Since I have starting printing on the pilot, I have had some issues with my gripper arms. One issue being that it is leaving marks on my paper and the other being that sometimes my paper and image are the same size so the gripper arms get in the way. Even though the gripper arms are causing me some headaches, nevertheless they are extremely necessary for the press. Since the ink is extremely “tacky” the gripper arms prevent the paper from sticking to the image plate. Therefore, allowing for a nice crisp image instead of a smeared one. So how do you fix these problems? I have devised a way that works well for me.
One way to solve this issue is to move your gripper arms to opposite ends. Make your paper larger than the printable area and when your image is dry, trim the excess paper off. This solution is great however, this will NOT work is your paper is precut, such as when I had ordered some folded A2 size cards from Paper Source www.paper-source.com. To solve this problem, I just use a rubber band. How simple is this? I just put the rubber band around the platen (please see pictures below for details). Now that your gripper arm problem has been fixed, you will have nice, crisp, clean images (hopefully).
hint: I also use some photo corners to hold down the botton of the card. This is a great solution if you are MISSING your gripper arms. (These machines are old so chances are you will be missing some pieces).