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How a Flying Paster Works

A flying paster follows a sequence of events that are timed in such a way as to allow an expiring roll to splice onto another roll that is travelling at exactly the same speed.  Below is a video showing how it works:


  • flying pasters usually have two or three roll mounts
  • they require precise timing to splice properly
  • have other functions such as roll alignment and tension control
  • are used on high speed web offset heatset presses
Here are the steps a flying paster goes through to change an expiring roll:

Flying Paster Arm
1.  A prepped roll is sped up by a belt or servo driven motor to the exact speed of the running paper.  This is usually accomplished by a laser reading a mark put on the prepared roll.
2.  The splicing arm comes down to a position that puts the running roll in very close proximity to the new running roll.
3.  A signal is given when the expiring roll is down to the minimum diameter.
4.  The splicing arm quickly presses the running roll against the new roll at the precise spot where the two sided tape has been placed.
5.  The splicing arm cuts the expired web immediately after pasting onto the new roll.
6.  The new roll rotates into a running position that allows the expired roll to be unloaded and a new one accepted.


Many flying pasters have web guidance systems built in.  While many offset presses have a steering box after the rollstand, newer flying pasters work by moving the actual roll.  A closed loop system will then keep the running roll aligned with the press.

Prepared roll for flying paster.
Careful placement of the splicing tape is required along with careful inspection of the prepared rolls.  Usually, a piece of black tape is applied that the flying paster can read with a laser.  This is for the sake of timing the new roll with press speed.

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