Heidelberg 10x15 Windmill gripper delivery problem

I am printing my first job on a red ball windmill. It is more like stumbling problem after problem than printing. It is quite enjoyable as long as I keep telling myself that I am gaining experience through tackling these problems.

However I am very stuck when one of the gripper is failing to deliver the paper from the platen. I tried adding masking tapes to the gripper but it does not help.

Is there anything I can do to fix this?

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Move the press manually by turning the wheel, with power off and observe how deep the paper edge goes into the gripper, if the gripper grabs the paper, before you add to much tape.

Thanks for your prompt reply, but the problem of my machine lies in gripping the paper for the second time, it is after the impression, delivery from the platen.

I see no problem when it takes the piece from the paper pile. That’s why it’s so annoying. For every time the paper leaves in the platen I have to plug my hand into the platen and take out the paper. It’s like semi-auto feeding.

I guess the gripper is also releasing the paper a bit too early, as the printed image is not in register.

as each of the grippers takes the sheet from the feeder, stop the machine and draw a pen line across the gripper edge of the paper, check the two sheets of paper, if you have more grip on one gripper compared to the other it may be that the gripper carrier is damaged, when you run the machine off register guides does the machine have good register.if you need any further help do not hesitate to contact whittenburg inc, 615 212 0015

Make sure you have the feeder side stanchion set the correct distance from the left dependant on having which type of lay blocks you are using, check for first attempts that you have the feed board square ( the board that the grip edge rests on in the feeder ) .
Always run more than one sheet to test as the first sheet off the feed pile often miss lays .
Add a small strip of double sided tape to the top surface of the right hand most headlay and have another go .
It does help to know what stock you are printing on .
Check that you have not got the side lay screw right out to the right it it best kept about the middle of its travel so that the gripper still has a good bit of material to grasp as it leaves the platen.
Check too that the grippers make a contact all along their length test by picking up a sheet at the feeder and when it is in the gripper give the sheet a tug and see if it lets the sheet go easier at one end ,test both .
Put a bold mark on the gripper that you know is not picking up the sheet and do several attempts to see if it is always the same gripper that is failing to pick up .
I would bet on it being your side lay is too far out to the right and your sheet is not moving to the right as the headlays come up because they are slipping (the sheet) as they rise and are not driving the sheet along the platen to the right lay

Could static create a problem? I’ve had times depending on the stock that static has caused problems…and as mentioned before the side guide could be too close towards the platen and cause the sheet to “bounce” back so it wouldn’t be in position for the gripper to grab it. Ron

How I wish Briar Press sharing of knowledge could have been available in the year 1965! But the experience then may give a pointer to today’s probs? [I was not a printer, I was a type-setter.]

The owner of the weekly newspaper where I worked then had bought an auto-fed press near-new and second-hand from a very large commercial printing shop. :( Press made in Germany.

An air blast separated the sheets, and a vacuum gripper lifted the sheet and laid it on a sloping surface, overlapping sheets. I think gravity [and perhaps vibration] slid the sheets down the slope, then grippers fed the sheet into the cylinder press. Often, the press would run OK at about 3000 per hour, sometimes misfeeds would occur, and nobody on the staff of about 8 had any clues.

The boss went on holiday, his stand-in got about 600 [six hundred] impressions out in 14 hours, then for no apparent reason the press began turning out 3000 per hour. I presume they told the boss when he returned, but it wasn’t my department. It seems the boss did not have any ideas, he had probs at times.

But now I wonder if there was some difference in the “humidity” of the paper as the machine worked its way through the stack on the feed table? Perhaps there is a test for static electricity; do the sheets tend to cling together? Were we in a dryer climate than Germany?

Do some hobbyists experiment? That’s the path much of radio (especially the American Radio Relay League) progressed into the short-wave bands) as the amateurs pointed the way for commercial radio.


