Lightweight Idler Case Study

A local printing company specializing in printing lightweight papers for catalogs and newspaper inserts approached Webex looking for help. This customer was running 20-year-old Harris presses.

The trend in the industry is to run lighter and lighter paper. The Harris presses, designed to run mid-weight stock, struggled badly trying to run lightweight paper. Web breaks were common during start-up, especially when the first wet impression was made.

Webex analyzed the situation and determined that the heavy weight of the original idler rolls throughout the press was the single, most likely contributing factor to the frequent web breaks. Webex helped the customer reconfigure these presses using Webex LW-400-150 x 42" face aluminum idler rolls.

These lightweight idlers reduced the weight and inertia of the rolls in the press by over 50%. After installation, our customer reported that the web break issue was substantially reduced and, as a bonus, the press was able to run at faster speeds with less scrap. Further analysis by our customer documented an investment payback of less than 6 months. Subsequently, this success has been duplicated on presses of other makes as well.

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