Press Maintenance Schedule

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I am looking for help or information on setting up and holding to a maintenance schedule for offset presses. We have a 5 color Komori and it seems like we are always too busy for maintenance. We are one shift with one primary operator, and one other pressman that helps when needed. How do other shops do it. Is it scheduled weekly, monthly annually? Do you keep logs. If so is it audited by a manager? Any info would be helpful.


Our maintenance is done the start of 3rd shift on Sunday nights, on all presses, dedicating the first 1-2 hours of said shift. One would assume you could do the same in a one shift shop, starting Monday mornings. Given time constraints, perhaps on Mondays the crew could start an hour early to do the maintenance.

First and foremost-make the time for maintenance.  Oversight is key by the department manager (Checks and balances; If nobody’s checking, its not getting done!). Schedule weekly, monthly and quarterly/yearly maintenance as suggested by Komori.  For more info call them at (877) 412-3629. Logs of all maintenance completed, as well as all repairs made to press-no matter how small should be kept at press and reviewed regularly by department manager.  Often times a log of press issues is useful as well it can give an indication of mechanical wear.

Minor maintenance before start up every Monday morning with notes to management on major things. When the notes start adding up, time for a tune-up.

We have a 40 inch 6 color and coater as our main press.  We run it 16 to 24  hours a day 5 days a week. Plus overtime  when needed. Regardless of work load we do maintained every week before we start work. 4:00 am on Monday is a scheduled time to do this. We do this without fail. It is a good time to schedule it because you are note breaking into the work schedule. It is always the first job. The rest of the work follows.

We keep logs on each piece of equipment. Our Komori presses have scheduled maintenance items built into the computer and tell the operator when things need to be done. If we are too busy, we have brought in operators on overtime to perform maintenance, otherwise it is built into the schedule.

We schedule maintenance in the schedule and like to do it when we are not busy but that’s not always possible. I know of companies who write up a maintenance ticket and schedule the maintenance like any other job. Komori should have maintenance forms and schedules to use to help the timing, finding time to do it is up to the pressroom manager.

Yes a log should be kept and yes we have all of our PMs audited by the department manager(s). We treat the PM process like a live job. It is in the schedule and shouldn’t be missed.  You may think that you don’t have the time for it, but if you bypass it enough times, the machine will break down and then you have to make time.; In the long run, you will have more up time.

Who says you are too busy, you or the owner of the company, or the general manager? You will have to force the issue or force yourself to stick to it. My experience is that the following is the only policy. Always schedule maintenance. Plan it. And do it. Get a schedule of recommended maintenance from Komori. Schedule it using say an excel spreadsheet. Give you operator a list every week of what needs to be done. Have him check off what he has done, and to list for you any parts replacement that he thinks should be done. Enter his check sheet data in your spreadsheet each week.  Schedule maintenance at 7am (or start of shift) EVERY Monday, come rain, or come shine.   Do your weekly stuff weekly, and do 1/4 of the monthly stuff each week etc. You may need 2 hours per week or 3 hours per week. Follow up with your pressman and make sure it is done. Under NO circumstances should you ever delay it. If need be work 12 hours on Monday, but NEVER delay maintenance. If you delay it, you are telling everyone that in your opinion it is not important. Insist that your pressman is going to do it. If he is not trained to do it, hire Komori to come in and train him. If he will not do it, get a different pressman. You have major money invested in the press.; If you wear it out prematurely because you do not insist on maintenance, it is no one’s fault but yours. With a one shift operation, your press should last until it is obsolete, and still not be worn out. Just my 2 cents worth.

We have mandatory maintenance every Monday morning. Every week has a schedule of things that need to be done and they are recorded into a log and signed off by the department supervisor. We are never too busy to not do the maintenance.

It depends on the type of much M&R is lack of daily multiple housekeeping tasks that causes one bigger problem later.

Below are the steps we follow:

  1. Roller maintenance and blanket rotation is the most important. The use of hot water and vinegar on the rollers to keep the gum from forming a hard glaze is part of a wash up once a week and adds 15 minutes per tower unless 2 men can do all 5 at once.

  2. Roller ends are important as this is the largest source of hickys. Put grease on the ends when clean and they wipe off easily every quarter.

  3. Blanket packing of the CORRECT type tympan paper  is better than using press sheets which crush and absorb water at end of plates, this is a reason press crews don’t like a hot rinse.

