Universal IV electrical problems

I am having problems with the electrical system on my Universal IV and need advice!  The cover was off the electrical control box as the carriage has not been breaking consistently on the feed board end for the last couple runs, but it was usable. Recently, when I flipped the press on, I saw a few sparks out of the corner of my eye come from the electrical box, and now it is really broken!  No scorching or evidence is visible, but now the carriage does not respond to any of the user controls. It does not matter what mode the press is set to (Manual, Cycle), no response. When I flip the on switch, the pilot light comes on, and the ink drum motor runs, but nothing else. Engaging the limit switches on the back side of the press by hand seems to activate the corresponding relays as expected. If I engage (push in) the forward or reverse “reversing switches” in the electrical box with a wooden stick, the carriage moves, but still no response from any of the user controls. Manually moving the carriage to the center of the bed, there is still no response from the “manual control lever” forward or reverse.  It is as if everything is working, but the user controls are not connected.

Scan_Pic0350The local electrician has worked on the press before, but it is way out of his comfort zone, so if anyone has any ideas that would be a big help. Below is the electrical diagram, and a video I took of the electrical box back when it was actually behaving. I know the Universal IV is a rare press, and the electrical system is not exactly the same as the smaller Universals, but any suggestions would be much appreciated. Likewise, I am in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, so if anyone happens to know of an electrician out here who might be able to help, please let me know.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxuxlLmwfgo

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The Arm
9 years ago

Yes, the one pictured might have been a bad example. Keep an eye out for ones that are 110- I couldn’t possibly have bought them all! ;)

DGM

The Arm
9 years ago

I would also suggest you keep an eye on eBay for some contactor assemblies from which you can pillage some spare points. Search “RBM contactor” and look for something that looks like yours and requires the same power. Specs may be different, but the parts you need should be interchangeable. I’ve had good luck with this and have never had to spend much money.

DGM

The Arm
9 years ago

Does your press have the same limit switches as the smaller Vandercook Universals? If so, you might consider replacing the entire unit BZE6-2RN2. The first thing I do when I drag in a new Uni is replace all four.

DGM

The Arm
9 years ago

Rob,
You might try contacting this guy-
http://fingerlakestroubleshooter.com/industrial.php

DGM

The Arm
9 years ago

Hi Rob,
Have you had any luck with this? I would suggest you first swap the fuses. It can be hard to tell if one is bad. Then get down in front of the box and try sending the press forward with the lever and see if you see any arcing. Consult the manual and make sure you know the difference between the relays and the reversing switches or none of this is going to make sense. You can sometimes get an electrical current jump on one of the relays if the electromagnetic reversing switches aren’t engaging correctly. I had this happen once and it cooked a solder joint on a corner of the forward relay which needed to be redone. The cure was new points in the reversing switches to replace some that were badly pitted and not providing good continuity.

Another thing worth checking is that the speed control variac is making good contact. If it isn’t you can sometimes get it to engage by pulling out slightly on the speed control knob when the press is on and engaged to run forward. If this makes it go forward, you might get away with simply loosening the set screw on the knob, pushing on the back inside of the variac, and re-tightening the set screw. If that isn’t enough additional pressure, try taking off the knob and adding a washer on the shaft beneath it. It sounds crazy, but one of my Universal IIIs has been running with this quick fix for three years. I thought it would let me finish the job on the press, but it ran so well I just let it be.

DGM

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