Scratches and Hickies on the plates. please help. Heidelberg Di Quickmaster

Discussion in 'DI Presses' started by mpddadld, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. mpddadld

    mpddadld New Member

    Nov 2006
    scratches and hickies. please help.


    new to the game here, but we are being attacked by scratches on the plates and hickies. the mechanics are now starting to blame the dust in the room or the ceiling first the plate cleaners were not getting water which they fixed, but that did not take care of the scratches. A work around is to clean the plate by hand, but we are still getting hickies, and the washup program is not doing it for us. Is it possible the Scratches AND the Hickies are being caused by dust particles in the air? Heidelberg Di Quickmaster is the press i'm running. Checking the ink to see if it is loaded with dust... Can running to much powder cause this problem???? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. macke

    macke Member

    Dec 2006
    qmdi scratches

    Most scratches happen at imaging of plates with the black plate being the worse offender on the classic model. After pulling out my hair with scratches and hickeys for over a year I have overcome the problems just by changing a few things. The first thing was to change the bar pressure for the plate cleaners which are set at 5.0. That is Heidelbergs recommendation. It now sits on 3.5. which still cleans the plates but with less pressure.
    I manually spool the black plate always, with the vacuum taken out as scratches can occur with spooling, with bits of dust and silicion which sits on the vacuum. This is only on the classic model as on the later 2 models the vacuums move in and out.
    Most important now is the dampness of the wash up cloths. The manual says to do 5 pumps. Forget it. I now pump 20 times and make sure the cloth is really wet, almost swimming. On the black plate wash cloth especially I will either manually wind it forward to make sure it is clean or for the first job of the day I will do a short wash on the old plates.
    Once a week I blast the machine from top to bottom with air and then wipe it all down. Including the feeder
    Now for hickeys, I have managed to get them under control. I changed my ink to DRY RICH SOY, a japanese ink. It is great. It prints great and dries a treat. It is most important that you clean by hand number 7 roller (hard roller) as this is where most of the dry ink sits. It is a bit of a pain but once you get it clean it saves alot of headaches. Get a torch out and see just how much dried ink sits there. Also there is a flat bar under roller no 4. Dust and grime sits there and easily falls down. I use a steel ruler and bookbinding tape to clean it.
    2 out of 3 jobs in the past would result in plate scratches, now it is rare. If I do get one I use the the Toray ST-1 to get rid of it.
    A little bit of maintenance goes a long way. so does the extra water on the the washup cloths
    It is good if you can limit dust and dirt in the factory, but it is not really the answer. Hope this helps.
  3. mirve

    mirve Senior Member

    May 2007
    from Switzerland Heidelberg Quickmaster CLASSIC,PRO,PLUS digital machines!!!!


    only 3,4 mio imprs


    as new very good condition

    PRICE: 113.000 Euro loaded on truck.


    AGE: 1996




    Price: 33.000 euro loaded on truck.

    We have available:

    -Video of machine

    -Heidelberg Report



    new to the game here, but we are being attacked by scratches on the plates and hickies. the mechanics are now starting to blame the dust in the room or the ceiling first the plate cleaners were not getting water which they fixed, but that did not take care of the scratches. A work around is to clean the plate by hand, but we are still getting hickies, and the washup program is not doing it for us. Is it possible the Scratches AND the Hickies are being caused by dust particles in the air? Heidelberg Di Quickmaster is the press i'm running. Checking the ink to see if it is loaded with dust... Can running to much powder cause this problem???? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]
  4. mirve

    mirve Senior Member

    May 2007

    about different between Classic and Plus model. "I have a wealth of knowledge for you... Either
    machine is a good choice, although there are some differences you should be
    made aware of. The Classic machine has 8 ink keys instead of the 12 that the
    Plus model has. This is not a huge difference, but in some instances it
    proves to make some jobs easier. The ink fountain in the Classic has ink
    liners which can be removed an thrown out for a fast clean up. The Plus
    machine does not have these and takes a little longer to clean. It is hard to
    say which one is an advantage, some say not having to buy ink liners is
    cheaper, my personal feeling is most people do not clean the Plus/Pro version
    ink fountain properly or quickly which ends up costing the same price as
    liners in chemicals and time. Imaging time is 9 minutes on the Classic and 6
    minutes on the Plus machine. This proves to be the biggest difference in
    terms of production. Depending how efficient your pressman is, this
    difference could affect your recievables. There also is a difference in the
    feeder, on the Plus machine it disengages duriing imaging due to the
    high imaging speeds thus reducing wear to parts. The Classic machine does not
    have this feature because the imaging speeds are lower. The Vacuum extraction
    units for plate silicone are much easier to service on the Plus version and
    have a tendency to keep hickeys out of the ink rollers. It is my personal
    opinion you can make money with either machine, the pressman will make
    the difference."
  5. maynard105

