A Dusty Situation

The Problem

The printing process of offset rotogravure involves taking the ink from the design roll, applying it to the rubber roll, which then applies the logo directly onto the product. Unfortunately, when a tablet or caplet has a dusty coating, printing a good quality logo on its surface becomes very difficult. The dust settles on the product, and is transferred back onto the rubber roll and design roll, affecting the quality of the printing. Depending on the amount of dust involved, production may have to halt every two to five minutes to be cleaned. This amount of time-consuming maintenance was deemed unacceptable by the team at R.W. Hartnett, as it drastically affected the total output per hour.

The Solution

The engineering team at R.W. Hartnett was tasked with developing a way of cleaning the caplet’s directly before the printing process began. After research and development, the team came up with a custom cleaning system that featured a rotating brush that thoroughly cleaned the caplet surface so that the logo could adhere without issue. The ‘Caplet Cleaner’, as it became known, housed a spinning brush and a dust collecting vacuum system with a HEPA filter.

Once installed, production time improved, with the rolls only needing cleaning after over 35 minutes. The team at R.W. Hartnett was able to provide a solution that allowed for the highest quality printing and led to uninterrupted production.


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