28 October 2018 Analogue Printing Technologies

Koenig & Bauer expands service to cover roller conditions

Press manufacturer will take on roller setting, a job that takes time and expertise and which printers seem reluctant to take on.

Koenig & Bauer UK is introducing a Gold Star Roller Service, to fit and maintain rollers supplied by the press manufacturer. The move follows research to test demand for something that skilled press operators would previously have done.

The company has found that the requirement exists, part of a trend to optimise press performance with matched consumables on machine. Roller conditioning and setting is a logical extension of this. First customers have already signed up.

The requirement has grown owing to increased calcium build up on rollers, itself the consequence of papermakers using calcium carbonate in coatings. “The calcium hardens the surface of the rollers and affects performance,” says Craig Bretherton, K&B UK product marketing manager. “This increases demand for inspections, conditioning and improve overall roller life.”

The inspections can be arranged during scheduled downtime as part of a general maintenance programme. It will also fill a knowledge gap. Not every minder has the skills to set the rollers on print unit, nor perhaps the patience to carry this out. However, the company points out: “A press with rollers in poor condition or incorrectly set can cause major production and quality problems for printers. Resolving these problems can be time consuming and requires an identical skill set across all press crews.”

Koenig & Bauer will ensure that the rollers are set correctly when fitted, cutting unplanned downtime and consumable costs and increasing quality. The initiative was the idea of recent addition Ian Clarke, says Bretherton. The company has also recruited Mark Trinder to the service as project manager. He has joined the press supplier from customer Howard Hunt where he was shift manager.

Trinder fills a gap left when Paul Abraham moved across to the company’s metal decorating division, reporting into headquarters in Stuttgart.

“We have been looking for a while for the right person to fill Paul's shoes,” says Bretherton. “He has the right production experience we were looking for and has already hit the ground running.”

The role is to look after customers pre, post and during installations, working between scales and the service team headed by service director Peter Banks and where Graham Linton has recently become service manager.

Gareth Ward

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Koenig & Bauer will look after all press rollers, maintenance, setting and conditioning under a new service offered to its customers. It takes on a task that has been a time consuming in-house job as part of a scheduled maintenance programme.

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