Advanced Supplies can offer a variety of solutions for controlling viscosity, ensuring you’re able to maintain high quality standards at all times.
The VISC6000 Viscosity Control System is a simple, low cost, and dependable viscosity control system for monitoring and controlling printing inks, lacquers, adhesives, mirror coatings, wire coatings, can coatings, needle coatings, chemicals, and other applications.
The VISC6000 viscosity control system can be used with any Norcross viscosity sensor.
Capable of handling up to 10 process/printing viscosity control stations via an Operator Interface (OI), the VISC6000 viscosity control system features an intuitive, easy to learn, 100% touch screen Operator Interface.
In addition multiple languages can be used in the menus and for messages on the VISC6000 OI.
The user can select virtually any viscosity control parameters desired.
- Control viscosity with solvent additions
- Control pH with amine additions or Monitor temperature, optional temperature compensation or Control viscosity with ingredient additions. in a compact package
Over five decades of experience with hundreds of installations in diversified industries on both Newtonian and non-Newtonian liquids.
Continuously self cleaning, easy to install, intrinsically safe, corrosion resistant, rugged and dependable and easy maintenance.
Norcross offers viscometers for open tanks or vessels at atmospheric pressure and models for closed vessels either above or below atmospheric pressure.
Viscometers can be supplied for side stream or in-line applications; for continuous, closed loop monitoring or for intermittent monitoring and testing.
Continuously self cleaning, easy to install, intrinsically safe, corrosion resistant, rugged and dependable and easy maintenance.
Viscosity Range: 0.1-2,000 cps
Where viscosity is to be measured with an in-line sensor at low pressure (<20psi/1.4Bar), low viscosity (<2000cps) and low flow (<5gpm/19lpm)
This paper has been prepared by Robert Norcross, President of Norcross Corporation. March 11, 2006.
Lessons on Viscosity and Viscosity Control
- Why worry about viscosity?
- What is viscosity?
- How to measure viscosity manually?
- How to measure viscosity automatically?
- What makes a viscometer measure well?
- How sensitive is the viscometer?
- How to decide whose viscometer to use?
1. Why worry about viscosity?
Before we begin to study what viscosity is and how it can be measured let us first clarify why we should be interested in viscosity.
When a machine is applying a printing ink, adhesive or other coating to a web it is the intention of the machine operator that the machine apply only what is needed to insure a proper film thickness.
As the % solids varies so also will the film thickness and this variance in film thickness will manifest itself in color shifts, adhesive problems, and/or excess consumption. There can also be problems with solvent retention, poor drying and excess tack.
It is well known that if the % solids content of a fluid changes then there will be a change in that fluids viscosity. Since there are no simple devices to measure % solids it has been long understood that if the viscosity is controlled then the % solids is controlled.
Also well known is the fact that solvents evaporate from inks and coatings and thus the % solids tends to increase. There is also the problem of new additions, to the supply tank, which may or may not be of the correct % solids and thus when added to the existing ink/coating will distort the % solids.
Actual data on the problems associated with incorrect % solids are hard to obtain but here are a few benchmark pieces of data.
1. If one is using the original two roll flexographic coating/printing process and if the viscosity increases by 1 Zahn Cup Second then the printing process will begin to apply 50% more ink than is required. This excess ink will not improve color but simply results in a very large increase in ink consumption, an unnecessary expense.
2. A flexographic printer in Canada compared the amount of ink consumed to print 750,000 pouches. They found that with manual control 81kg of ink were consumed but with automatic control they consumed only 22kg of ink.
3. Another printer in Canada was applying white ink to 50,000 pounds of plastic film. Normally they would consume $5,300 of ink with manual control. When automatic viscosity control was used, the ink consumption was reduced to $2,700.
4. A printer in England did a test of manual vs automatic control ( see our Reprint RP155 ) and found that besides better quality they reduced their ink consumption by 22%.
Whether one is using a flexographic or rotogravure printing/coating machine the benefits of viscosity control are better quality and less material consumption.
Now that we have answered the question about why one should worry about viscosity let us proceed to just what is viscosity.
2. What is viscosity?
Viscosity is unlike temperature and pressure, which can be measured with static devices such as thermometers or pressure gauges. Viscosity is a dynamic number, ratio of shear stress to shear rate. This dynamic is impacted by the molecular bonding within and between pigments, binders and other materials in the ink or coating. The viscosity value obtained from a viscometer will not only be a function of the coating but also a function of how the coating’s viscosity was measured.
