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Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

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  • Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

    Good evening.
    The press I'm running at the moment is a shinohara 52 with auto blanket/roller wash.
    I had previously been using Varn envirowash, but have since found out its health and enviromental properties arn't the greatest.
    Now I have been trialing some Bottcher feboclean BIO-3
    100 %-vegetable-based, VOC-free, water-miscible wash with very strong cleaning power and a minimum evaporation rate; low quantity consumption, short washing times and low discard costs. (flash point approx. 180 °C)
    (normaly used in auto wash units in a heat set machine)

    The wash cycle for the varn would be this
    9 solvent squirt cycles finished off with 2 water squirt cycles

    now the bio-3 is
    9 solvent squirt cycles and 9 water squirt cycles.

    Now the problem is that even after 9 water cycles the rollers don't seem to want to ink up and if I take a print i get tinting over a lot of the page indicating that there is still residue left on the rollers.If I only ran 2 water cycles the rollers would not ink up at all.

    The bio-3 nearly washes up as good as the VARN enviro wash and it only needs half the amount squirted on each time due to zero evaporation. So the cost saving and health factor is fantastic, But its soon getting to the point that anymore water cycles the time wasted will incure more $$$ lost then just using the enviro from varn
    But is this normal for a 100% vegetable based wash to leave a residue on the rollers? (please note the rollers don't feel greasy after the wash)
    the varn didn't even need a water cycle after it and it would ink up fine.

    Any help or idea's would be greatly appreciated,

  • #2
    Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

    I guess the word FeboClean suggests that it will be a strong cleaner of the rollers. That is a good product, but it sounds like the bio wash needs a little more work, or your application technique is incorrect. Do you need all nine squirts? It is very common that it is hard to get this stuff off the rollers and paper waste goes way up. The envirowash may have had a surfactant package (was it a milky white water miscible solution?) that helped get it off the rollers. Some of these enviro washes still contained some petroleum solvents, explaining why they worked pretty good, if not as fast and good as the 800 grams per liter VOC (like V120).

    I suggest you find a peer in the California biosphere and ask them what is presently working. Maybe they can tell us on this forum, (are you out there Mr. Tubbs?) According to my sources on the left coast, the roller washing part is working OK. It's the blanket washing and impression cylinder washing that is leading to a lot of waste and hair pulling. The low VOC seem to work OK if you wash the blankets by hand, same with the impression cylinders. The down side of this is that all these fancy new presses that do a makeready in 10 minutes use machines to wash the blanket and impression cylinders, and they don't work well with the low VOC washes that have been invented to date.

    I'm sure that someones will come forth and say I'm full of VOC's, that products exist that work just fine, and hopefully they will tell you what they are. One product that works for blankets is the Baldwin Impact System, very low VOC, and a proven technology. But I think it's a retrofit and costly.

    All you can do, Luke, is try some other vendors, and see if they clean up better. Try Prisco next. They have been working on this a long time and have a complete stable of eco products. Maybe one of theirs will work. Until then, don't dump out the V120, you might need it, or some good old Varnish and Paintmaker's Naphtha. Gotta have something that will clean the press when all else fails. Maybe you can by wind power energy offsets and still use V120.

    John Lind
    Cranberry Township, PA


    • #3
      Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

      The Varn enviro was is nearly as bad as the varn V120 and uses 95% liguid hydrocarbons, with a low flash point and fairly high VOC bassicaly it might have been clased ENVIROMENTAL 20 odd years ago but by todays standars there's nothing environmental about it.

      As for the squirt times yes I need the 9 cycles but the actual amount that is being squirt out is 1/2 as much as the varn product,
      Bottcher have a range of low and non voc washes, ths one was just recomended by them and being a full vegetable base seemed the way to go.
      I know where you comming from with the blanket wash drama's. the shinohara uses a the cloth wash method and you have to make sure you just have enough solution go on other wise if it runs into the blanket cut out, you have to wipe that part by hand or deal with lots of wasted sheets as it doesnt evaporate.
      I do not have an auto impression cylinder cleaner and if I did i would want to attempt to run a low to no evaporation wash it would just be a nightmare.

      Has anyone used the VARN bio or non voc washes or eben the hurst washes?
      Am I correct in thinking the was doesn't have to be vegetable based to be a non or low VOC wash ?


