The Flexo 500: Your Solution to Solvent Waste in Flexographic Printing

flexographicBThe flexographic printing industry is one of the newer industries introduced in the 21st Century. Flexographic printing was developed through technological advancements to improve the quality of manufacturing. 

The flexographic print is a modernized letterpress with a high-speed rotary for functionality. It is one of the most diverse printing machines as it can print on unique surfaces such as plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper.

Where is Flexographic Print Used? 

The flexographic print is one of the most efficient and widely used technological advancements across a range of industries today.

Flexographic prints can be found almost everywhere on products worldwide as it is a regular protocol to properly label and identify products. Some examples include grocery items, license plates, and warning signs.

Maratek’s Flexo 500

Flexographic printing can be a very helpful asset in a range of industries, providing efficiency and quality prints to products. However, flexographic prints can be expensive and create tons of solvent waste from the ink that is generated onto products. 

Flexographic printing can be expensive, which is why Maratek has created the Flexo 500, a world-class solvent recovery system engineered by our team of experts.

The Flexo 500 is a state-of-the-art flexographic printing machine designed to be rented to companies that are looking for more cost-effective alternatives for flexographic printing. It is a fully automatic, feature-rich unit with built-in redundant and fail-safe controls. The control interface is simple, intuitive, and informative. 

This system is designed to process and recover 500 gallons per day of a waste solution with a composition of 95%/v solvent (80%/v n-Propanol/ 20%/v Propyl Acetate) and 5% non-volatile ink waste. Additionally, the Flexo-500 has been designed to accommodate the presence of nitrocellulose in the solvent waste stream.

The Flexo 500 Process 

Maratek’s world-class engineering project, the Flexo 500, can be fully operational within eight easy steps:

  1. The operator uses the touch screen PLC to start a cycle.
  2. The system will autofill from the customer's waste tank/drum/tote until the vessel is full.
  3. In approximately 30-45 minutes, solvent will start to be recovered.
  4. The vessel is automatically topped-up with fresh waste material as solvent is recovered.
  5. The unit is topped-up with fresh waste for approximately 12-20 hours.
  6. Once automatic top-up has been terminated, the solvent remaining in the vessel is recovered for a boil-down phase.
  7. The remaining ink sludge will be pumped out to a waste collection vessel (drum or tote).
  8. The system will pump 5-10 gallons of clean solvent back into the system for a Clean in Place process. This solvent will wash down the sides and bottom of the vessel as well as the discharge line before being returned to the vessel to be recovered on the next cycle.

Quality Focused Features

The Flexo 500 includes many additional features specific to managing Flexographic wastes to ensure a quality distillate. These include:

  • Full 304 Stainless Steel Construction for Durability
  • Nitrocellulose Safety Temperature Control – Using a combination of high vacuum and a glycol-based heating medium, the Flexo 500 has a maximum operating temperature well below the combustion point of nitrocellulose.
  • Foam Management – An internal mixer will minimize foaming during distillation to prevent contamination of the distillate. Additionally, a mechanical foam blocker is placed in front of the vapor collection entrance.
  • Colour Monitoring – The distillate will pass through a Colorimeter to ensure only clean, clear distillate is collected. If the distillate fails this checkpoint it will be diverted away from clean solvent collection.

Flexographic Printing Recovery

The Flexo 500 is a cost-effective solution that can help companies improve their bottom line and reduce their environmental impact. Solvent purchasing is a significant expense for many manufacturers, and the Flexo 500 can help cut down on those costs by recovering and reusing solvents. 

By reducing solvent waste, companies can also minimize their environmental footprint, making the Flexo 500 an eco-friendly option for flexographic printing recovery.

Additionally, the Flexo 500 is designed with quality in mind, featuring several quality-focused features that ensure a high-quality distillate. With its full 304 stainless steel construction, nitrocellulose safety temperature control, foam management, and color monitoring, companies can trust that the Flexo 500 will produce only clean and clear distillate.

Overall, the Flexo 500 is a state-of-the-art flexographic printing machine that can provide companies with a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for solvent recovery. If you're interested in learning more about how the Flexo 500 can benefit your business, contact Maratek today.

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