Lower overall maintenance costs
6. Improve safety
7. Attract new customers
An Installation/User Manual for a particular piece of equipment usually contains a section on “Maintenance”. Look in the manual and see what needs to be done on a regular basis to keep your equipment in peak operating condition. Tracking your equipment inspections is also an important part of your PM program. These service records can be used for trend analysis and enhancing your quality efforts.
Good housekeeping in the plate room is just as important as a PM on your equipment. Manufacturing facilities can be dirty places, but that doesn’t mean the plate room should be dirty as well. Be sure to keep dust, dirt and debris to a minimum by cleaning regularly. As you pull the coversheet off a digital plate, it creates a static charge which attracts particles. Large debris particles can be seen on the finished plate if they are present during main exposure.
When customers buy DuPont Cyrel® FAST plates, they are automatically covered by a comprehensive PM program that not only takes care of any equipment maintenance, but also covers training as well as platemaking and troubleshooting assistance. I encourage you to work alongside the team at DuPont to create maintenance and housekeeping checklists for your plate room. We all understand that time means money. Taking a proactive approach to equipment maintenance and housekeeping will allow you to save both.