In the traditional sense there are very few tools required to operate pad printing machines. In most cases you will find that a single M4 Allen key will be all that you put to the machine in order to get it setup and functioning.
However there are a few tools outside of formed metal that come in much more handy. Common sense, diligence and a little elbow grease. If the former two attributes are employed, from day one, the latter decreases exponentially as do the issues that impose themselves when allowing the process and machine to get a bit messy.
For instance, one of the leading causes of premature wear of Printing Plates is dried ink between the mount surface of the cliché and the cliché support. Simply wiping both surfaces prior to setup contributes greatly to maximizing the production life of the cliché. When ink infiltrates the surface between the two mating parts, the inkcup tends to work at what becomes a raised portion of the cliché. You will find that a divot will develop as the inkcup shaves away, ever so slightly, the material. The next time the cliché is used, the divot that has developed will catch ink. If near on in the image area the cliché will be rendered useless.
Tip number one imparted during all training sessions is to keep the process and equipment as clean as is feasible. Excess ink will seep into places that may seem innocuous at the time but down the road, after the ink has had a chance to dry and cure, it will act as an adhesive and beget many a cuss word as screws are stripped and adjustments made impossible due to parts sticking together.
Cleanliness makes for a happy process!
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