      • #4
        Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

        Good Morning,

        In the spirit of full disclosure, I am the Business Director for Varn. I'll try to provide an overview of the issue in this blog without doing a "commercial".

        V-120 is a petroleum-based product with approximately 800 grams / liter of VOC's (98%) and was designed for fast cleaning, fast drying, and quick start-ups.

        Ecolo-Clean 35 is an emulsion that contain some petroleum-based raw materials and has a 3.5 lbs VOC per gallon (roughly 45%). This particular emulsion has a milky-white color. This is still a great product for pressrooms that want to reduce their presswash VOC's by 50% or more. However, as one blogger wrote, this product family was created by Varn nearly 20 years ago - back in 1989. The new generation of Ultra-Low VOC products has 10% VOC's and were designed to comply with Rule 1171 in Southern California. With the Green movement, these products are being used in other parts of the country.

        Most of the commercial Ultra-Low VOC products use one of two formulation strategies:

        a) Vegetable-based products (like the Bottcher product).
        b) Exempt solvents such as acetone

        A common problem with the vegetable-based washes is they don't evaporate - so they stay on the rollers and cause higher waste due to slow start-ups. Depending upon the formulation, they can be hard to rinse off and they become embedded in rollers. The long-term effects on rollers can be quite severe. The commercially-available washes vary in a) the source of vegetable esters, b) the amount, and c) the type of additives that boost cleaning and aid rinsing.

        Exempt solvents are exempt because they have not been found to create greenhouse gases. However, some of them can create serious health issues for the users. If it smells bad and gives you a headache - it probably isn't good for you! We advise you to always read your MSDS carefully. Also, acetone and acetates will swell blankets and rollers; so an inexpensive product can turn out to be very expensive when you have to replace your rollers.

        Varn has an experimental product in the vegetable-based category. The product cuts ink well, and is relatively easy to rinse off. It might be worth a try for comparison in your system.

        A product we recommend trying for sheetfed presses is MicroKleen 1102. This uses a unique formulation strategy where the wash creates a microemulsion with the ink. Once the ink is encapsulated, you simply wipe off with a wet cloth or rinse with water. This product is designed to rinse off more easily and quickly than the standard vegetable-based washes. You'll be impressed by the way your blankets and rollers feel after cleaning with MicroKleen.

        While this was designed for Southern California, we have users in other parts of the country who have started using it as a Step 1 wash for color changes. The product pulls the ink out of rubber better than any product we've seen - including V-120. So the cleaning strength is there, but you need to rinse with water. Again, you will likely find it easier to rinse off than the Bottcher product.

        In the final analysis, all of the Ultra-Low VOC washes require a cleaning approach that is different than V-120. If you would like to discuss further, send me an email to or call me at 937-232-2598. I'll put you in touch with a technical representative who can support your Sustainability program.


        • #5
          Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

          That's a good post Kevin. How does your microkleen work in automatic cleaning systems? How much longer to you tell your sustainable customers the wash cycle will be with the low VOC materials compared to V120?
          I think you should just not even bring up the name acetone. There should be nothing exempt about it.
          One thing about the higher VOC materials, you can at least reclaim and recycle the petroleum distillates. Can that be done with the vegetable oil esters? Are the vegetable oil esters a renewable material?
          Thanks again for your first post, and I hope you can stay involved for this important discussion. Luke, that was some good information.
          John Lind
          Cranberry Township, PA


          • #6
            Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3


            I just saw this thread regarding the use of ink cleaning solvents on the Shinohara 52IV with an automated cleaning system. Your other post discussed banding (streaking) and there may be contamination issues with the type of solvents used getting into the roller material and not allowing you to transfer ink and dampening solution properly. When you wash up the ink rollers you probably engage the bridge roller and clean the water form roller with the ink rollers which may be contaminating the dampening form roller and getting into your fountain solution too.

            I also saw that you are using polyester based plates which usually do not have any grain to carry dampening solution and are more difficult to use in regards to their fountain solutions.

            Have you tried a metal plate and an etch that can be used for both polyester or metal? I don't want to throw too many variables into the mix here but I have seen wash up solutions contaminate rollers and cause print related problems.


