Monday, January 16, 2017

Presensitized Printing plate 10

Presensitized Printing plate 10      By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

We moved the paper offset plate coaters and tunnels from the original 2 Ashburton Ave. building to the Speidel plant in Fernwood. Ray Lauzon was put in charge of produc­tion there. I designed a line to make chemically etched plates up to 20 inches in one direction the D-line. Stan Mikrut and Ray Kryloski made the detail drawings. As the building was too short to put all the operations in a row, the unwind stand, phosphate etch, desmut and rinse tanks were put on the bottom level. The web than went to an upper level where the tanks for the interlayer were installed. After a demonized water rinse the web went over the unwind stand and then back up through the sensitizer coating rollers and drying tunnel. It then went down and around a dancer roll. The web was then together with a black polyethylene coated paper fed into a punch press by an adjustable air feed, which activated the punch press. The aluminum was cut into sheets of the proper length and holes punched on both ends as required by the clamps on the offset duplicator. At the suggestion of Ed Fritz we installed a two side rotogravure coater. This did not give a satisfactory coating. We then change to transfer roll coaters. This was an extremely efficient operation. We were able to increase the speed from the original expectation of 30 plates a minute to 60.

(Ken's note ;      This was the first of  many "roll-to-finished-sheet" production lines at Polychrome.    Fuji Photo Film after getting our license decided that this is the most efficient way of producing plates and put together their first roll-to-finished-sheet" operation in Odawara factory.    The factory was then moved to Yoshida factory where they  constructed large scale "roll-to-finished-sheet" operation for all the products they made.  )

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Presensitized Printing plate 9

Presensitized Printing plate 9      By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

In the area where the stencil finishing operations had been I worked with Century Engineering on the design of a line to make two sided presensitized plates. This line had a slurry brushing section with six top brushes and six brushes to slurry brush the bottom side. The aluminum web could either go through this section or go above it through an alkaline etch, rinse desmut and rinse tanks. From either line the aluminum passed around a copper roll and into a sulfuric acid anodizing bath. This time we used aluminum cathodes. If we wanted one sided grained plates, provision was made to install a rubber blanket in the anodizing tank which protected the bottom side from being anodized. The web then went into the coating rooms which had two coating sections and drying tunnels. From there it was cut into sheets with a black polyethylene protective paper. As noted above before this line was operational we installed two meniscus coaters. At some point we bought and installed a Fuller Brush slurry graining machine to supply rolls of grained aluminum to these coaters. I know this Fuller machine was installed in a building near the railroad tracks. We may have bought the building next door, which had been used to store post office trucks and put the building in back of that. We later bought the next building which had been owned by a flour distributor. The purchasing and drafting departments were put in the offices on the second floor of this building.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Presensitized Printing plate 8

Presensitized Printing plate 8           By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

While the slurry brush plates which used the zirconium fluoride interlayer performed well in the print shops, under humid conditions the chemically etched plates sometimes failed to hold the image. We called this walk off. 3M offered us a license to use the silicate interlayer for a 12% royalty. For a few months we made some of these which we called Lithocoat to distinguish them from the zirconium fluoride interlayer plates and send them to customers who had complained of walk off. Ray Lauzon kept track of the production of these. At that time, Simon Chu discovered that if, after the diazo sensitizer had been coated on the zirconium interlayer plates, they were overcoated with Uvinul MS-40, 2 hydroxy-4 methoxy benzophenone 5 sulfonic acid, the diazo was no longer water soluble and walk off no longer occurred. To give further insurance against humid conditions, a less water soluble Uvinul D-50, tetrahydroxy benzophenione, was coated on top. We quickly added two more squeeze roll costing stations to the diazo coaters to make the plates with these protective coatings. I do not believe we paid 3M royalties for the few plates we made between accepting the license and the production of the MS-40 coated plates.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Presensitized Printing plate 7

Presensitized Printing plate 7          By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

We erected a wall on the north side of the B-line and transferred the stencil finishing operation from the Prospect Ave. school to this area. In June, 1961, the stencil finishing operation was moved to a building we rented on Saw Mill River Road. Among the chemists who worked under my direction there were Simon Chu, Al Taudien, Gene Golda, Ibert Mellan and several others. Ibert Mellan invented a way to use the formaldehyde diazodiphenyamine to be used a positive working plate. He did this by treating the coated negative plate with a ferricyanide solution. Gene Golda developed the process of making the formaldehyde diazodiphenylamine condensate. After we established Cellomer in the ironbound section of Newark, we set up a building to make this. I designed, selected the equipment and laid out the plant to make this sensitizer.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Presensitized Printing plate 6

Presensitized Printing plate 6              By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

I took some of the grained and also chemically etched uncoated sheets to both an outfit in Mount Vernon that was anodizing aluminum and an Alcoa plant in Kensington, PA and had them anodized.

