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Boosting sheetfed press speed

Jul 1, 2008 12:00 AM

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Well, that title got your attention didn't it? It bothers me to see presses running slowly, especially new presses. Let's look at why presses run slow and then how we can boost the speed.

Why presses run slow

  • Old and out of tune
  • Doubling problems
  • Improperly set feeder
  • Broken parts
  • Worn parts
  • No fine tuning being done
  • Bad ink/poor traps, excessive dot gain, bad tack
  • Poor prepress
  • Bad paper (wavy)

Where do we start? Wash up the press and clean it, then set a running speed goal. Now start a run and slowly boost speed until you can go no faster, determine what is holding you back, then fix it. Start again, maybe on another job, at the end speed from the previous test. Increase it by 200 iph and keep doing it until the press will go no faster, then fix it.

Once you have done the last step several times, it will be necessary to bring in a person from the manufacturer to fine tune the press.

If you still do not hit your goal, ask the ink manufacturer and paper distributor for their help.

Following these tips will boost the speed of your sheetfed press. Keep this in mind: I have never seen a filthy press produce good work or a press with broken and worn parts run fast.

Editor's note:
Ray Prince's “Tech Thought” series appears each month in AP's New Products section. See

Raymond J. Prince is a leading expert in pressroom technical and operational issues. He is vice president and senior consultant, operations management, for NAPL (Paramus, NJ). Contact him at (605) 941-1492 or e-mail