Rollers losing ink on first plate and leaving trace

This problem is with my Jobber No. 7, I have just wasted my day trying everything I could think of and save turning my plates vertically, but I will have to have a slightly larger alu base cut. Basically I am using polymer plates on an aluminum base and two rollers (considering purchasing a third) van sons rubber based inks. There is a small text graphic at the bottom of the plate and then a larger circle graphic around 4 cm wide. I get fair coverage except for the top of the circle has a ghost of the text graphic transferring from the roller.

I tried taping the rails where the text graphic lies on the base invade it was taking too much ink for some reason but this resulted in too little ink on this point. I also tried using a big more ink than usual and then deploying the ink scraping tray below but this didn’t help either.

Any ideas? I have attached a picture so you can see what I mean. On the top of the circle you can see the word ‘wishes’

image: photo-1.JPG


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it’s faint but you can see it on second glance.

Can you rotate the job 90 degrees in the chase?


It is a common problem where there is text near a solid and that is why platens used to produce art work may have 3 or 4 rollers. For a two roller press the solution is often the addition of a steel rider roller that sits against the two inking rollers. As suggested above the alternative is to rotate the job so the text and solid are not inked by the same section of roller.

I assume that you are running the job so the rollers are going up and down on the photo, and that the image area is smaller in diameter than the circumference of your rollers (about 6 inches high top to bottom for 2 inch diameter rollers). If the rollers are smaller in diameter or the total image area height is more than 6-1/4 inches, your text area is stripping the rollers of ink. If the image is smaller or the rollers larger than that, what may be happening is that the rollers are spinning a bit so that the text image area is shifted from the down stroke of the rollers and is lifting some ink off the plate.

However, if the photo is turned 90 degrees from the position of the plate in the press, I can only guess that the text area is stripping ink from the ink disc and the disc rotation isn’t carrying that area far enough to clear the image area of the rollers. If that is the case you could try running the press slowly enough so you can spin the disc a little, maybe a quarter turn, while the rollers are off it, to give them fresh ink.


Thanks guys, I think I will for now order that larger alu base that will allow me to turn my design 90 degrees. Good idea Bob, but I will be printing about 250 of this particular one as it is one of my Xmas cards so I am going to give the manual turning a miss. The roller rider I’d interesting though as I have heard it if also used to fix ghosting on larger areas, what do they cost or , what I mean I suppose is are they something that can be made to fit? Anyone got one of those I wonder, or for that matter a third roller for the no. 7?

I believe in attending to the cause of a problem rather than catering to the symptom. I think turning 90 degrees would be my first attempt. A third roller would probably help also.
If the run was not too long and I really wanted to get the work out, I might cater to the symptom. I would cut one part of the plate away. Either the graphic or the text. Print that part. Then replace the part that was cut away, remove the part first printed, and print the second part.
Not very sophisticated, but you can get the work out. You have to be a little smarter than the press and help it.

Have you tried double rolling, and spinning the ink disk in between the time the rollers hit?

Thanks DTP, I tried double rolling but it didn’t help,

The heighth of the rollers can also affect the ink stripping, as can the consistency of the ink, and the temperature in the shop. This sounds like one of those times when you try everything possible. You might have better luck with an oil-based ink that rolls out soft.


Stuck a card in the press this morning and gave the wheel a whirl… no ghosting image showing up, granted I have to give it two passes, but yellow isn’t my favorite color on the press and usually needs a little more care.
I guess it was the ink and perhaps the studio was too warm yesterday. Thanks everyone for your input.

was only repeating what others had said

rubber based ink was formulated
for quick print business
using offset duplicators
so they could go for days without washing up