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Spraying cylinders for press damage

Apr 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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Recently I was asked for an opinion on the spraying of press cylinders for a press that was damaged — specifically, what that would do to the value of the press. An e-mail was sent to a group of my friends, and it elicited comments ranging from “no change” to “worthless.” I should have qualified the question in regard to the extent of the damage (and later did) and the fact that the press manufacturer stated that the cylinders needed replacement as well as many gears.

There are many items to be considered here (assume the damage is severe — a large wrench went through the press):

  • What is the age of the press? If it is under nine years old, I would replace cylinders. If the press is over nine years old and you plan on keeping it until its last days, and you are willing to take the risk, then have the cylinders sprayed. Likewise if the damage is small: Spray it.
  • If the damage is small, then spraying while the cylinders are in the press does work. The cylinder body will not be pretty, but it will print well and last. There is an issue for resale.
  • What is the quality level of your plant? If you are a high quality plant and the press is young, failing to replace damaged cylinders gives every press operator the perfect excuse for a poor job.
  • If you are not concerned about the cosmetic look of the cylinder, spraying is an option even for significant damage if the journal and shaft are not affected. Keep in mind that when you are trading in a press or selling it, a buyer spots a major repair — you know that the price does not go up. Every sharp buyer is going to have all packing and blankets pulled for an inspection. The really sharp buyer is then going to have all new blankets and packing placed on the press and breakaway dry solids pulled. Any damage will show at that point.

This is not to say that spraying for small “dings” is not OK. If the smash is small, spraying is fast and economical. There are many firms that will do this with cylinders in the press as no damage occurred to shafts for gears.

When all the opinions were in, the net result was this suggestion: Listen to the original press manufacturer. There is a gamble and there is a risk — what do you want to do?

Raymond J. Prince is a leading expert in pressroom technical and operational issues. He is vice president and senior consultant, operations management, NAPL (Paramus, NJ). Contact him at (605) 941-1492 or e-mail