An infrared temperature sensor is a tool I would like to add as another essential tool to your press room. They cost only about $100 which is very little in comparison to the payback they offer. I would like to share why we find them so useful and then I'll show where you you can get them. So let's talk first about why this little device is so useful.
How We Use Infrared Sensors In Our Press Room
1. Measuring unit temperature. As I discussed in a previous entry, the knowing the temperature of your ink as it flows through the ink train is critical to prevent piling as well as controlling your ink and water balance window. You can measure the plate and blanket as well to ensure optimum temperatures for ink flow and proper control.
2. Finding poor settings while running. A good way to tell if you have any roller settings out of tolerance is to measure each roller while running. A hot roller will indicate a setting is too hard. Additionally, a plate that is hot, especially on one side, will indicate that a setting is too hard against the plate.
3. Checking rotary unions. Poor coolant flow will easily show up with the temperature of your rotary unions.
4. Verification. If anything, sometimes we like to verify that the numbers we are being told by the press actually translate into values that are real. We use our infrared sensor to verify these figires.
5. The rollstand. Cold rolls will print just find, but especially on a flying paster you'll run into problems. Splicing off a core that is below 15 degrees will cause the occasional missed splice. Monitor the temperature of your expiring rolls and you will see if this is the source of missed splices.
6. Heatset printing. If you have a heatset press, this tool is essential. Verifying your web temperature before and after the oven and chill rollers is essential to the process.
7. Bad bearings. These will first show up by creating excessive heat. You may check them in the printing units if you can get a line of sight on them or you may check bearings in the folder. anywhere you can shoot the beam is where you can find bad bearings.
8. Water temperature. What is the temperature of you water in the water pans/trays of the printing unit. Hard to know what you're actually getting without checking it right in the printing unit. Water temperature of course is critical to getting the right ink and water balance, so it is worth monitoring.
Where To Get an Infrared Temperature Thermometer
There are a number of sources and they generally rang in the $100 to $200 range. Here are a couple of places:
Let me know if you have one and if you have found any other uses for them.
An Essential Tool You've Probably Never Seen