Regular maintenance is key

14.05.2020 With production equipment under increased pressure to meet the higher demand for printed packaging caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more vital than ever that it is kept in top condition to ensure maximum output. This includes every link in the chain, including surface treatment, as Vetaphone’s (Kolding, Denmark) Steen Clausen explains.

A visual reminder of the importance of keeping electrodes clean if they are to function correctly.
© Photo: Vetaphone
A visual reminder of the importance of keeping electrodes clean if they are to function correctly.

Corona treaters work best if they are correctly and regularly maintained – but it is not quite as simple as that. The level, type, and frequency of maintenance can vary significantly from one customer to another depending on a variety of factors, including the substrate being treated, the degree of usage, and the production environment.

Five main points

There are five main points that all Corona users need to factor into their production maintenance schedules:

1. Regular inspection at intervals of no more than two weeks – this will head-off potential problems down the line and save the time and money wasted on unexpected stoppages and downtime. If the plant is running 24/7, one may need to increase the frequency of these inspections.

2. Taking care of the electrodes – they need cleaning on a regular basis to continue to perform at maximum output so any deposit build-up should be carefully removed. In addition, check that they are all working, and if there is a failure, one must replace the faulty electrode with a new one so that the system can operate at full power, as it’s designed to do – do not be tempted to continue running with a failed electrode.

3. Check the inside of the unit for carbon build-up. This is a fire risk that can be easily prevented – look for burn or scorch marks on the side plates and clean off the deposit before it becomes a hazard.

4. Check the air gap between the electrodes and the substrate. This will have been set at installation to achieve an even spread of power for optimal performance, but the gap can begin to open or close through usage and the result will be inconsistent performance and poor-quality treatment that can cause issues downstream leading to a costly reprint.

5. Make sure the ozone exhaust system is operating as it should. Assuming it was specified and installed correctly, you need to ensure that it is kept free from any blockage. If you are experiencing problems with back pressure and are using 100mm diameter ducting, then consider upgrading to 200mm tubes – the improvement in performance is exponential and the benefits substantial.

And finally, if there is a problem that cannot be solved alone, do not hesitate to contact the Support Team – it is set up to do remote diagnosis and offer online assistance with all Vetaphone equipment, wherever the location. With careful planning, there is no need for downtime that costs money!