One method currently gaining popularity for its ability to strip machinery of grime while leaving everything else intact, is dry ice blasting which has been used overseas for many years, but is only just taking off in this country.
Peter Mellers, of Cryogenesis New Zealand, has been using this method since bringing the patented system into the country two and a half years ago, and says that it is ideal for printing presses because it not only leaves a machine sparkling clean, but it gets into places conventional cleaning won’t touch.
The system uses dry ice (CO2) pellets which are blasted onto machinery which instantly freeze any dirt and grime. This subsequently drops off the machine onto the floor. It is very fast, taking only a few hours, and while it removes contaminants like oil, ink, paper dust and spray powder, it doesn’t damage the equipment, he says.
“When a machine is cleaned using dry ice pellets you can then see if any further maintenance is required because it reveals any wear and tear underneath the grease and ink that has been sitting on the press for any number of years.”
Rhys Daube, of Auckland-based Printing Supplies and Machinery swears by the process which he has used through Peter to clean imported equipment ready for sale in New Zealand.
“Most machinery comes in pretty clean, but we’ve had to have a couple done and they’ve come up like new,” he says.
“The technology’s not new, but it is very good. It basically freezes the substrate instantly and blows it right off the machine without taking the paint off or using dangerous chemicals. There’s no moisture left in the machinery either.”
He says he’s very happy with the service Peter has given, especially when he’s prepared to work on weekends when the business is closed for the convenience of staff.
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