Rider Roller on Windmill

Is there a trick to setting the rider roller in the correct position on a Heidelberg Windmill?

I always try to set it to make light contact, but haven’t been guessing right. If I’ve tightened the bolts too much, the tension pulls up the trucks from the rails on the return. Then I loosen the bolts and the bracket’s rotated 90 degrees 50 sheets into the stack. If I have to set it up each time, will I eventually get a feel for it or is there some trick to it?

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There is a prior discussion about the rider roller in the system that may help. I am confused about the the tightening of the bolt and the bracket moving. Something sounds wrong and you should stop using the roller now until it is resolved. The bolt should not be loose and the bracket should not move. Maybe post a picture of how you have the roller mounted.

Wait you started the prior thread I was talking about. The best way I found to set the roller is to get the job setup to run. With the rollers set where you want them bring the roller carriage down onto the plate so the rollers are on top of the image. This way your rollers are flexed and the rails are at the printing height in a printing position. I found the rider as a solid shaft and roller tends to bind the two shaft are together making them less independent to each other as they print. I give a light touch to the one side so the roller will ink and a little weaker contact to the other side. I actually stopped using the rider roller because I was getting inconsistent results and roller was acting like a brake slowing the roller spin and causing them to lift of.f

Thanks for the help. At it’s worst it’s been doing this in the picture, just completely lifting the trucks off the rails. It’s good to know I’m not the only one having problems getting consistency with this thing. I’ll try setting the rider up the way you suggest on top of the image.

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Actually I had stopped using it. I felt that is was acting like a break causing roller to skid not turn instead of a inking roller. As my rollers hit the bottom and then reversed direction to come back up I had a strange ghosting going on and thought the rider could not change direction fast enough. I had tried in the middle and shifted on both rollers as a single contact. I never saw what your pic showed and I did not think was was even possible or I may have tried more. I would think contact on the bottom roller with light pressure might be best, might push the first roller back down. At one point I tried to find a way to secure it but also keep it sort of loose so it did not fuse to 2 roller arms to each other. It was funny because I only noticed it when I want to change the rollers to do numbering. I was used to pulling each arm independently but could not move them as easily with the rider roller in place. Your pic gave me an idea. Now I want to find a way to secure to roller but let it move with the ink roller, sort of loose spring loaded if that makes sense.

That is exactly the problem I’ve been having once I finally adjust it to the correct contact. The top and middle of the print is gorgeous, and the bottom is slurred, like the rollers are just stuck on the way up.

I think the pic is just the result of tightening it too much on the right side. I was hoping there was a trick to set up, so it wouldn’t be so back and forth on adjusting the bolts into the correct spot every job. Oh well haha

I’m looking at your roller arm in your picture and wonder if the problem is lack of lubrication, the arm looks quite rusty and trying to copy your picture relative to where the the gripper is on the platen my arm is fully retracted into the casting. Also as you say the rollers are not sitting on the track, have you checked the roller housing is well lubed and able twist freely? Photo showing my roller arm

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Hi guys, I run most jobs to register and had the same problem. The bottom part of the image was slurred. At least 2 presses had the same issue so a good thing I guess. That was got me thinking about roller dragging rather than spinning. For that reason I put it on top roller but still no good result and took it of. I had wondered if it would work better on a job that was not run to register and the roller contact would be higher up in the form giving the rollers a chance to spin freely again.

Frank -I did grease and oil the arm feeling the amount of tension was a problem but nothing changed.

chuckles- see if your arm tension changes when the roller is in place verses not in place. I found the arms more rigid to each other with the roller in and the arms not acting independently. I did not expect the rider roller to change the arm spring tension like it did. I thought is was just me as I can F things better than most men can. I am going to take another look at this and MacGyver the roller to see if I can get it work.

Not a Windmill guy, but I’ve been setting rollers on platen and cylinder for nearly 50 years. My advice is, make sure form roller to form must be perfect. Metal and photopolymer forms are not equivalent: lowest roller contact for worn metal forms, less for new metal forms, least for photopolymer.
For roller-to-roller settings, the jerk-stripe is effective. After inking, stop the press, let sit, then do a brief advance by flywhell or inch button. The contact point will show on the roller surface, and best width varies with roller diameter and position. 1/8” or less for most of the formats here, least for small diameters, more for larger diameters.
Another roller setting can be done with feelers. Paper or plastic strips are placed between distributor rollers at each end, and gently pulled to judge tension.
That said, lubrication seems likely, and if lubrication has been lacking, smoothing of worn parts.