We then immersed them in a zirconium fluoride solution and applied the diazo. When imaged and put on a printing press this anodizing treatment the length of run was substantially increased. I therefore worked with Century Engineering to design a line to be able to continuously anodize a web of aluminum. For the anodizing section we contracted with a company that made rectifiers to build two rubber lined tanks with ten foot diameter rubber covered drums. The cathodes were lead pipes that lined the inside of the drums through which cooling water was pumped. The electricity was introduced into the aluminum web by an 18 inch diameter copper roller. First, we used a commutator to connect the roller to the poser supply, later we used carbon brushes. Century Engineering proved the unwind stand; a six brush slurry graining section with rinse and the tanks after the anodizing section to apply the interlayer and rinse and dry. We used the same squeeze roll coating method that we used on the tank line to apply the diazo. This caused the web to wander so we installed an electric eye to adjust the pressure on the squeeze rollers to keep the web in alignment. After a year of operation, the ceramic seal on the shaft of the drums leaked. This was because when the tanks were empty the entire weight of the drum was on the seals. When the 15% sulfuric acid solution was added this lifted the drums up. We then ran this, the B-line, with the sulfuric acid solution only in the lower half of the tank. We obtained sufficient anodizing operating this way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Presensitized Printing plate 5

Presensitized Printing plate 5             By Mr. Bob Gumbinner

Through one of Freda or Gregory Halpern’s brothers, who was in the pocket book business, we met Ed Harraz, who owned a company Century Engineering on Orono St., in Clifton, NJ, that made machines to brush the glass to be silvered for mirrors. He built for us a small one brush rotating and reciprocating machine. We installed this in the space in the Warburton-Ashburton building and experimented with using slurry brush graining instead of chemical etching for the presensitized plates. As soon as the 12,000 sq. ft. building on the 2 Ashburton lot was finished in 1959, Century Engineering built and installed the A-line. This consisted of an endless belt on which the sheets of aluminum were carried under four rotating and oscillating brushes with hold-down rollers. A 30% slurry of fine pumice and sand was sprayed on the plates before the brushes. The plates were transported on chain driven rollers through a series of sections were they were rinsed; then sprayed with either hot sodium silicate or hot potassium zirconium fluoride solutions; rinsed dried and the diazo coating was applied. At the same time we installed a second tank line for making the chemically etched plates. We had occasional complaints about the plates picking up ink in the non-image area. I traced this to the use of chromic acid in the desmut solution. I did not want to use 50% nitric which 3M was using. After working with Ibert Mellan and another chemist, Gene Golda, who we had hired, I found that sodium persulfate effectively removed the smut that formed as the result of the sodium phosphate etching. The quality control technicians would wipe the plate with a piece of cotton to make sure all the smut was removed. We could control this by slightly increasing the temperature of the persulfate bath. Also some people were allergic to Chromium compounds. Larry Golusinski, the son our plant manager, Leo, who was working on the second tank line developed a rash, and was transferred to the sales department.

Monday, December 12, 2016

More treasures from Al Wierling

Just received another contribution from Al Wierling in Florida;  Thanks Al!

Hello again Ken,

More pics with PC memories. During every national sales meeting, we had an awards banquet where individual and branch awards were handed out. Every award was earned but there were always plenty to take back to the branch for inside staff. Pictured here are Presidents Club and Inner Circle Rings which were for sales performance. Also a service award, this one, for 15 years service. I found at the bottom of my desk some of the Polychrome memo attachments. We received these frequently from the main office, usually attached to a report or occasionally with a nice compliment from Ron Muzillo or Noel Stegner. Also included is a Polychrome loop which after I left the company, never found use for again. Finally a Polychrome front license plate that Dick Hall had made for us in the Tampa branch which is probably my newest Polychrome item circa 1996.
Hope you can use these and have happy holiday season!!
al wierling

 (I do have one of the lope on my desk to supplement my declining eyesight!......Ken)