Help! Inking problems

Hi there,

Please look at these images and lend your expertise. I am using polymer plates to run a 3-color (!) job, and the ink is getting onto the paper in other areas just beside the printed area. Is it just a matter of adjusting the rollers? The packing? Is there ink somewhere else on the plate? I was told that you shouldn’t use mineral spirits to clean these plates off, but out of desperation I used a little to clean one area of the press, and it still happened. Any thoughts? Or is it just a matter of trying everything until I get it right? ARGH! This is frustrating! Thanks in advance….Carmela

image: DSC02518.JPG


image: DSC02517.JPG


image: DSC02516.JPG


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Sorry, forgot to mention I’m using a Uni III.

Oh, and try not to gag at the comic sans font…..not my idea, I swear! :)

It looks like the stock may be contacting the form before or after the actual impression, commonly called a “slur”. You can get away from this by:
1. Taping down the tail of the sheet to the tympan as it begins it’s journey around the cylinder
2. Using a cut frisket if you have the frisket frame and drum on your press
3. Use a larger sheet held in the grippers along with the sheet you are printing and cut out the image areas so the larger sheet will keep the printed sheet from making further contact with the form before or after printing. You will be able to hold the tail of the larger sheet during the printing cycle.

Hi Carmela,

For another suggestion, click here and scroll down to “Press Points”:

I got some of these from Dave Churchman (see Yellow Pages).


Possible causes:
1- Maybe the polymer plate are no properly washed. In the first image (DSC02518.JPG) looks like the space between letters have a less deep than the rest of the polymer. This maybe caused because the polymer are washed manually. Are you washing manually?
2- The pressure of the inking rollers over the plate is too big.
3- The bed is very high.
4- The pressure between polymer plate and paper is too high
5- Sorry I’am spanish speaker, so my english is not good.

Thanks everybody. So here’s what I figured out. I have a tower on my press and there are tapes that return the paper on the way back, which is awesome by the way, but because of where my image needed to print on the paper—to close to the edge, I put the tapes on one side of the paper. That meant that the area I was printing on didn’t really have anything holding it down, so I think that would make sense according to what jhenry said. I adjusted it and was able to get the tapes just on the edge of either side of the paper and it started printing perfectly.

But now, out of nowhere, the text at the bottom of the sheet is muddy. I wonder, do things just get loosened up during printing? I’m printing 185 of these and I’ve done about 100. I’ve tried adjusting the rollers, wiping some of the ink off, and I think I’m just at a point of frustration because I have been working on this for SO long and I feel like I can’t think straight!