Saw the coolest tool for measuring blanket thickness about 6 months ago. It was brought in by our local blanket rep who had no intention of selling us one. He simply used it for his own convenience. It was called a PosiTector 6000 Since seeing it we have purchased our own and never looked back. Let me tell you why I am so sold on this device and why I think every printer should have one. First, let’s talk about how it works.
It’s a simple probe that uses magnetic or eddy current principles. By putting the probe against a printing blanket, it can tell you packing/blanket thickness within thousands of an inch. It simply measures the distance to the bare metal.
Oddly enough, it is not manufactured specifically for the printing industry... yet. It’s main application is for measuring the thickness of paint against metal.
|The device's main purpose is to measure the |
thickness of paint on metal surfaces.
However the printing industry is catching on to it for a few reasons:
- It doesn’t require a puncture in the blanket as some gauges do such as a pin guage.
- It is easy to use. Simply put the probe against different points on the blanket.
- You can measure any part of the blanket unlike a prism gauge which will usually only measure the sides near the bearer.
Press operators can easily measure and even track the life of a blanket with minimal effort.
But an additional benefit can be found from this tool. Once you know your blanket height, you can measure piling. This means that you can experiment with various fountain solutions, papers and inks and determine which product or combination causes less piling - not a bad advantage. Comparison tests can be made and piling measured with any product.
The device costs in the range of $700 to $1200 depending on the unit you buy. Better yet, ask your local blanket rep if he has one and get a demonstration from him. Try it out and you’ll never look back.