The basic unit of viscosity is the Poise whose unit of measure is gm/(sec-cm). This unit is determined by imagining a small rectangular block on a large flat surface ( parallel plates ) with the fluid to be measured between them. A force is then applied to the block and it’s resultant velocity is measured. Viscosity is the ratio of these two factors.
The units of measure for a Poise are derived from the following:
Shear Stress Force / Area Dynes / cm2 gm
––––––––– = ––––––––––– = –––––––––– = –––––
Shear Rate Velocity / Gap (cm/sec)/cm sec-cm
Admittedly, all of us can feel temperature and pressure yet who of us can feel gm/(sec-cm). This is a combination of measuring units that are hard for us to touch, feel or see yet at the same time viscosity is very important to many processes.
There are some fluids, such as motor oils, which have a consistent response to shear stress and fluids such as these are called Newtonian. Fluids such as inks are Non-Newtonian and are in fact a special type of Non-Newtonian, called Thixotropic, meaning they are shear sensitive.
Since different components are used to make different types and colors of ink you will thus have different shear rate responses to given shear stresses.
There are different methods of measuring viscosity being utilized in today’s equipment and because of the forgoing you can often have several viscometers indicating different viscosities for the same sample.
An interesting illustration of this phenomenon is to calibrate several viscometers on an oil sample and then have them measure the viscosity of an ink or coating. They would all give you different values of viscosity and they would all be correct. The differences arise because different viscometers use different principles of operation and thus apply different amounts of shear stress and/or monitor the shear rate to a greater or lesser degree.
It is for this reason that when selecting a viscometer you should focus on one that is most similar to the method used to define viscosity and to one that is sensitive to changes in viscosity as well as being simple to maintain and understand. Those that are most sensitive will adhere most closely to the parallel plates used to define viscosity.
Now that we know why it is important to worry about viscosity and what viscosity is let us now discuss different ways to measure viscosity.
3. How to measure viscosity manually?
There are several different ways of measuring viscosity and it is logical to compare those methods to the parallel plates used to define viscosity.
The most common and simplest is a ‘dip’ or ‘efflux’ cup. There are many of these on the market and they are used by dipping the cup into the ink, lifting it out of the ink and timing how long it takes for the ink to drain out of the cup. The drain time is a function of the inks viscosity.
This technique measures viscosity as Centistokes and not Centipoise but you can convert Centistokes to Centipoise by simply multiplying by specific gravity.
4. How to measure viscosity automatically?
There are five primary techniques being used, by today’s manufacturers of process controls, to measure viscosity.
The Falling Ball or Dart.
These devices have a glass tube approx 1 cm ID within which is a ball or dart. Outside the glass tube are two or more proximity switches. Fluid flow is used to lift the ball/dart and then stopped. When the fluid flow stops the ball/dart will drop and the proximity switches can measure the drop time. This drop time is a measure of viscosity.
The Moving Piston.
A small piston, held in the magnetic field of two electric coils, can be moved back and forth a small distance. The ink/coating will flow in and around this moving piston and by measuring how long it takes the piston to move from one coil’s magnetic field into the other’s field one can monitor changes in viscosity.
The Falling Piston.
A piston of a known size falling into a fixed bushing, under the constant force of gravity, will fall in a time that is a function of viscosity. The sample is measured as the piston falls and the sample is pressed out of the bushing, through the gap between the outside of the piston and the inside of the bushing. The time the piston takes to fall (TOF) is directly proportional to the viscosity in Centipoise.
The Rotating Cylinder
A cylinder rotating in the fluid will experience viscous drag on it’s surface. This viscous drag is a function of viscosity. The amount of drag can be measured through a number of means.
The Vibrating Rod
This concept relies upon the dampening nature of fluids. The viscosity measurement is taken at the surface of the rod, where vibrations interact with a layer of fluid. These vibrations do not penetrate more than a fraction of a mm into the fluid. Thus there is very little measurement of shear rate, however, one can see changes in viscosity by measuring the dampening from the fluid.
The Double Diaphragm Pump.
If a double diaphragm pump is supplied with a constant pressure air supply and the fluid viscosity changes then the pump rate will shift. This shift in pump rate can be measured and used to determine changes in viscosity.
