Tips About Splice Tape For Web Offset Printing

I want to share a few tips on splice tape that we have learned recently.  Above is a splice that we normally set for our flying paster, or splicer as many call it.  Some presses use zero speed splicers and a couple of the points here can be applicable.  The main point though is that splice tape must be as sticky as possible.

Below I describe our problem, but I would suggest you familiarize yourself with what a flying paster is if you do not have one.  Or watch this video of ours.

The problem that we have had over the colder months is that splice tape is not as effective on cold rolls.  We miss splices because the tape doesn't stick as well to the cold paper.  To stick at high speeds with low temperatures places high demands on the tape.  High speed video revealed that the paper just wasn't sticking properly from the expiring roll to the new one.  Megtec themselves admit this problem.  Therefore we found ourselves missing about 1 in 10 splices.  I visited several web presses over the fall in Europe and found they had the same problems.  Therefore here is what we did.

Used a Core Heater
We do not have the luxury of storing our paper for a week or more in a nice warm, cozy factory.  Often our paper comes by truck and the paper is stone cold.  Generally when our rolls get below 17 degrees, we start missing splices.  

Therefore we purchased a roll core heater.  About $1000 later we had a device that could do the trick.  Much like a simple blow dryer, it would blow hot hair through the core.  However we didn't always have the luxury of time to heat the core up enough.  So we tried something else.

Black Splice Tape

Black slice tape set on a roll.

We didn't completely understand yet that this was solely a temperature problem yet, so we tried a different tape.  The thought occurred to us: Why do we need to buy the black tabs and stick them on every roll?  True, the laser on the splicer needs it to read the roll speed and timing of the tape.  But why not kill two birds with one stone and just get black tape?  We tried it and it worked great.  The only problem was that the effect on cold rolls was the same.  We could not hit 10 out of 10 successful splices.

Tried Stickier Tape
This brought us to the solution.  We invited a representative for the supplier of our splice tape to come in.  He was familiar with our problem and said other printers are effected the same in winter time.  For a few dollars more he offered us a "new and improved" tape that was stickier and would work all year round.  It was splice tape made for another type of splicer (metallic orange) but would be more effective than our current one.  

I am happy to report now that we are batting 98% on our splices.  The misses are mostly due to human error.  Solving this problem was an educational process about roll core temperature and what types of splicing tape are available on the market.  

Here's the stuff that we now use with 98% success.

I am happy to share stuff like this with fellow pressmen out there.  If you find tips like this useful, please like me on facebook or +1 on google.  I welcome comments.  Take care.

Related articles:
Splicer Troubleshooting Guide

1 comment:

  1. I get my splicing tape from RBP chemicals its a great tape and made a difference for me its very tacky and I have few problems that's not human error.