DAMPENING SYSTEMS -- Striking a Balance
The manufacturer offers a family of Kompac-branded automatic dampening systems, with models for small sheetfeds up to large web presses. The units are said to provide automatic ink/water balance.
The process is started by holding fountain solution in the nip reservoir between the form roller and metering roller. The form roller then rolls across the plate with the non-image area of the plate taking fountain solution (water) and the image area splitting a layer of ink with the form roller, since it is both water and ink receptive. Ink and fountain solution are milled under pressure at the roller nip. The dampening systems are said to "rebalance" themselves, since surplus fountain solution is returned to the nip reservoir with each revolution of the plate cylinder.
Kompac also believes in the systems approach, having just launched a new line of fountain control systems. The eight-gallon, non-refrigerated and 16-gallon, refrigerated circulators feature continuous circulation and filtration. Both reportedly ensure a constant supply of fresh fountain solution to the dampening system.
technotrans pioneered the development of combination fluid and temperature management systems, Haas says. It currently offers two product lines: alpha.c (standard) and beta.c (premium). The systems provide cooling for the ink rollers in single- or multiple-zone formats, and enable central management of the fountain solution for all print units. Standard features include dosing of two additives, premixing of the dosed solutions, conductivity monitoring, automatic level (replenishment) control, power drain and stage filtration.
Haas believes there still is a place for single-tank units, as well. They can, for example, be used in conjunction with a combination unit when running an especially problematic color, he contends.
Baldwin's LithoSpray dampener features a circulator system (DailyLiner) that filters, regulates the temperature and controls the dosages of etch. It uses high-pressure pumps to push water through a regulator and filter into the water-feed manifold, which contains its own screen filter. These components are said to assure delivery of clean, cooled and properly dosed fountain solution.