            • #7
              Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

              Kevin thats good to know , if I fail with the bottcher washes I will certainly give it a go if it can be used in auto wash systems.

              Leo, the wash I have only just started trialing, so no it has nothing to do with the band.
              as I stated in my other post I will put a photo up tonight of a printed sheet, I think maybee your thinking of a diffeerent type of banding then the one we are getting.(tryed metal plates once to rule out the poly plates and still a band. I wish the boss would go to metals but he won't)

              I spoke to bottcher yesturday who informed me that you need 85% less bui-3 to be squirted on then a normal wash, so I cut my cycles down to 5 from 9 and even after the 5th squirt the rollers look like they are still half inked up but as soon as the water goes on they seem to clean up (he noted that it is the water that carries most of the ink and the wash to the washup blades.)
              But I'm still not happy with it, as it symply does't pull the ink pigments out of the rollers and you can cleary see what colour you had on.

              It's hard doing this as the other printer sees no problem in using quick kleen solvents that are full of acetone and have poor flash points, if it doesnt dry fast he doesnt want to know about it. so I have little help from him in trialing washes.
              Even after just running this stuff for a short while the press room doesnt have that pungent odouranymore and when I open my rag bin you don't get knocked out by the chemical smells.


              • #8
                Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

                That makes sense to use a lot less, then you don't have as much to remove. So, it's working a lot better on the rollers? What do you use for the blankets, same stuff or the higher VOC materials? Never clean your blankets with acetone. That's OK for the back cylinder, if you have Neoprene gloves and good ventilation. OK for the chrome rollers too.
                I mentioned earlier how the Baldwin Impact system works well cleaning blankets, and it's a very low VOC material. I think the key is that they use very little of it, just an impregnated piece of fabric on a roll. The residue is printed away with paper.
                John Lind
                Cranberry Township, PA


                • #9
                  Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

                  John, I gave up on the product yesturday and reverted back to the varn wash, But I will start re-using the bio3 when my order of bottcherin aqualux comes through, That is a water wetter and apparently helps the water spread instead of beading on the blanket and rollers, its also ment to help flush the wash off the rollers better then straight water.
                  there's only one tank for the wash on the shino to service the blanket/rollers. but it uses the cloth system were it squirts a small amount through the cloth. the Bio-3 works great on the blanket and the amount needed is about 60 % lessthen that of the higher VOC washes so there's not only a enviroment and health bonus there's a great cost saving too.

                  I spoke to our rep who sells multiple brands ,regards the varn product and they had never heard of varn microkleen and said all they have is the varn enviromental wash and I couldn't get them to understand that just because it says enviro doesnt mean it is.In fact they never even put forword a decent solution to switch to products for a greener print room (I guess they make more money when people use the higher evaporating solvents and washes)

                  But if you talk to bottcher they help you with all your chemicals to try and lower VOC's

                  Maybee people here could list what low too nill voc washes they have used and what they find works well.


                  • #10
                    Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3


                    I have read through the blog and understand your frustrations. We have been using Amerikal's Brigl was, which is 34.3 g/l VOC's and it has no hazardous chemicals in it, for several years now out here in CA and we are not having any of the problems that have been mentioned. We use it on the rollers, blankets, and impression cylinders. The rollers and blanket systems are automatic systems. Don't settle for a subpar wash it is not neccessary. We have had great success with this wash without sacrificing quality or extra long wash-ups. It also has little to no odor.



                    • #11
                      Re: Bottcher Feboclean BIO-3

                      Robert, unfortunatly the brigl wash from genisis chemisty isn't available over here in Aus, I spoke to varn and they havn't even heard of the new microkleen product.
                      I tried the bio wash again but this time just sprayed it on manualy and had a water wetter in the water this is what I found.
                      total of 4 very quick light squirts of the wash(85% less in total then a conventional wash) and finished with a total of 12 heavy water squirts and the roller were clean, but it still must build up in the rollers because after about the 4th wash and makeready, the rollers didn't want to ink up properly and the tinting was back.. Maybee you need more then 12 squirts of water but in that case the wash times are going to increase to an unaceptable amount.
                      Anyone thinking of giving it a go please do so as it could well just be the way the shinohara's wash system is designed and the layout of the water roller/bridging roller
                      Is there anyone here in AUS that can put me onto something they find works?


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