    maynard105 New Member

    Jun 2007
    Also, be sure to use Heidelberg branded wash-up cloth material..........the after market brand is no good ......oh yeah also check vacuum head ....silicone can build up fast leading to scatches and hickies
  6. boytoy

    boytoy New Member

    Jul 2007
    Best place to look for "crap" Is on the gap guards. Make sure there is NOTHING behind thew little black roller. I take mine apert once a moth and clean it. If the wash-up is messy the ink will dry behind that roller thus when the plate advances the dried ink will scratch it.
    Tust me I have had enough assclowns putting too much wash up fluid on here and making a mess. Worst ones will be Black and yellow units
  7. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    Mar 2008
    BDS Copy Inks, Albany NY, USA
    I may be talking Apples and Oranges here but I had a huge scratch problem on my Presstek 5334 DI and, after much hunting and testing found out that the rubber "bladder" on the wet towel plate cleaning unit on tower 1 was swollen to a point that it would make contact with the plate as it was running, building up a bunch of ink on the towel material and when the press was stopped would transfer the ink back on the blanket. Also some of the ink would dry a bit and when it made contact it would scratch the plate from one end to the other. The work around was to manually advance the towel material after a new set of plates was imaged and when the press stopped to re-load paper, I manually inched it so the towel bar was on the gap between plates on the cylinder. to replace the rubber bladder the Tech said the unit was $4,000 USD (kinda high, but it was NOT considered a consumable, so it was Presstek's dime).

    My 2¢
  8. ahmedmaher74

    ahmedmaher74 Member

    Sep 2016
    United States
    Hi, can u please send picture of what you are talking about here.. I think I have a problem and you just described the proper solution like 8 years ago..
  9. Bill Borcicky

    Bill Borcicky Senior Member

    Jul 2012
    U.S. Amory, Ms.
    Everyone has made great points on this issue, I have seen all of them. It may be a pain in the rear, but you'll have to clean everywhere and everything that gets close to the plates. ink builds up in all little areas and even those rubber pads need to be changed out occasionally, had to do that on my press before as well.
    The spray powder needs to be fine. I had tried regular powder from our other offset presses once, big mistake ! It did not create scratches on the plate when it was being made, however the powder did scratch the plates when I run the stock back through the press.
  10. Paul Cavanaugh

    Paul Cavanaugh Senior Member

    Dec 2009
    Kennesaw, GA
    I am reposting this from a thread a couple of months ago...

    I agree with Blueslal, if you do not pre wet the cloths in the morning your first plates will typically scratch. The money you think you are saving by not buying wash up clothes is probably being wasted in the time you are paying your press operator to wash them by hand. If you are not worried about time and your labor costs are low, then maybe it is less expensive than buying the cloths.

    In my experience the plate that scratched the most was the 1st unit. This is because the paper dust and powder settles in the guard. When the guard is slammed shut or dropped it makes the dust fall onto the washup cloth and scratch the plate. Make sure to keep the inside of the 1st units guards clean.

    I wrote this back in 2003 concerning scratches:

    There are many things that can cause plate scratches, the most common being dirt. First, lets explain the mechanical items that could cause a scratch.

    On the classic machines the vacuum unit in the first unit which is responsible for removing excess silicone is a culprit. This unit is difficult to remove at best, as a result it gets dinged up due to the fact it is made of aluminum. This unit will scratch the plate during the loading process if there are burrs or dried ink on it. When the plate loads it must release first, when this happens the plate material actually comes off of the plate cylinder 2 or 3 mm very briefly. At this moment it touches the vacuum unit and scratches the tail end 4 inches of the plate. This is an easy one to identify for 3 reasons:

    1. The scratches are about 4 inches long on the tail.
    2. They are always on the first unit.
    3. They are always in the same place.

    This problem does not happen on the Plus or the Pro machine as the vacuum units were redesigned, for easier removal and to move closer to the plate mechanically during the cleaning process.

    The next mechanical issue is the plate wash cloths themselves. The early material Heidelberg originally used had short grain, it ran from side to side. Because of this it would stretch during the clean up process causing wrinkles in it. This wrinkles would come up high enough to drag on the plate while the press was running. This would scratch the plate during the press run. Also this plate wash cloth was notorious for having fibers come loose and drag on the plate causing the same problem. Once again this problem is easy to identify. Any time you have a plate scratch that is not apparent during make-ready and appears during the run it is due to something dragging on the plate. The location of the scratch will be random. We have not used this style of cloth since 1997, although it is still available through aftermarket companies and is used by quite a few QMDI shops. They may be a bit less expensive than the ones we sell, but that savings is offset by the plate re-burns they are responsible for. The way to tell the difference between the aftermarket ones and ours is that ours have dimples in them to reduce loose fibers and the grain runs long to stop stretching.

