Printing processes can be roughly divided into four categories, offset printing, flexo printing, gravure printing and porous printing. Offset and flexo printing are both popular and in majority of printing process. Although they all use wet ink and printing plates, they carry out different tasks.
Below we briefly introduce the main features of offset printing for more understanding: technically, offset printing is based on the principle that water and grease do not blend, so that greasy ink can be deposited on grease-treated printing areas of the plate; while non-printing areas, which hold water as well as reject the grease ink.
In general, modern offset printing is basically done on a machine composed of three rotating cylinders: a plate cylinder where the plate is fastened; a blanket cylinder covered by a sheet of rubber; and an impression cylinder that presses the paper into contact with the blanket cylinder. The printing procedure will apply the inked image being transferred to the rubber blanket from plate and then is offset to the paper go proceeding the impression cylinder. Offset printing is economical and commonly used for high volume printing like newspapers, brochures and books.
In short, when grease ink and water are applied to the plate, only the image holds the ink. Then it applies a printing plate to transfer an image to an intermediate carrier and then onto a sheet of paper per piles. The paper does not come in direct contact with the plate. It is an indirect printing. Whereas flexo printing transfers the ink from the plate directly to the paper sheets on roll. (We will present flexo printing in different article.)
What are Advantages of Offset Printing:
· Consistent high quality prints. Offset printing produces sharp and clean images with greater detail and color fidelity.
· Large quantity can be printed cost effectively.
· Longer printing plate life. There is no direct contact between the plate and the printing surface.
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