August 08, 2005

Running #5 1/2 envelopes on a 1360? Impossible? P'shaw!


Yes, I was actually able to run 10,000 little coin envelopes through my Multigraphics 1360 printing press!

I wish I'd taken a picture of that jury-rigged machine. Not only to show you what it looked like, but to have a record for if/when the customer re-orders them.

Without going into megadetails -- which I tried to do yesterday resulting in the most long-winded, tedious description of simple mechanical baubles imaginable -- I'll just give a brief overview. Sort of a photo put to words. Hopefully not a thousand of 'em.

The problems I identified on thursday and the solutions to them that I found on Friday:

Problem: The back paper guide of the elevator (that keeps the pile of envelopes in a pile) can't get within 3 1/8" of the front guides (sheet seperators).

Solution: I made a back "spring guide" out of stiff cardboard by cutting a strip about 4" long and slipping through a convieniently placed slot in the paper guide's crossbar assembly. (Use your imagination. Like I said, no long tedious explanations here...) and used masking tape to secure it in place. The vertical strip of cardboard kept a nice moderate pressure on the back of the envelope pile, keeping it snugly up against the front guides (sheet seperators).

Problem: The guide wheel, due to the construction of the assembly and crossbars that keep it in place, can't get within 4" of the stop fingers.

Solution: I disassembled my other press' guide wheel assembly (a Multi 1250), and got rid of the obnoxious "shoulder" that a) keeps it secure on the crossbars and b) keeps it from reaching the edge of the 3 1/8" long envelope. Masking tape and a spare bolt from my nuts n' bolts can helped to fix it to the assembly ju-u-u-u-st close enough to reach the envelope.

The next problem was that I couldn't set it low enough to actually apply some pressure to the guide belt that was spinning under the envelope. No pressure means the envelope is not being kept snug against the stop fingers. I had to tilt the thing so that the wheel ran low, but that meant the the rear wheel would sit atop the other crossbar, not on the guide belt, leaving only that one forward wheel actually riding on the guide belt. This left the next problem intact:

Problem: The space between the pullout wheels and the guide belts is about 5", meaning that the pullout wheels are essentially tossing the envelopes onto the register board resulting in all manner of flappy, crooked, fall-as-they-may envelopes ambling through.

Solution: I disassembled the rest of the 1250's guide wheel assembly and masking taped the bars and wheel to set right at the lead edge of the register board's guide belts. There was still some room between the pullout wheels and that new guide wheel, but the floppiness was brought down to a minimum.

Problem: The paper height control bar hits at the very back edge of the envelope pile, causing the top of the pile to flop around rediculously.

Solution: This could not be solved. The bar is adjustable, but it was already as far forward as it was going to go. As luck would have it, it didn't cause a problem with keeping the envelopes below the sheet seperators so long as I kept the pile height at it's lowest possible setting.

Problem: The left oscillating register guide can only reach the last 1/4" or so of the envelope once it meets the stop fingers -- making the envelope not set squarely -- and the right spring guide can't reach it at all.

Solution: I simply taped strips of stiff cardboard to the side guides to extend them closer to the elevator frame. Duh.

It was a lot of trial and error at first. F'rinstance, I realized that I had to "coat" the cardboard on those last register side guides with scotch tape to make 'em slick enough so as not to impede the smooth flow of the envelopes. (Raw, bear cardboard can be quite un-slick.) But, when all was set in place, the envelopes ran like butter on Daisy Dukes.

Customer is picking up the envelopes up in the morning. Bossman is very pleased. Sometimes I just love my job.

Posted by Tuning Spork at August 8, 2005 10:47 PM | TrackBack


By the way, do you use the email address that you leave in my comments boxes? I have written back to it but never heard back from you. I wanted to drop you a line to thank you for being my 3000th comment since I moved to MuNu!

Posted by: RP at August 9, 2005 10:29 AM
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