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Technology

ESA

HannePearl and next-generation electrostatic assist

By | Technology

More precise printing, faster set-up and cost savings are the key benefits offered by the next generation of electrostatic assist (ESA) roller and sleeve coverings developed by Hannecard. The HannePearl roller and sleeve covering solution features a proprietary new process that combines nanotechnology and polyurethane.

According to Philippe Baichette, general manager of Hannecard Switzerland, the nanoparticles of carbon are what establishes HannePearl as a truly next-generation ESA solution. “When you are using carbon powder for the electric performance, you have to consider that the carbon powder has some weight. The nanoparticles have no weight, which results in an excellent dispersion of the carbon, which is conductive, inside of the polyurethane.”

The Hannecard development team started work on the nanoparticle solution in 2016.  Prior to that, the technologies used in ESA printing hadn’t really been altered in decades, says Philippe Baichette. The development team brought together a wide range of specialists to create the ground-breading HannePearl solution. “With in-depth expertise in gravure printing, creating chemical compounds in polyurethane, and mechanical and electrostatic performance, the HannePearl development team had the knowledge and insight necessary to envision and successfully develop the HannePearl product,” he says.

With HannePearl, the quality of the printing is the same from one side to the other side of the rollers or the tubes or the sleeves. Higher-quality printing means fewer rejections, which translates into cost savings, as does the reduced requirement for electrical power. “You can use less power for the same result,” says Baichette.

The improved abrasion and chemical resistance offered by HannePearl also represents a major advance. With HannePearl, the electric values remain extremely steady, reducing the need to re-grind the roller surface, for a longer roller life and fewer interruptions in printing. The next-generation HannePearl is very resistant to abrasion, which is crucial for printing on cardboard, meaning fewer roller changes as well. Increased chemical resistance means longer life for rollers, which is especially important in regions where aggressive solvents are typically used to clean roller surfaces.

HannePearl offers advances in ESA printing safety

By | Technology

Heat build-up, sparking, managing high voltages, pressure and dynamic loads … these are just some of the concerns that that can arise with electrostatic assist (ESA) printing solutions. In creating HannePearl, the next-generation solution from Hannecard for roller and sleeve coverings for cardboard packaging with electrostatic assist, the development team focused on ways to reduce or even eliminate these concerns.

“When people are printing with solvent-based inks, you have to stay at a certain level of static electricity to avoid any sparking. Because if you get sparking in these conditions you will have a fire,” says Philippe Baichette, general manager of Hannecard Switzerland.  “In developing HannePearl, we focused on ways to ensure that the electric values remain steady. And to guarantee that the HannePearl solution worked exactly as planned, achieving the highest levels of quality and performance, the development team ran customer tests for close a year.”

The result: predictable electric values that simplify the process for operators, who must monitor the values to determine whether they can continue printing or not. With the more stable electric values of HannePearl, there are significantly fewer interruptions in printing, as well as a longer life for rollers.

Keeping roller surfaces clean is also important to avoid the buildup of static. The improved chemical resistance of HannePearl means roller and sleeve coverings can better withstand the harsh chemicals used to clean them, which also extends roller life, and offers cost and time savings.

Nanotechnology revolutionizes ESA roller and sleeve coverings

By | Technology

To provide the perfect semi-conductive layer for its electrostatic assist (ESA) 2.0 solution for roller and sleeve coverings, Hannecard has developed an innovative system that uses nanoparticles of carbon.

Nanoparticles are components which have a size of 1 to 100nm (1 nm = 10-3µm). These components are so small that they don’t respond to Newton’s mechanics principles, but rather to the principles of quantum physics.

Before Hannecard introduced the option of nanoparticles, the only alternative was the use of carbon black, which is sized, depending upon the grade used, between 1 and 50µm. The shape and the size even in the same grade is quite random.

The advantages of the nanoparticles in the ESA 2.0 coverings include:

  • Homogeneity in size and shape, which gives constant properties independent of their orientation in the compound.
  • Perfect dispersion in liquids: as they have “no mass” they mix in any liquid with an even distribution (providing the appropriate material is used to dose them).
  • Same mechanical, electrical and chemical in any direction: this is a key point because over time any other covering loses electrical properties due to the orientation of the carbon under load.

 

The nanoparticles of carbon are just a part of the covering. Hannecard uses a proprietary process to use these components inside of the polyurethane ESA 2.0. The use of such products is subject to health regulations, which we fulfil and enforce for all production teams involved.

The combination of polyurethane and nanoparticles of carbon is the ideal match for the requirements in gravure printing with ESA. The polyurethane offers resistance to abrasion, deformation and cuts. The nanoparticles of carbon provide electrical resistance constancy under working conditions.

Electrostatic assist (ESA) 2.0 roller and sleeve coverings are available in three product ranges: HannePearl, HanneVision and HanneCrystal.  All Hannecard ESA 2.0 products were developed to meet two goals:  safety in operations and print quality.