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Exposure/washout units

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  • Frank Cabral
    Hello Tom, The orbital washout unit has been the only way I have been able to produce consistently good plates efficiently. The time factor is very important.
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 4, 2001
      Hello Tom,
      The orbital washout unit has been the only way I have been able to produce
      consistently good plates efficiently. The time factor is very important.
      About twenty years ago, when the photo polymer was just entering the
      market, I was told by salesmen that the plate could be exposed in the sun
      and washed out in a sink with any brush. I spent what seemed and endless
      amount of time discovering only that there are many variables. I built
      things, converted things, nothing I did seemed to have the same results
      twice, or that the plates were just not good enough. I like process, but I
      was always off task trying to find a solution.
      While not quite a glorious epiphany, the machine allowed me to make
      accurate plates, in a short time with not so much guess work. I only had to
      pay attention to the orientation and density of the negative, the suction
      of the vacuum table, cleanliness of the kreene, monitor the wash out, water
      temperature, drying and final exposure to harden the material. The process
      is simple and consistent (generally).
      I like to examine the plate during washout to check that as much
      material has washed away as possible but not so much as to weaken its
      structural integrity , (small bits of the design, or letters that break off
      during printing that you don't notice until you are finished).
      Gerald has a good explanation of the washout process.
      I think Monotype had much more exacting details built into their
      production, and while success at times seems atmospheric the documentation
      they provided would allow you some success. There are just so many pieces
      to pull together and each one requires complete attention to detail.

      If you contact me off list I can send you some plate processing
      instructions for Miraclon/Rigilon, this is the MLD made by Toyoba. They
      also recommend it for crash printing, hot stamping and for pantograph
      masters. I have only used it for letterpress printing.

      Regards
      Frank
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