Choice between crucibles

Greetings to all!

I faced a difficult choice - help please decide on the choice of the press for printing! I’m talking about Heidelberg Tiegel. Which model is better - a black ball or a red ball? At the same time, the state of both is very good, and the prices do not differ much. But I have to choose only one of them)

On this forum, a lot of printers working on both machines and I’m sure that anyone can help me … Thank you in advance!

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More important than red or black would be the year of manufacture. Early black ball models lack some features. Later red ball models added some useful features (roller lockouts). Assuming condition of both presses is good and there is little difference in price I would probably choose the red ball.


Thank you, Brad!

Are you talking about this option? (See photo)
I already noticed this feature. I understand the printing rollers are locked in the upper position while the press is working. But I still do not understand why this is necessary? What does this give?

image: JPG.


You can perf, crease, die cut or emboss without removing the rollers if you have roller lockouts.

…and do a faster washup.

You know for all these years, it never occurred to me that lockout would yield a faster washup but it makes perfect sense! Still running my old black ball though—beats hand feeding any day!

Many thanks to you for the answers! Advantages of the Red ball are good this is undeniable… especially the washing of the printing rolls and the central cylinder at the same time.

Now I’m actually working on a press with manual feed of paper and the speed of printing is the main problem… and of course the washing out)

Thanks to everyone who could reply! I really appreciate it!

2Mike Conway

I had experience with one such press, which has the ability to turn off the rollers … they turned off but not for long. I do not know what the problem really was, but after a few cycles the rollers started working again. I admit that it was some kind of malfunction. Then I decided that it should be so and decided that this option is rather strange))

I noticed that not all Red Ball models are equipped with this option

The german usually takes slow step on upgrading in all machinery..the windmill as example starting 1850 till 1968..they added the bronze logo from 1950 on the machines (1850-1950) for 100’s years of manufacturing Heidelberg, So..before 1950’s models of the windmill had metal ball (sliver color), low speed , white colors accessories ..then from 1950’s it shows the black ball with all black color accessories..and they start a little upgrading on the machine .. 1- More speed by changing motor base & speed control hand (change the round handle by flat L shape)
2- add a third room for inking rolls (2+one on the top of them)
3 -Changing some inking system using aluminium rolls+rubber rolls & more speed inking control
4 - upgrading the air pump (shape and mechanic board)
5 - add a holder behind the plate for rolls
**then from 1955 a little more
1- add a washing device on the top with black container
2- changing the shape of the air pusher to help more control the paper after printed (from tube flat stick to oval shape with 2 sticks, so it will control side to side better then only the middle..) and adding a key controller for the air for it ..
**Then from 1960 starting the red ball .. nothing very serious on upgrade ..only all accessories with red color … adding a bigger cover for the belt runway , add a black cover on the operation handle ..add a wood drawer for tools .. changing some gears for smooth operation with little extra speed..
** Then from 1967 … shows some upgrading as
1- adding roller lockouts (helps a lot for die-cutting/embossing/blind deboss/attachment foil/perfecting/scoring…without take the inking rolls out )
2-change the L handle by round shape with metric showing speed)
3 - Adding a drawer box under the machine for tools
4 - adding powder spray glass container with controller
5 - adding a lamp (option)
** 1968 they added foil stamping attachment unit with controller …with some plugs & upgrading chase & plates block.

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Justyas003, Many thanks to you for this list!