Banding Issue on Ryobi 524GX


I have posted question several times on other threads about a banding issue where as the press sheet would develop an area across the sheet that ink would not transfer. This problem was evident even on the plate. The characteristics were unique, problem was most server later in the day (we run single shift). Completely gone in the morning and appeared in even distribution from the head of the sheet exactly the circumference of the water form (on my Ryobi the Water Form and #1 Ink Form are essential the same diameter, more about this later). For 2 years we have battled it, I have replaced all the rollers (water and ink), had the factory service tech's come in and set our rollers, had my plate provider switch me from a process free plate to a standard plate, changed chemistry (many times), changed ink (many times). All to no avail.

I really had some help with this problem with my plate provider flew guys in from Atlanta, my press manufacturer did teleconference with our local service tech. We all were completely baffled.

We even began to think it might be the compressor was running out of air as it heated up and thus not properly mounting the plates causing the lead edge to create a gap bounce on the water roller (at this point we were reaching). Tried a different compressor, no change.

In total I probably spent 7-10 thousand dollars myself on new rollers, reprints, lost productivity and headaches. Not to mention the amount of money and time spent by press tech, plate manufacture (by the way, with the change over on plates they gave me a new processor!) and the countless airline tickets, hotel rooms and labor hours they absorbed.

So I was sitting in my office, thinking, If I can't fix this I am going to have to sell this press and buy a different brand. And with a press that isn't printing right am I going to be able to sell it at all. idea occurred to me. The ink is not getting to the plate in the same spot everytime, after running about 700 sheets the band would go away. And the banding only occurred after several different runs. But in the morning it magically disappeared.

What if........the chemical from the automatic blanket wash rolls was some how retarding the ink on the ink forms from transferring to the plate (or for that matter transferring from the distributor rollers to the ink form). (think lead edge of the blanket as it hits the wash up roller there is a build up, this build up is then transferred to the lead edge of the plate, which is then transferred to ink forms, and remember, the solvents in the washup blankets are designed to break ink down)

Cut to the answer........YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I switched from the proprietary wash up rolls made by baldwin for the Ryobi 524GX about 45 days after getting the press (the factory rolls were so expensive!) about 2 years ago. And in hindsight that is the genesis of this saga.

Cut to 1 month ago, I immediately ordered a set of factory washup rolls. We have gone down similar roads of hope with disappointing results so my optimism was very low.

We hung the first set of plates at around 8:00 in the morning, perfect. But this was always the case (remember the problem didn't come till later in the day), second set around 8:45, perfect. 3rd set, 4th set, 5th set.........12th set perfect!

Not only was the washup rolls causing the line, my ink train seemed to be reinvigorated. What used to take 500 sheets to achieve nice color balance was now happening in 70 sheets, my gain locked in to a perfect 65%-68% on each unit with a very wide water window. My solids looked fantastic and my pressman actually gave me a hung (ok that was kinda of wierd!)

So the lesson, all the micro tinkering, all the elaborate explanations, all the investments in different chemistry, inks, plates, paper meant nothing. It all came down to using a companies washup roll that was causing the problem.

The only reason I share my story is that very rarely do I see ahah! moments on these threads, but this was one of them. Now I will respectfully not share the name of the wash up rolls with you because the same company that sells me my ink, plates, fountain chemistry, digital press, large format press, rip, and about 65% of all the consumables that I buy was selling me the wash up rolls (they don't actually make them, just sell them). I let my rep know about the problem, he was very thankful and I believe has since gone out of his way to pull his other customers off this brand of washup rolls while also communicating this to all the technical staff within his company. Plus the fact that his company has clearly spent 4x as much as I did trying to solve the problem is testament to the commitment they had to me through this entire process.

Through all of this I learned 3 things,

1. My vendors are the best in the world, despite the fact that the problem ended up being something unexpected they never abandoned me. Both my press manufacture and my plate manufacturer.

2. When diagnosing the problem I didn't ask enough questions about when it began (which would of given me a good indicator)

3. and that in the pursuit of trying to save $200 a month, I ended up costing myself 50x that much.

These presses are designed to function with less than perfect nips, and roller hardness, and chemistry and this and that. I kept trying to look for the nuance and it was something large and obvious.

So for all you guys having banding, ink flow, stripping, mottling, or any other problem. Check your wash up rolls, the brand I dropped owns a huge chunk of the market!

That's my story, and if it helps just one other shop it was worth the time it took to write it.


Well-known member
At least your supplier was willing to help you. In a similar situation at my former plant, we were always told it was an operator error. We had a blanket/roller wash solvent that was supposed to be water miscible. However, if any water got into the solvent, portions of the mixture would ball up into greasy sludge. This would clog all our solvent lines and render useless our automatic roller and blanket washers. On top of that problem, sometimes the solvent would have a thicker viscosity at the bottom of a barrel or tank.

Obviously the problem was the wash up solvent. But the department manager claimed he couldn't find another supplier. And then we found out that when we went from using an outside storage tank to 55 gallon drums that the supplier was recycling the bad solvent from the storage tank rather than giving us new product. Hey, why not? Apparently they couldn't be fired.

We spent days cleaning solvent tanks on the presses along with the solvent lines to each unit only to have the problem come back time again. We had to wash blankets by hand but the company refused to supply us with enough blanket cleaning product to do the job. Not to mention it wasted press time because it takes longer to clean blankets by hand than using an automatic blanket cleaner. And sometimes this defective solvent would cause us problems getting plates to take ink or for the rollers to properly take ink.

Everybody knew the source of the problem. Management refused to fix it. The problem caused longer press washups and makereadies, caused wasted and still management wouldn't fix it. And yet I have to look back today on those being the good old days.


Sorry I didn't read your posts in time to lend a hand. You learned a hard lesson about the convenience of those blanket cleaners versus the reality of making waste! I ran a Ryobi 524HE for four years with those auto cleaners and was convinced by the vendor in the beginning that I was paying for the best, there were no options. Subsequently, I quit using them for a while and noticed my make-readies came up immediately and other "acceptable" problems went away. By the way, I had to learn all this while using poly plates-cue violin, I know!(I think the cleaners were responsible for some picture framing probs, too) Anyway, I resorted to using them only at the end of a run and if I was running crap paper, spraying a little water on the roll before using them. Seemed to work better for me.


Well-known member
Glad I read this post we are buying a 524 GX and has not been Del yet so if I run in to this I will know what it is right off. Thanks for posting this

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