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  • Water roller swollen at ends?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm having horrible tinting issues and it's giving me such a headache! I run an Itek 3985 with Crestlines. I use Universal Pink fountain solution and have taken to using a fountain additive called "Stopz-It" which is kind of a dumb name but does wonders to eliminate toning. The press is not in a temperature-controlled space so I've found that this helps to run less water and come out okay. The past couple of jobs I ran were small envelopes, and previously before that (in the Spring) I ran a 150 page book. I'm printing a booklet right now and BOTH heads have the same problem. At first I thought that the Crestline just wasn't inked up enough and if I dump ink into it, the issue goes away, but then it's way over-inked. I've been wrestling with it for days and some things I've noticed are:

    - The ends of the Crestline pan roller have droplets of water on them, like the roller is not properly inked.
    - When I look at the water form to plate stripe (picture attached), the stripe is thin in the middle and larger on the edges, instead of one even stripe all the way across

    Anyone have any ideas? It's been a couple of years since we got new rollers and I know that Crestlines can be finicky, but honestly the press doesn't get used enough to warrant a roller change every year. Our work is mostly digital and letterpress, and the offset machine gets used really just for special projects. I'm way behind on one right now so any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!

    - Lantz

  • #2
    Start with the basics, Do you have a Durometer guage? so you can check the hardness of your rollers. your press manual should tell you what durometer is correct for your press. Even though you dont use the press much and it sits for long periods the rollers could be getting hard and using that chemical in your fountain solution may be having an adverse effect. Are you using some kind of roller lube on the rollers when the press is sitting for long periods.

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    • #3
      No, we don't have a durometer gauge. No roller lube of any kind. I realized though that it's been about 4 years since I replaced the rollers, so I'm going to put some new Crestlines in there and post an update when I see what it does.

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      • #4
        I wish you good luck. The twin tower presses with Crestlines are notorious for toning issues and I don't envy your predicament, one bit. There are numerous posts about it here in this forum alone, some of which were made by you...

        https://printplanet.com/search?q=330...2+toning%22%7D

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        • #5
          Yep, I've gone back through all of those. It's generally been roller pressures but I think this time the rollers are just shot. I've never seen stripes that look like this, at least not in a really long time. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks guys.

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          • #6
            lantz,



            You have murdered the rollers by neglect - so what did you expect !

            -- you have a poor understanding of printing by Lithography. PS Replace the Rollers and take better care of them.


            Regards, Alois

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lantz_xvx View Post
              - When I look at the water form to plate stripe (picture attached), the stripe is thin in the middle and larger on the edges, instead of one even stripe all the way across
              There's a big difference in the amount of ink across your roller. Could be because it's swollen, as you mention. There's a lot more ink where the strip is thicker.
              If swollen, the only cure is to replace. Avoid using strong chemicals to clean the rollers. Or at least use any strong chemical as infrequently as possible. It contributes a lot to swelling.

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              • #8
                Thanks, Keith. Yeah, it does seem like the ink is heavier on that side. It might be because in dabbing a light coverage of ink for testing purposes, I just went a little heavier on that side. But the stripe looks the same with even inking. For cleanup, I use a vegetable-based wash called Brigl. It's great stuff that just needs to be followed up with warm water to get rid of any residue. In any case, I realized that the Crestline rollers haven't been changed in four years, so I ordered those yesterday and will install them when they arrive tomorrow. I'll be sure to post an update once all that is done. I appreciate your response.

                - Lantz

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                • #9
                  Water based and containing no solvents, Calcium Slayer & Flush is an easy and efficient way to clean rubber rollers. Before and after on a Sunday 2000.
                  Won't swell or damage rollers. Proper roller maintenance is critical to quality printing.

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                  • #10
                    Back in the day when I used to run these machines (with Crestlines), seems like toning would come and go no matter what you did. New rollers, old rollers, or anywhere in between. You may get lucky with new rollers but I wouldn't count on the problem being permanently solved. I actually think it's more important which brand of ink you're using, and how much you put on the roller(s) to start with. Ceratin fountain solutions will help as well, and once you find the right combination, you should definitely stick with it.

                    IMO it's just a bad design and if I had my choice of which dampening system to run on a twin tower, it would easily be a conventional one - with 3M sleeves.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, that's pretty consistent with my experience, alibryan. I feel like toning has always been an issue with the press, especially since the space we're in is not climate controlled. It's why I started using that additive in the fountain solution—it's barely half an ounce in a 32oz bottle but it really does help. I actually don't ever put ink on the Crestlines to ink up and rather just let it pick up ink naturally from the plate. You can always add ink later via the fountain but if you start off with too much, it's hard to get it out of there. How did you ink up those Crestlines? The manual says to put a light dab of ink on the "oscillator only" but I don't know if that's a typo or what, because the Crestline oscillator is not really accessible, certainly not to put ink on.

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                      • #12
                        I know that I have had the least trouble running Kompac water systems . I know they are around $3000 a unit for Hamada presses. But , if you want the " set it and forget it " press......I'd get them . They can also handle the long time in between runs . Just my experience.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the tip, blkraven. I have a printer friend who has a Ryobi 3302 (an actual Ryobi) with Kompacs and he certainly does have better luck running them but he's also had to deal with leaky seals and things like that. So it's not a total set-it-and-forget-it type of deal, as far as I could tell from just being at the shop with him. He pulls great work off of it, though. Still, the troubles with this press almost has me wanting to get a GTO with molletons.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello lantz_xvx



                            Yes, a Heidelberg GTO, BUT why would you want to use Molleton Dampening Rollers ?



                            Regards, Alois

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As a tech that has installed and repaired many Crestlines and Kompacs, I have found that Kompacs do seem to run consistently with less trouble but Changing the rollers on your Chrestlines does seem more practical economically. Take good care of your rollers. Good rollers that are adjusted properly to specifications will make your pressmen very happy. I suggest that they use a little slack time every month or two and check the roller pressure adjustments as well as looking at the condition of the rollers. Note how the new rollers look; note the roller surface and the velvet feel; this is how the rollers should look when clean and deglazed. Compare them to the old ones. This can be done at the same time you oil and lube it.
                              As rubber rollers age they often seem to swell on the ends and we tend to blame the absorption of solvent and wearing down of the rubber. the truth is that the rubber compacts as they are used. This is why the manufactures recommend putting the press in night-latch when not in use. The pressure spots will recover as you use the press, but using the night-latch when idle will stretch the life of rollers. Generally you should get one to three years out of a set of rollers depending how much they are used and the care they receive.
                              You have an excellent press, treat it well and it will treat you well as well.

                              Comment

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