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October 29, 2023

Korrex Berlin Special Hand breakdown

As any who run an older machine of any kind, there are challenges in keeping them operational. So it was when we were about to start printing the Fennel series that instead of the satisfying whir of the inking drum motor, there was a single ominous click, then … nothing.

Problem solving process begins, power supply is good, there’s no ozone or smoke, and the press is getting power. Our guess is that the press circuit breaker switch has failed, but we are not electricians and as this is an industrial machine, we don’t want to take the risk of causing harm to the machine or ourselves. So we call in the electricians who go through various tests, declaring the problem is definitely in the motor, disregarding our suggestion that it was more likely to be the circuit breaker switch that was causing the detected dead short. The problem of course, is that the motor and gearbox is specific to the press and it is unlikely that a replacement can be found. Searching for electric motor rewinders, we find Bay Rewinds and take the motor and box there. Barely a couple of days later we get a call, to our relief, that the motor is in fact, in excellent condition for its age and they have taken the opportunity to update some internal switch gear to meet modern requirements.

Given the motor is good, then why does the press not run? After some discussion with Bay Rewinds, the circuit breaker and operation switch are removed and delivered. As it turns out, our initial suspicion is confirmed to be true. In addition, another circuit breaker had been fitted inside the operation switch enclosure. So, how do we replace a 50 year old circuit breaker? A long search through the complex world of industrial electronics brought us to the Klockner-Moeller PKZM range, with the appropriate model valued in excess of NZ$270. Alternatively, since this is merely a circuit breaker, a $60 and smaller component could be fitted inside the operation switch, replacing the oddly placed circuit breaker already there.

Three weeks later, with the motor carefully reinstalled and the drive chain tensioned, the operation switch wired in, the failed circuit breaker no longer in the circuit, and with the inking drum whirring nicely, we are back in action.


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