Windmill horizontal feed issues

Hey there,
I’m learning on a red ball Heidelberg windmill and everything is going great. No issues I can’t work around except for feed. I set up a print and for some reason it is bouncing out of register from side to side but I cannot tell if it is a side guide issue, or gripper problem, maybe blowers? It isn’t bouncing in any consistent manner, and it moves both directions from side to side.

Running a 1964 red ball with guides using 118 Savoy, precreased and precut by our paper provider. I’ve run other jobs with no issues, but I’m thinking this has been happening for a while since before I started at this shop recently. Any help with this type of feed issue would be appreciated!

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Looking at your pictures one thing comes to mind, is that you are printing a Pre creased sheet, could it be that the sheet is moving because its not laying flat, maybe even riding up on the side lay? Is it worth testing your register on some flat waste paper and it putting it through the press twice to see if it overprints in register. Creasing after the printing is an easy operation. Let us know how you get on.

Suggest you use a guide pin, even a short one is better than none.

Nickel Plate Press

Hi again, looking at your pictures again, I was wondering about the bottom edge of your packing , with the blue tape and what appears to be a rather ragged edge of your top sheet. All that area needs to flat and smooth to allow the side lay to push the sheet smoothly into position. I also think the brass lay furthest away from the side lay should be slighty further out nearer the corner of the sheet. Hope this is of some help.

Frank makes a couple of excellent suggestions.

maestronick what is that blue tape for?


What they said and a few more. The top sheet with the blue tape is not going to help. The top sheet also looks like it was erased or is quite rough. It also looks like the head lay is against the top sheet which wont help. I also cant figure out what your printing plate is attached to. I find at times if I adjust the head stop to far right I can get mis registration and the same can happen if I go to far left I get head pop. I am sure how your lay bar is set. Trying to raise one side while lower the other for adjust can through things off. The point where the paper enters the lay guides is in part controlled by the side guides in the pick up. If the guides are to far in the sheet has to drop to far and when pushed to the head stop be in the wrong spot. See if the problem only happens on one gripper and not the other. Depending on how much packing you have you want to make sure the grippers let go of the sheet freely and dont drag when the sheet will drops. Just this week I had one gripper doing what you show on an embossing job, one on one off register. I discover ed my open gap was different on the two grippers. I regapped the one not working to match the one working and the problem was gone This meant both picked up the same, dropped into the guide in the same spot, hit the head stop the same. The lay guides in theroy should correct for a difference in the drop off point of the sheet. and push to the same head point. It doe not mean it will work that way, it is just supposed to.

Thanks everyone for responding.

Quick explanation as to why I was doing it this way.
Just started at a new job, great machine, but missing parts. I’m just now training on a windmill but I can run a Kluge foil press and C&P easily. It’s an adjustment, and super fun to finally get to run this windmill.

I know that I have the wrong tympan, so we have been using a half piece taped down. The frayed edge at the bottom was a torn piece so yes that was partially the culprit of the issue, along with the tape creating drag. Also the score is suspect. I am working with the system they started me with, but I am aware of some of these issues. Moving forward I’m definitely going to print flat sheets. Once we get a die (cut + score), I feel confident that should rid me of any more of these issues.

I ended up creating a fix by scoring the tympan I have and double-stick taping it on the outer bottom edge of the platten, and that eliminated almost 100% of the issue. Huge! I’m working on sourcing tympan bars, proper fitting tympan, and our boxcar base is ordered. (They had been using a homemade one which might have been ok on their old C&P, but once they upgraded to a windmill a few years back no one considered picking up a better base.)

I will take a look at the grippers, and double check my placement of guides as well because I have been overlooking that. Last week I was looking at up to 50% loss which is expensive and frustrating, but today I lost 0 in a run which is amazing, so I’ve gotten it up to speed until we buy the stuff we need.

Thanks so much for the input because it is those finer adjustments I’m still learning. Feeding different stock is my next battle, but I’m figuring out how to dial that in today.


All excellent suggestions - does the registration issue get better or worse with a faster speed? Is it every other one that is bouncing? If so it may be a gripper our of adjustment or a bad gripper. Using a pin is ideal to prevent the sheet from faling off the guide - disappearing guides are great if you can find them.

Western411 - how do I regap my gripper arms? I have discovered today that one had a wider gap and it isn’t picking up sheets after they are printed. I can’t find anything in the manual and mostly people online say that there are not adjustments other than bending it. Can I turn a screw or something to open and close the gap? If I run 118# and 220# should I adjust the gap for each stock? It seems to work picking up both thicknesses but the issue is with my 118# savoy mostly.

First make sure you don’t have the head stop to far forward. It can add to a problem of pickup after register. The grippers let go and then the lay bar pushes to register but that can push the sheet back to a point the gripper cant re-grab it.

Gripper gap: I stop the press with the good gripper at 12 o’clock. I measure the gap. To adjust the timing (opening) you loosen and adjust the turn buckle that mounts to the gripper arm control. To much opening could damage the gripper springs. This will adjust your gripper opening for both pickup and delivery. Assuming the springs are good on the gripper bars you don’t need to change it for different stocks. If the grippers springs are broken then this may not help.

Thanks western411, this was a super helpful fix. I found one gripper bar was one rotation more wide, and after fixing that much of my feeding issues were solved. It was throwing every other sheet and this solved that. Huge help.

Glad it worked. I am a master of doing things wrong and breaking things. Thats makes me good a fixing things and repairing what I break .