On occasion we’ve used baby powder on the end of sheets to help with static or when stock has glue. Peeling type labels have glue and may stick together, but with fanning the sheets and the powder it’s not so much of a problem. Sometimes if the labels have glue and need to be cut before running they cut them upside down. Ron

Our take on self adhesive labels is to load the guillotine, bring down the clamp then sprinkle french chalk along the cut line (Talcum Base ) take a cut then fan the stack and repeat for all cuts . this will help stop the sheets sticking and reduce the build up of goo on the rear of the blade.
If you are going to print on any auto fed press you fan the stack spreading the edge you are going to grip and sprinkle that edge as above and load into the press. This helps prevent build up on the packing or cutting plate as well as in grippers and feedboard heads .
The thread this starts at is not clear enough as he hasnt put the stock in the info so we could be barking at nothing !
I sent a question to them off line but have had no response , i like to see if the help has been a help and people not putting up a yes it worked or no it did not, as no feedback kind of defeats the object of bothering to answer the queries in the first place .
I see this site as a kind of payback , not filling the results into the thread strikes me as a bit unfair to those who may benefit from the answers given .
I think he has bad lays caused by the head lay too far to the right and maybe sheet slip on the front lays (the Brasses Or nickels) , I am watching the thread as i too like to know the answers as even at this period of life i learn more ,everyone works in their own way once you get the basics right ,i have seen stuff here i have never seen before you have different presses for a start which sometime s makes my response invalid but hey we all have gaps in the knowledge !

Hi everyone. This is my first post and the replies makes me want to post more. It doesn’t mean I want to bump into more troubles with the presses, though.

The answer is a wrong timing in gripper opening and closure, probably caused by my head. Why? Because my head hit it, one of the bolt went lose. Then I think it is something that I could tinker with to improve registration. That bolt fixes the length of a lever which controls the time and position of gripper opening. Therefore my trouble arises.

I live in Hong Kong. It is now summer time. With over 90% humidity we don’t have to worry about static, but I may have to wrap the paper stock with packaging plastics to prevent them from absorbing water like a piece of sponge.

I called the technician to fix the problem. Then he gave me a crash course in running the press. Now I know the importance of fixating the paper stock column to printing at perfect register. Before then I thought the gauges would do all the things to put the paper in place, now I know the paper column position (yea, too far right) and paper column fixture are keys to point accuracy! Now I can print white ink trice on the card stock and see no sign of mis-register. The sad thing is that I fed all the paper to the windmill demon to learn this lesson. I have to order another pile of paper stock to complete the job.

Sweet… point accuracy. Makes me smile at the thought of it . Please forgive my delay in reply because I am so eager to try out my new knowledge. I will reply sooner when I am able to print full-time in the future, as I am a freelance photographer at the moment, and I am a part-time shop attendant, too. One job for ink and paper, another for rice and drinks.

Some postscript.

Reading trouble shooting treads is somewhat similar to reading detective fiction. I definitely agree with Mr Luckhurst that one should post a reply to the thread. I hope I am not too late to full-fill this obligation.

90% humidity?


One more note. Upon inspection the tube for air blast to the paper column has been disconnected. Their bad. I cursed the mechanic in my heart for a brief moment as he is responsible to the assembly of my press. Only a brief moment.

Dont blame anyone for the hose problem ,for some reason a lot of the hoses are fitted to steel pipe that has no grip grooves on them and the combination of oil and age make them notorious for failure , i spent over half hour at a local museum scratching my head trying to work out why there was no vacuum at the sucker bar only to find the hose from the pump to the steel pipe beneath the front ofthe machine was disconnected and laying on the floor . Had it been a little quieter in the building i would have recognised the noise it was making but as i said 1/2 hr of head scratching !!!

Similar situation here! Shame on the ambient sound! My radio is on high volume while we found the disconnected hose. Now I added a steel ring to fasten it.

You are learning , eventually you will get to understand what the sounds are telling you , every machine makes its natural noise the more time you spend on it the easier its going to become . be patient .

yup I thought the H sounded a lot different on Sat after you had mended it…!