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Tips & Tricks: Ink and Dampening Solution in Balance 2

Illustration 1: Soaked dampening rollers lead to uneven dampening transfer.
Perfect print results require ideally set machines. The test forms from Fogra and Heidelberg offer effective support by highlighting typical problems and their causes in the print image.

The first part of the article (see HN 265) showed that ink and dampening solution can be very closely regulated and balanced with a dampening control test form. But the advantages of test forms as offered by Fogra and Heidelberg are nowhere near exhausted with this alone.
Normally they reveal a range of other deficits in the materials or settings and provide valuable references to needed maintenance work.
Illustration 2: Uneven dampening transfer due to dirt in the dampening unit.
Recognizing and Solving Problems.

The test forms are particularly helpful when it comes to typical problem cases and their solutions. This includes:

  • Dirt and chalky deposits in the inking unit
  • Excessive ink input in the dampening unit
  • Chrome and watering-pan rollers due to wrong alignment as well as unsuitable dampening rollers
  • Damaged and soaked dampening rollers (Ill. 1)
  • Impaired transfer of dampening solution due to dirt in the dampening unit (Ill. 2)
  • Strong ghosting from wrong dampening solution additives and settings (Ill. 3)
Illustration 3: Excessive dampening and ghosting due to incorrectly set dampening unit and unfavorable dampening solution additive.
In a Nutshell:

In a nutshell, it can be said that dampening control test forms are a verifiably suitable aid for correctly setting the printing press. In addition, they ensure stabile print production because they simplify the selection of the correct inks and dampening solution additives. In addition, a test form helps to achieve a stabile balance of ink and dampening solution throughout the entire production process. It's therefore no wonder that more and more print shops are taking advantage of this opportunity. Heidelberg's test form for regulating ink and dampening isn't just standard in the installation of a new machine, but also when irregularities are noticeable in tough daily business and customers report problems in the inking/dampening unit.
Illustration 4: Partially uneven smeared image due to incorrectly set dampening unit.
How can print shops get the test form?

The test form is part of a corresponding service carried out by a Fogra representative including checking the settings of a printing press on site.
The process is similar at Heidelberg. A service representative visits, brings the inking and dampening control test form from Heidelberg and uses it to perfectly set the machine. In addition, the customers receive instruction in how to use and interpret the form.
You can receive further information on the test forms in conjunction with the respective services either from your Heidelberg representative
- or at
Fogra from Ulrich Schmitt,
Tel.: +49 (0) 89-43182-337,
E-mail: schmitt@fogra.org

Illustration 1: Soaked dampening rollers lead to uneven dampening transfer.
Illustration 2: Uneven dampening transfer due to dirt in the dampening unit.
Illustration 3: Excessive dampening and ghosting due to incorrectly set dampening unit and unfavorable dampening solution additive.
Illustration 4: Partially uneven smeared image due to incorrectly set dampening unit.

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