    If the air pressure is too high for the plate cleaning pistons (these actually press the plate wash cloth against the plate). You will get scratches consistently on all units in random places. The adjustment for this next to the console by the delivery on the operator side (You will have to move the console). It should be set between 3 and 4.5 bars.

    If the plate scratches look like Morse code (Dots and dashes) , you more than like have a problem with the black rubber covered shaft not spinning freely on the plate gap guard.

    The last mechanical issue is the foam rubber strip on the plate wash mechanism itself. This strip gets damaged due to the pressman trying to save a buck. The plate wash material will run out, instead of changing it right away the pressman will reset the count knowing that there are about 4 more cleanings left. He forgets he did this and runs the unit free of cloth. Now instead of the cloth hitting the, plate the foam hits it and gets ripped off of the device. (I have seen the tail end of the cloth wrap around a plate cylinder by a pressman doing this and pull the whole mechanism out of the brackets. 25K repair tag on this mistake, all in the name of saving 2 dollars and some change.) When the press operator orders the new foam to install he needs to glue it to the bar. We recommend using Loctite 406 for this, as it is a type of superglue which dries sort of rubbery. Typically the operator uses superglue instead, some of it gets on the outside of the foam and hardens. This hardened glue now scratches the plate during wash up. These scratches are identified as being in the same place, going from gripper to tail and noticeable at make-ready. Usually they are very dark.

    The main reason for plate scratches is the this… Dirt. All it takes is a piece of dried ink, powder, or dust to scratch a plate. The first unit is where 90% of the scratches happen. This is because there is typically powder and paper dust everywhere as the feeder is rarely ever vacuumed or cleaned on any regular basis. Take a look at the guard on this unit, when you open it you will see powder on it. If you accidentally drop the guard, all of that powder and dust comes free and settles on the plate wash cloth which is exposed. (The other cleaning units are in the press under the cylinders so they do not collect the amount of dust the first unit does.) This causes random light scratches at startup. If you keep the guard and feeder area clean it will reduce scratches dramatically.

    Another thing most people notice, is that after the press sits for the weekend and the first job is burned on Monday, plate scratches are apparent on the first unit. This is because dust settled on the cloth over the weekend and the lines which supply the wash-up solution are dry. I recommend to prime the lines in special function 12 on each unit a couple of times and to advance the plate cloths by manually starting the plate cleaning mode and hitting the stop button as soon as it starts. You will hear the clothes advance three times after you hit the stop button. By doing this you will have a new cloth ready to go and solution in the lines.

    I have been working on this machine since 1996. I have done countless shows with new and used machines, not too mention how many I have worked on in the field. Plate scratches are rarely an issue, if I had to place a number on them I would say 1 in every 20 plates will get scratched, as we cannot control every piece of dirt there is in a print shop. I have used the plate washers in every situation. The only time I suggest to turn them off is to hand wipe a large solid, then I start the wash up program to finish up (this prevents silicone from getting in the rollers causing hickeys.). I never use them to clean hickeys from the plate during a run, more than likely whatever is on the plate causing the hickey is something that will scratch the plate if you use the hickey cleaning mode (I affectionately call this the " Plate scratcher mode".). Just wipe it off by hand, it only takes a minute which is much less than having to re-burn a plate.

    Hopefully this long winded explanation will help you get a handle on your scratches.

    Paul Cavanaugh
    DI Technical Support

  11. MacD

    MacD Member

    Nov 2016
    Sounds like pre soaked microfiber and lint free cleaning clothes could help the hickies. Curious with the scratches are continuous around the plate as form rollers would need to be replaced as they are imbedded with a debris of sorts. Scratches will start like dots ....... and then continue to be ---- until they make a solid line top to bottom. If they are occurring during a run something is building up and dragging on the plate or maybe not plates at all, slap bars and air bars could be culprits making it look like scratches in work. I deal with tons of scratches on a komori and it's always because of our plate hangers, so instead of cleaning the machine and the APC, we gum plates in known problem areas because we are never given time to fix these issues. Our scratches are always on the front edge of the plate and on every single unit. It's hard to think that these scratches can occur during runs with out continuous gripper to tail scratch lines. Just sounds to me that it is during the hanging process for scratches or handling. Hickies can be ink and water related, maybe a LT type of ink that way if a hickies does come around it will quickly work its way off the plate. Once again, I am a komori man. I could be completely off on everything I said haha. Also with this post being in 2006, if his problem still consists, they are probably doing a different form of business or problem is solved. Hopefully this helps many others with same types of issues.
Similar Threads
  1. ahendriks
  2. dek1
  3. Rickatrpi