Heidelberg Windmill Ink Train

Hi all!

UPDATE for those who may come across this issue someday:

The ductor and distributor rollers are the same diameter, and yes they need to be in good condition to produce a quality print with consistent inking. :)

I think I know the answer to this, but I really want to get some thoughts and opinions from this trusted briarpress community!

I have recently (8 months ago) acquired a Heidelberg Windmill, and am learning the ins and outs. My ink train has old rollers, from the previous owner, installed. These rollers are not in great shape. They are glazed, and the ends are crackled.
I would never use these as form rollers, but am wondering if they should be replaced because of their condition. How critical are ink train rollers in the final production/look of the printed piece? What I’ve been told is standard practice is to put a form roller in the back, as an ink train roller, when it’s time to replace the form rollers. However, I recently re-covered my form rollers, and it will likely (fingers crossed) be years before I have to replace those.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated! Thank you. :)

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Second question - are the ductor and distributor rollers of different diameters?

All rollers should be the same size, get your two worst rollers recovered and use them as forme rollers.

I did that, rroddi. Unfortunately I think the other two are in just as bad condition! I’m going to order two new rollers for the ductor and distributor slots and go from there. I can’t wait for my essentially brand new form rollers to go bad.

The ductor and distbutor rollers should be harder than the form rollers. Since the windmill ink train is small in terms of ink roller recovery and only has a few rollers it is improtant they be in good condition. We had put our oldest rollers in the dutor and distributor positions and while they worked OK we had some issue with good ink coverage. After replacing them with new proper rollers we noticed a big difference. Old cracked or worn rollers cannot transfer a clean consistant ink flow and though it looks like it is working the amount of ink is not the same.