Windmill gripper

I recently picked up a Heidelberg Windmill for kiss cutting assorted pressure sensitive stock. I’ve been running some silver polyester with mixed reults for registration. I noticed two possible culprits. One there isn’t any rubber on either of the grippers which I’ll fix as mentioned on other posts with two sided tape and rubber. The other is, I noticed that the gripper appears to travel about a quarter of an inch below the suckers before it closes completely. I’m guessing that the gripper may be knocking the stock as it passes by. Changing the angle of the suckers doesn’t seem to be the solution either. Is there an adjustment for this that I’m not noticing? Maybe this is normal? Will affixing rubber to the grippers solve the problem? Thanks in advance for any help. Russ

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Hi Russ,
Hope my memory serves me correctly; 14 yrs since I operated an Heidel.
The sucker bar height can be adjusted; the casting which houses the auto stop, (the place where it says “Pull to trip suction”) and to which the sucker bar is mounted is controlled by an eccentric cam, which when turned changes the height.
To adjust, at the base of this casting is a nut (either a 14 or 17 mm. I can’t remember which) which you need to undo, and just above the nut is a small grub screw, which needs to be slackened off. This small screw actually sits into a dimple, and maybe yours is not aligned correctly with the dimple. It’s a simple matter to undo it all and tap the eccentric out to see exactly where the dimple is and then replacing and locking it all up securely.
Hope this helps, Bern.

Amendments to my previous post.
The nut I referred to is actually a bolt which clamps the eccentric.
If the grub screw is partially withdrawn, you may be able to locate the dimple by carefully turning the eccentric to and fro using a screwdriver in the large slot machined into the face nearest the feed table.
If you do tap the eccentric out ensure the grub screw is removed first to avoid any damage, and make certain the sucker bar is securely supported as if not it can drop down and cause injury.
Replace the grub screw and let its point locate the dimple, and as it is driven in, the eccentric should find its correct location. Then tighten the large bolthead. Remove the support from under the sucker bar, check that all works smoothly by turning the machine over by hand, and you should be OK.

Hi Bern,

I really appreciate your detailed support. I was looking at the cam/eccentric the other day and was wondering if that would do the trick. I’m fortunate enough to have a manual from the newer model 10x15 but it doesn’t cover anything on this topic. I can picture the cam you’ve mentioned and I’ll check that out first thing in the morning. So in my amateur parlance, the cam isn’t getting the sweet spot soon enough and is traveling past the stop point which is set by the grub screw. Hence, traveling past the sucker height. If it makes sense sitting here at home, I’m sure it will make perfect sense when I get to the shop in the morning

Thanks Bern, I really appreciate you taking time share your knowledge with me.


Hi Russ!
Thanks for your response. It’s good to know that there are still some folks who appreciate the help that is offerred.
Our Heidel platens regularly produced 20,000 or more prints per day off each machine.
We carried out a programme of preventive maittenance on a regular basis, and every 3 months the casting which holds the auto stop would be completely stripped down; for although there is a filter in the suction train the internals can still get clogged particularly if using the spray apparatus. I must have done the procedure 100s of times so it comes as second nature to me.
Nothing can compare with hands-on experience and I’ve had 52 years of it: so it’s good to share the knowledge and skills I’ve gained over the years to help all the members of this great forum. Bern.

I’ve been running them for twenty years and still keep learning things and it’s good to know there’s someone I can run to for advice. Our other departments (engraving and offset) have someone to go to for help but I’m the only one in letterpress.

Hi Russ & Ron,
I’ve just watched a video of a couple of platens in operation.
The url is:
In all my years of running these machines I’ve never heard one that sounds like these do!
To me there running with the rollers set too low, No grease on the gears, and no oil in the bearings.
What do you think? I hope yours do not sound like that.

You’re right. Something doesn’t sound right when the rollers start the down stroke. Now that I think about it …sounds like dry roller bearings. The’re not going to last very long like that.