Installation on airlifts is the answer
At one Manhattan printer, five sheet fed presses consume paper at a rate that leaves little time for conditioning. Cold skids, tightly compressed, carry a built-in static charge that increases as the paper moves through the presses.
The press room superintendent notes: “We use paper almost as fast as it’s delivered. If we had more storage space and could hold the skids for a longer period, we could reduce the static to some degree.” Meanwhile, jam-ups and trip-offs were causing lost press time.
The answer to the problem was installation of static eliminators on the airlifts.
A pair of ionizing air nozzles were tested on one press first. The nozzles were cylinders small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, ionizing air as it passes through.
Did the devices work?
Says the press superintendent: “We found that the pressmen were jumping the nozzles from press to press. Everybody wanted them, so we put them on all five presses.” That includes a pair of four-color 50” Miehles, a four-color 38” Harris, a two-color 38” Miehle and a one-color 29” Miehle.
Most of the firm’s work is high-quality jobs such as annual reports, four-color catalogs, and posters. The work produced via offset is about four times that of the letterpress department.
“With that kind of a load,” says the super, “it was a blessing to get rid of the static. It used to be that we blamed every feed problem on static. Now it’s the last thing we think about.”
The printer uses lightweight papers frequently, and it’s in this area that static created prime headaches. The super referred to the printing of an annual report on 35-lb. stock, designed to reduce mailing costs of the finished report.
“A skid of this stock has 14,000 sheets of paper,” he notes. “When you get near the bottom of a pile that big, there’s no air at all between the sheets. Pulling those sheets off one at a time creates a sliding action that builds additional static. We credit the manufacturer of the ionizing nozzles with enabling us to put that job out without a problem.”