5. What makes a viscometer measure well?
A. A consistent and well defined movement between two surfaces.
B. Able to function well under various flow, pressure and density shifts.
6. How sensitive is the viscometer?
The viscosity of water changes by a factor of three as it cools from 100C to 25C.
In order to detect this viscosity shift the sensor must have two surfaces with clearly defined movement between them.
To the best of our knowledge the only off the shelf viscometer that can make this chart is the Falling Piston type.
7. How to decide whose viscometer to use?
In the world of machine control it is important that when a device like a viscometer is purchased that it will operate for many years and provide consistent results during that time.
Some points to consider before purchasing:
- Is the sensor simple and easy for both operators and maintenance staff to understand?
- How rugged is the sensor? Will it survive years of (abusive) use?
- When there is an operational question can the sensor problem be diagnosed with simple tools and minimal training ?
- Can the sensor be calibrated in your plant or will you need to send it back to the
- factory for repair/calibration ?
- How sensitive is the sensor to changes in viscosity?
- Can it measure the difference in the viscosity of hot and cold water?
- Can the sensor operate on both water and solvent based inks?
- Are there sensors available for either In-Tank or In-Line use?
- For In-Line sensors, how many coating or solvent lines are required to operate
- the sensor ?
- Do the controllers provide easy to use screens and trend plots?
- Do the controllers easily reprogram for use on solvent or water based products?
- What technical support can you expect from the supplier?
- What is the level of experience and/or expertise which the supplier brings with their equipment ?
Tresu chamber end seals from Advanced Supplies
Advanced Supplies now stock a full range of Tresu EPDM chamber end seals for water-based and UV inks and coatings. Available in sizes D2, D3, D4 and D5, the Tresu range of end seals are widely used in offset printing in the coating units of Komori, Heidelberg, Ryobi, Roland, Mitsubishi and KBA presses. Increasingly Tresu seals are also being used in flexographic label printing presses such as Nilpeter.
Why not give us a call on 01257 424231 or email us at email@example.com to request some free samples. We guarantee we won’t be beaten on quality or price!
Most sizes are in stock and can be dispatched for next day delivery.
Click the button below to request your free samples.Download Now
New W&H chamber end seals for increased durability!!
Advanced Supplies recently announced the launch of a new range of W&H doctor blade chamber end seals developed to address a problem that many flexo printers deal with every day; leaking ink. Ink leakage and the mess that it creates is one of the biggest causes of press downtime, not to mention the cost in waste ink that cannot be recovered.
The new end seals feature a patented, bonded Telfon strip designed to protect the seal radius (the most critical part of any end seal) and reduce the wear caused by anilox rotation, thereby greatly increasing the time between seal changes. In addition, the enhanced seals allow for much higher press speeds of up to 1000mpm.
W&H chamber end seal advantages:
- For solvent and water-based inks
- Extremely durable
- Highly abrasion resistant
- Patented design
- Cushioned EVA backing layer to stop leakage
- Reduce costs
- Approved for use up to 1000mpm
- Water jet cut for precise dimensional accuracy
Free trial samples
Don’t take our word for it. Drop us a line with details of your press and we’ll immediately dispatch a sample set of seals.
The new end seals are now available for W&H Miraflex, Novoflex and Primaflex presses and can also be custom designed for most other commonly used flexo presses.
Click below to download pdf datasheetDownload Now
Unilux Inc (stand 4C68) will introduce six new LED and LED-UV strobe lights at Labelexpo Europe 2015. The new models complete a full offering of LED-based stroboscopes that combine brighter output, more efficient operation and reduced maintenance. This LED technology replaces xenon-based lights that have been the foundation of inspection solution strategies for decades.
Unilux will be introducing three new sizes of its highly versatile handheld H2L Series LED strobe: the LED-9, LED-27, and LED-36. These allow label printers and converters to clearly view printing and slitting quality anywhere on the press. The new sizes are in addition to models introduced by Unilux earlier this year, the LED-1, LED-3 and LED-12, further expanding the range of coverage available in the H2L Series of handheld LED strobes.
This new generation of LED strobe lights provides brighter illumination than the xenon-based technology, as well as lower cost of ownership by using only 35 percent of the power and eliminating lamp replacement and downtime caused by lamp burnout. The expected lifetime of the LEDs is 8 years plus, rather than 6 months for xenon-based units. LED designs also operate at cooler temperatures and emit no ozone gas.
