DAMPENING SYSTEMS -- Striking a Balance
Getting back to the discussion of Delta dampening, Epic's Barisonek points out that it is a licensed technology, as well as a product. "The key to the technology is the differential, or Delta, speed between the form roller and the plate cylinder. Delta is a scientific notation for a difference," he explains.
The speed differential enables the dampening form roller to dislodge particles from the plate that otherwise would cause hickeys, the company exec adds. "It also allows the plate to run with less water, so you get less dot gain and sharper print."
Epic can lay claim to having invented the technology and continues to pursue its further development, Barisonek says. Major press manufacturers license the company's patent and build their own dampening systems with the "Delta" feature, he adds. A licensee isn't required to include Delta in the product name, but can elect to do so.
The company also offers its own Epic Delta dampening systems as retrofits for presses that don't currently have the capability. Building on its success with high-end sheetfed presses, Barisonek believes the technology also can be suited to web and small-format sheeted applications. The added cost can be offset by paper savings, waste reduction and greater utilization of available press time, he says.
Eliminating hickeys is Delta technology's claim to fame, but not its only benefit, Barisonek contends. Epic Delta dampening systems reduce the number of makeready sheets required because the press comes up to color faster, he says. "Color variation also is reduced during the run for two reasons: you are using less water to get into balance and you don't have to start and stop for hickeys."
Kompac, a division of Day International, sees waste reduction as such a key benefit of its dampening systems that it guarantees they'll reduce waste by at least 50 percent. It also promises to add 30 to 60 minutes of press production per day.