Komori LS 40 inch feeder issues

Chuck Oaks

New member
I am looking for some help. Maybe from a highly recommended trainer or demonstrator, maybe from the manufacturer ( whom I will call today ) and maybe from someone who shares my pain.

In general my pressman and feeders have great difficulty keeping the Komori feeders running smoothly. (I am not picking on Komori, I just want a specific type of help) They have trouble with lightweight sheets. They have trouble on the 40 inch presses running sheets smaller than 28 inches wide. They fight issues with curl. We sometimes have difficulty getting a smooth and straight stream down the board...but even when we gather together and all feel that the sheets are getting to the headstops properly, the feeder will shut off and give us either an O or D error. It is driving us all insane.
We clean eyes, replace suckers, set and reset the smoother bar and wheels, re-jog and re-air the load, check timing...and still we are losing a lot of time. My workers are just as frustrated ( probably more so ) than I am.

Are we alone on this? I did have a very qualified and trusted mechanic rebuild the feeder for me about one year ago, but feed issues did not really improve. I am WAY OPEN for suggestions.
May I inquire as to the skill level of your pressroom staff? The reason I ask this is because of disturbing trend I've noticed to promote press crews off the broom. Contrary to what many in management would LIKE to believe there still requires a specific skillset to get the job done, even with state of the art equipment, DESPITE what the press manufacturers would have you believe when selling you a press.
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My helpers/feeder Operators vary from a few months experience to 20 years plus. 3 of the feeder operators are 20 years plus. All of my pressman have been here more than 20 years, some 30. They all struggle similarly...as do I myself when trying to help. I have had mechanics double check some things for me too.
It would appear that you have some seasoned people working for you. Assuming that there are no mechanical issues I can offer a few tips but first I need to ask a couple of questions. First are you running long grain paper? Second... does it happen when printing both sides of a job, or does most of the trouble happen on the first side of the job? Are you ordering the paper on single tier skids, and just rolling the entire skid into the feeder, or are your feeder operators handling the paper allowing air into the sheets? There was a time when a feeder operator was required to make loads off on the side of the press while the press ran. Ive seen lots of feeder operators try to avoid the heavy lifting even when having feeder issues. I like to go by the 3 strikes rule. If a feeder operator has 3 feeder trips, in pretty rapid succession, then its time for the number 1 guy to go back there and give it a shot. If I as the number 1 cant get it to run within 3 strikes then its time to pull the load out and get some air into the stock. This usually will get results provided all other bases are covered.
Air control becomes much more critical when you get down to lightweight text stock. Ive found that many feeder operators and even pressman will think that if a little air is good then a lot of air is better. Im a firm believer in the law of minimums. Minimum air blast to gently separate the top half dozen os so sheets from the top of the pile. Minimum hold down finger pressure to aid in sheet separation. Minimum blast to gently flutter the sheets into the forwarding wheels, etc, etc. This law of minimums starts at the feeder and ends in the delivery for all things related to presswork to include things like ink, water, pressure, heat, delivery fans. You get the idea. If you can get your press crews to subscribe to this law of minimums I feel that many things press related will run smoother in ALL areas. Insist that this law of minimums become the pressroom mantra. Oh yea one more thing... STATIC CONTROL!!!
Im hoping that some of the suggestions I've offered will not only solve you current feeder problems but offer solutions to many other things pressroom related.
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We usually run long grain stock. We do run some short grain from time to time but it is usually no more troublesome that the rest, feed wise. Most of our trouble is with curl and thin sheets on the second side of a job. ON the perfecter we can choose how to run the curl but on the straight press, you have to get both sides to feed and that is an issue. We skid load when appropriate, but will always try to hand load some if we are fighting a particular sheet through the press.


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