Unilux will also be showcasing its UV line of strobes, the only source for LED UV inspection lighting. By using LED diodes instead of UV filters which go over the lenses of xenon-based strobes, Unilux is able to make the lights 10 times brighter than comparable xenon lamps, eliminating the need to build special inspection stations where ambient light is a factor. The combination of brighter light and greater choice of sizes, including battery-powered portability, lets printers inspect product wherever it’s most efficient for their operations.
Also on display at the Unilux Labelexpo 2015 booth will be three sizes of its fixed-mount LED2000 for real-time surface inspection across the entire width of the web.
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A simple, sensitive and rugged tank mounted viscosity sensor for use with inks, adhesives, coatings, chemicals and paints is now available from the Norcross Corporation via UK agents Advanced Supplies Limited.
The Norcross MXBO Viscosity Sensor uses the proven “piston time-of-fall” method for measuring viscosities from 0.1 to 100,000 CPS and is PLC compatible for use with a customer’s process controllers. Suitable for water and solvent-based applications with open tanks between 10” and 24” deep, this sensor is unaffected by level or turbulence for high or low mix conditions.
Featuring all stainless steel wetted parts and open rod construction; the Norcross MXBO Viscosity Sensor is easy to clean and works under atmospheric pressure. Capable of detecting the difference between the viscosities of boiling water (0.284 CPS) and ambient water (1.06 CPS), this sensor requires 40 psi dry air, a 3-way 24 VDC air valve, and is furnished with a 2 meter cable.
Literature and pricing are available upon request.
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Manchester based specialist extruder, flexographic printer and converter Duo Plastics had been using a variety of double diaphragm and centrifugal pumps on their flexo presses for a number of years. Faced with having to carry an ever-increasing number of spare parts for a growing range of models Print Manager, Frank Taylor decided he needed to source a reliable, affordable alternative, which would cover most of his pumping requirements.
The Internet led him to Wigan-based Advanced Supplies who market the Liquid Flow range of pumps from AB Kelva of Sweden. The Liquid Flow pump is unique due to a number of key design features and, unlike a conventional double diaphragm pump, is ‘stall-proof’ and has a very low pulsation making it ideally suited to printing with doctor blade chambers. What also appealed to Frank was the very small number of parts used to make the LF pump which meant the likelihood of having to carry fewer spare parts and also the fact that the diaphragms can last 4 or 5 times longer than those of conventional DD pumps.
Having initially bought one Liquid Flow pump for trial on his 6-colour OFEM CI press, Frank has gone on to buy further units. “We print solvent-based flexo in up to 6 colours and produce a large range of high quality bags for a wide variety of uses. Reliability is key when it comes to choosing pumps and the LF pump suits our needs for a number of reasons, not least because it allows us to utilise the press more efficiently by minimising downtime as a result of things such as stalling, diaphragm failures etc”
The Liquid Flow pump is available in 4 sizes from 15 litres per minute up to 120 litres per minute and is suitable for virtually any liquid.
Flexible food packaging printer and converter Sabre Triad, recently purchased their second Visitech video web inspection system. Their first system, purchased in 2003, was installed on a 6-colour Arsoma flexo press running both water and solvent-based inks.
Four years later the Preston based company needed to replace a failing 10-year-old inspection system on their 4-colour Timsons flexo press. Faced with options from a number of web inspection system suppliers, Sabre Triad decided to look no further than Advanced Supplies.
“Following our first purchase of the Visitech Compact Plus system for one of our narrow web printers, the company had no hesitation in turning to Advanced Supplies when looking for a system for our Timson printer,”
commented Sabre Triad’s Engineering Manager, David Smith
“One of the main advantages of the Compact Plus system is that the camera and control module are housed together in one unit making for a very neat and simple installation particularly on a narrow web press where space is limited. The system is also very quick and simple to set up and has very user-friendly and intuitive on-screen menus. In addition to that, our first Compact Plus system has given us no problems with reliability in the 4 years that we’ve had it. David McNamara of Advanced Supplies has always been very helpful in enabling us to select the right inspection system for our requirements”.
The Visitech X-Series Compact Plus system is one of a number of inspection systems available from Advanced Supplies Ltd.