AzuraTS plates coming out "dirty"

DCurry

Well-known member
I've got the Azura C125 gummer unit, running AzuraTS plates. Lately, I've been noticing that the plates are coming out dirty - by that I mean it looks like the gum is not being properly squeegeed, and the plates come out a little wet and you can see the gum is not smoothly applied.

I assumed it was just because the gummer was getting dirty (it was due for its 3-month full cleaning), but even after cleaning it thoroughly it is not improved. I can feel that the heater kicks on like it should, so it's not that, and all the spray bars are flowing freely so the gum is getting on the plate.

They clean up fine on press so it's not really hurting anything, but they definitely used to come out clean and dry, with no visible roller tracking of the gum.

Any ideas before I get Agfa involved?
 

Slyoder

Member
I'm not sure if this is pertinet to your machine or not. We have an Azura C95. On the ends of the top roller there is a white plastic collar that runs in a groove on the bottom roller. When our tech installed he told me if I have problems with the plates not cleaning up I might have to remove this collar as they have had problems with it getting too dirty or damaged. This prevents the rollers from properly squeegeeing the plates.
 

DCurry

Well-known member
Thanks for the tip - are you referring to the slotted collar right between the gear teeth and the rubber? If so, they are seated properly and appear to be quite clean. Did the tech mean that you should remove them altogether, or remove them to clean them and then reinstall?
 

Baldbug

Well-known member
We had a problem with an air leak in hose from the filter to the pump on an Azura C95 which reduced the amount of gum being pumped onto the plates. There was just enough gum to cover the plates when processing but not enough gum to remove the residue off the plates before squeezing the excess gum off as the plate went through the rollers which resulted in residue being left on the plates.
regards
Rod
 

DCurry

Well-known member
Plenty of gum being pumped, and there is no residue on the plates - just gum that looks unevenly applied.
 

RGPW17100

Well-known member
We have noticed this as well. When we were running Azura we never had a problem but the new Azura TS seems to make our plates dirty. I cleaned each of the rollers by hand last wednesday and noticed a lot of staining on the rollers. Agfa recommended trying to use a green scrub pad with no chemicals and lightly scrub them under water. If they do not come out clean they are recommending roller replacement. Fridays we fill a cube up of hot water and run the rinse a few times then let the water stay in the system over the weekend and that makes a huge difference on gum build up on the exit rollers. The other thing is make sure you are cleaning the filter monthly. I will be watching this thread because this is an issue for us. On our SM52 we have to drop the damps for about 20 revs before running the press. If we dont we have to hand wipe after. Another problem is the plates are sticky and it makes plate scewing a problem on press cause the plates want to stick to the cylinders.
 

seejay

Well-known member
We had a similar problem in the early days of using the Asura plate. When cleaning the unit, it is easy to overlook the exit rollers - they are hidden under the heater cover. They can build up with excess gum causing hold off, and thus the rollers not squeegeeing off the gum.
We now ensure that they are given a good clean with hot water every couple of weeks - we've not had the problem since.
 

Lukas Engqvist

Well-known member
What maintenance do you have? We have a yearly service from Agfa tech, when we strip clean and recalibrate (check all the rollers are the right pressure) it. It's some times worth the extra few minutes to clean all the cogs on a monthly basis to prevent build up of residue, and flushing out the snot-like buildup in the sprinkler tubes doesn't harm the stability of the cleaner either ;)
 

DCurry

Well-known member
All the rollers are very clean, including the exit rollers, and the sprinkler bars flow freely - I keep up on all of that. Haven't had any Agfa service on the gummer in the 1.5 years I've had it, although they've been in for a PM on the Avalon. I performed a brush test yesterday and did make a very minor adjustment to the scrub rollers to increase the pressure slightly. Haven't had to run any real plates since then, so I'm not entirely sure if it helped or not.

I brought my camera in today, so if I happen to run any plates I'll take some pics and post. It's pretty slow this week so I might not run anything today.
 

Slyoder

Member
Thanks for the tip - are you referring to the slotted collar right between the gear teeth and the rubber? If so, they are seated properly and appear to be quite clean. Did the tech mean that you should remove them altogether, or remove them to clean them and then reinstall?
Yes, that's what I'm referring to. I understood him to say that yes remove the top or the bottom collar altogether. He said they had a couple of installs that had trouble with too much gum on the plates and this is what they did to resolve it.

Note: I don't have experience with doing this. I'm just repeating what I was told.
 

Lukas Engqvist

Well-known member
Also check the rollers are in the right order so you didn't switch them the rollers match up one straight and one ever so slightly convex if in the right order (if I remember right).
 
Be sure when you run the brush scrub/adjustment you are setting it on the thinnest material you will be using. So if you run 12, 8 and 6 mil plates the scrub test should be done on the 6 mil plate. I have not seen any issues over a number of installs where it would damage any thicker plates you would run.

Hope this helps.
 

seejay

Well-known member
We had a similar issue on the 125 unit. What I found is that when we were doing our routine maintenance, the operators had 'overlooked' the dryer rollers. Because they are 'hidden' underneath the dryer cover, the operators didn't notice them clogging up. Now, every time they clean the unit out, they also make sure to clean the heater rollers - solved the problem for us.
 

DCurry

Well-known member
Determined that the problem was the rollers immediately after the scrubbers were not applying proper squeegee action, resulting in wet plates going through the exit rollers and leaving deposits on the exit rollers.

The solution ultimately was to switch the rollers around. I took the exit rollers and placed them in the position just after the scrubbers and that fixed it. Spoke to an Agfa tech on the phone and he informed me that all the rollers are interchangeable.
 

tuxon

New member
I've had a similar problem with our install which is about 2 years old - the roller ends sit in spring loaded plastic bearer's - these will wear reducing the amount of spring tension when you snap the rollers in - also you'll get uneven wear from both sides which will mean extra gum on the plate after exiting the squeegy rollers prior to the drying unit - we replaced the both sides of the roller end units and the problem was solved - must admit I probably clean my unit a little more than advised to keep on top of things - every 4 weeks I do a minor clean (2 hot water rinses, Filter, exit roller clean) and 4 weeks after that a major clean (everything out and cleaned completely)

PS - the snap in clips on the roller ends also wear and become elliptical - this also means you loose squeegy pressure - we replaced these as well.
 
Last edited:

DCurry

Well-known member
Yes, I had already tried replacing those end bearings but it didn't help. I'll keep it in mind for future reference, though!
 

Automatically Autonomous Automation

Automatically Autonomous Automation
Although the autonomous car is not quite ready, a lights out print operation is something you can do right now if you have a comprehensive Print MIS (Management Information System). The advantages can put money on your bottom line. So what’s your next step? Link to Article

   
Top