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High-pressure technology is increasingly replacing other air humidification systems

Press release from the issuing company

DRAABE, the world’s leading manufacturer of humidification systems, is announcing that high-pressure technology, like its TurboFog system, is increasingly replacing other air humidification systems. “Constant optimum air humidity is the most important climatic parameter for high print quality and trouble free production,” says Wafik Kouchouk, DRAABE’s Director of Sales. “During the winter months, in particular, air humidity in printing shops often drops to critical levels, thus producing paper warpage, electrostatic charging, restricted machine runability, and production stops that incur avoidable costs frequently associated with an insufficient level of air humidity. Some printing shops allow the air humidity problem to persist while others use a variety of different systems and technologies.” These range from rotary atomizers, steam air humidifiers, ultrasonic atomizers, air washers in A/C systems to compressed air and high-pressure nozzle systems. Printers need to choose carefully and compare features before installing a humidification system. They must look at their plant, the type of equipment being used, their employee’s health concerns, maintenance and performance of the different air humidification system, and power consumption usage. Making a knowledgeable decision by comparing the various systems on the market is critical. During the past few years, more and more North American printing shops have converted their air humidification systems to state-of-the-art high-pressure nozzle systems. The providers of the different high-pressure nozzle systems can be differentiated by nozzle size, humidity distribution, versatility and services. Systems with extremely fine nozzles exclude any danger of droplet formation and humidity condensation - in particular for low-pressure systems. Maximum and fast distribution of humidity in a room is reached by systems, which have a fan additionally integrated into the atomizer. Among the pioneers of this technology is DRAABE Humidification - a division of AxAir Nortec - which manufactures different systems for the printing shop, pre-press, paper store and office areas worldwide. In a high-pressure nozzle system, water is vaporized to a micro-fine degree using a high-pressure pump and special titanium nozzles, which are practically free of noise. In addition, notes Kouchouk, DRAABE’s high pressure nozzle system emits a far greater humidification output from the atomizer than the nozzles used by compressed-air but incurs a fraction of the power costs. “We’re able to supply more humidification in a cost efficient manner,” says Kouchouk. “We’re also able to protect the health of a printer’s plant. The DRAABE water supply is in an enclosed circulatory system. For hygienic and reliable operation only pure, demineralized water is used, which is provided by means of an integrated reverse osmosis system. The pure water produced here can be used optionally as standard process water for printing presses.” Other types of air humidification systems can’t compare to high pressure nozzle systems. For example, maintenance and repair costs are less on a high pressure nozzle system than other types of technology. The service life of ultrasonic ceramic oscillators, for example, is generally limited, if they are not operated using de-ionized water. Steam humidifiers also face performance and service life problems due to minerals and floating particles being deposited during the course of time on the base of the steam-generating cylinder or on the electrodes or heater elements. Power consumption Printers also need to look into the amount of power being consumed by a humidification system. “When printers compare all systems, steam air humidification - in terms of power and cost - is the least favorable,” says Kouchouk. “Electrically-heated steam humidifiers output approximately ten times the level of power consumption as opposed to cold atomizer systems.” In terms of power consumption, maintenance outlay and humidification performance, nozzle systems are far superior to any other type of humidification system. If correctly designed and equipped with appropriate water treatment systems, nozzle humidifiers will operate extremely hygienically and maintenance free. Keeping employees healthy, says Kouchouk, is another major difference between the systems. Since rotary atomizers, ultrasonic atomizers and air washers in A/C systems generally use open storage reservoirs, they become an ideal breeding ground for fungus, germs and bacteria. For this reason, regular and thorough cleaning is absolutely essential if hygienic problems and hazards for employees are to be avoided. But the printer must take into account the additional costs for cleaning these systems. “Installing a new humidification system is a big decision,” says Kouchouk. “But by comparing the different systems on the market, a printer can make a wise and educated decision. Many printers are choosing to install high pressure nozzle systems, such as our TurboFog.”