My conclusion, having checked my windmill is either the side arm is partially seized or the roller holders are seized and not allowing the trucks to remain in contact with the bearers. However will put my rider roller in and take some pictures.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. The trucks only pull up when I have the rider roller on, not without. And yes, the carriage feels stiffer when it’s on.

My theory is the trucks are pulling up when the tension on the rider is off center, rider set too tight to the form rollers on the right, and then tightened with not enough contact on the left. Maybe? That’s why I’m having problems getting the feel for when it’s set correctly. When I reset the rider, the trucks go back down. But then sometimes won’t make good contact with the form rollers or loosen mid run, only hitting the bottom roller, etc. There’s a lot of back and forth with it to get it set right, and then I get to come back and do it all over again the next day. I will try the two methods suggested by parallel. I think that will help a lot.

Frank, it might also be a lubrication issue or a combo of the above with it. The press was sitting in a warehouse for some time. I’ll give it a good soak. A lot of the red/yellow paint has worn off so I may be missing some points when oiling.

Regarding the dragging, I’ve tried running the press very slowly, not sure of the speed because my dial is broken, but that seems to help the rider perform better.

This is out there. Try setting the job up first so your rails are correct for printing. Then set the rider with a piece of film to gap it away from the ink forms. I am wondering if when the form rolls over the base if the roller expands at all and then touches the rider roller. I am also wondering when the rollers get to the top of the cylinder if they will again compress and touch the rider re inking it. This way the rider gets ink but then only touches the rollers and when on the base. My thought is is the least amount of resistance to prevent the trucks binding but also added ink for printing. Kind of like a motorcycle at speed when you hit the only the front brakes and the back pops up.

Forget what I said - I was wrong.

I started having your problem but only on one side and I don’t use the rider roller. If the problem is only on one side the rider roller may sort of fuse them together effecting both sides. Today it started as an extra noise and slight click. I don’t like extra noises and clicks. I started with what frank said and oiled everything. I even loosed my rail tapped it away from the housing and flushed oil inside the rail and moved the rail adjustments back an forth until all the fifty years of crap was flushed out. The rails now move with ease and don’t bind when being adjusted. I had oiled the roller housing but decided to remove the rollers and hand check the roller housing. Sure enough the drive side was a little stiffer than the other side. I flooded it with oil worked it back and forth making sure I took to the farthest rotation it would go. After ten minutes I could flick it my pinky and there was no resistance at all. My guess hter was just enough crud inside to keep from freely moving. When the roller would switch direction it would lockup and twist away. While I had the rollers out I oiled I worked each arm by itself moving the piston in and out add oil, repeat and wipe away any crude. I tworks fine now bu thter eis aways tomorrow

Well done Western411 it good to know the lubrication worked and I suspect it may well solve the problem for Chuckles as well, my press is only used for hobby work these days so may well be over lubed but it doesn’t let me down.

This is good info, I may even try my rider roller again. If I can find it.

I want to try my rider roller again also. I could hear the one side click going up and a second later as the roller reversed and came but up there was sort of a slap when the one truck popped back down. I actually stopped the press at the point the sounds happened and saw the roller sort of sticking up on one end. I then turned off the power and rolled it by hand to see what was going on, cant stick you head in a moving windmill. I was getting a little weird slurring also no doubt from the roller carriage. I now wonder how many of the strange slurring print blogs are just this one silly thing, time will tell.

Just wanted to follow up on this now that I got the rider working in case it helps anyone down the line. My roller is shorter that the space between the trucks and leaves about 1/4 inch gap. I was tightening the bolts/bracket to close that gap, and it was just creating too much tension and throwing things out of whack. I got some washers to use as spacers and the trucks stay down on the rails now, everything nice and secure. I think the rider roller itself needed lubrication and that helped stop the slurring on the bottom of the print for me. Thanks for everyone’s feedback on this.

First, check the ball bearings to be certain that they turn freely. Caked grease in just one can make a roller skid.