  4. Blanket packing creep is a problem with to clean a cylinder  wipe cylinders with a LITTLE BIT of watered glycerin and naphtha let dry to leave sticky  rub down like asphaltum on plates and place first packing sheet.

  5. Water fountain use a log and check ionization and ph also use solution like RBP carbo rid to precipitate calcium from water dump water every 2 weeks and cover at night with floater to prevent evaporation.

  6. Clean surface metal panels  quick with EASY-OFF  oven cleaner spray but have hot soapy water at ones left hand to wash off crud right away 15-20 seconds or paint will lift soon after. This is fast way but needs a person not talking to others with goggles and gloves.

  7. Change all cam followers every 3 million impressions  or 2 years.

  8. Clean under ink fountain blade this is a real problem for ink control that is never seen.

  9. Blow out tight areas with air using a 6 foot stick of heavy copper tube that is bendable to go into tight places to keep face away from blowing crud, let the crud blow out of all motors, boxes and enclosed places use 409 spray to loosen up some places.

  10. Be sure air lines have dry air and not to let water enter the hydraulic units on fountain rollers. Putting  a visible clear filter at press is best which shows crud and water if any. This saves later  big mechanical repair for o rings and rams /cylinder valves.

  11. Put corrugated boxes under drip areas so staff pulls and dumps easily. Also works well when fire inspectors come in the word goes out quick to pull the  visible drip boards and the floor looks good.

  12. Some straight time maintenance is good for all as they see the guys working on the crud and if they know it’s not an OT job they will do more small upkeep on their own to prevent a lay off for ignoring this aspect of duties. Pull out papers under the transfer cylinders weekly  with stick with a nail ,this was  a fire area in past with smoking, now effects air flow around sheets as high speed transfer takes place.

  13. The owner has to  walk the talk the staff is to walk  on neatness with clean lunch rooms and toilets and plenty of gloves rags and disposal methods for oils and press slop in an enviro manner. The owner could place stickers on the equipment as I do   “ THIS EQUIPMENT PAYS YOUR SALARY TAKE CARE OF IT”.  Then when things get slack one only has to point at the sign and reinforce the idea. Naturally the owner has to walk into the shop at times to really walk the talk on major breakdowns I spent time helping as best I could or showing interest in their progress, always looking to see who did what and how to prevent again.

  14. OT should be for uninterrupted quiet time technical stuff such as major roller set, nipper pressures electrical chasing for ghosts. We had each press write in a book mechanical repairs and a chart of roller placement with date placed written in on the sketch along with serial # this showed how time passes so quickly. We used urethane comp rolls and they soften to a point of replacement , that looked fine on stripe set  and looks. Get a durometer tester and test all once a year and use if trouble on press. Rolls go quick now vs years ago.

  15. Pile height micros Feeder & Delivery should be changed yearly. Also electronic side guide switches.

  16. Check side guides  & stops for grooves worn into hardened metals , and the axels as they rub against the wheel they are made softer. These are   real tricks as different papers enter cut in groove differently causing troublesome make ready on back up or nipper take away. If axels are low then roller is below feed table a bit.

We also have a 28 komori lithrone, I as owner insist that there is a daily routine to keep the press clean, once a week we wipe down and sweep around, once a month we clean & vacuum out the delivery and brush down grippers and the feed area including the chains. We follow a schedule from komori for grease and oil changes. monthly cleaning includes cleaning the pumps and filters, blowing out motors including the main drive motor. Every quarter thorough cleaning inside & out. Drain water tank, new filters, clean delivery and feeder chains. You have to make the time.

Sure as there is a sun in the sky: by neglecting regular maintenance, your press will fail when you need it the most. Talk to your press supplier for advice.

We have both offset and web presses and we regularly schedule maintenance as part of our Lean program. By using the equipment manuals, we determine how much maintenance time is needed weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc… Then, we physically set aside time on our press schedules and schedule it in advance for the entire year. If you don’t schedule it in advance, it won’t happen. Sometimes we might move it up or back a week or so, but no matter what, we do the scheduled maintenance, even if it means working OT. We DO keep logs of exactly what has to be done to the presses and they have to initial each part to show it h’t have a metric to prove that!

We do schedule maintenance, and unless it’s really busy, we’ll do what we need to do to keep. Pay me now or pay me later (and usually when you can’t control it!)

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