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Advantages of Offset printing

2013-10-2  9:28:25

Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a water-based film (called "fountain solution"), keeping the non-printing areas ink-free.

 

Compared to other printing methods, offset printing is best suited for cost-effectively producing large volumes of high quality prints in an economically sound manner that requires little maintenance

 

ApplicationsOffset lithography is one of the most common ways of creating printed matter. A few of its common applications include: newspapers, magazines, brochures, stationery, and books.

 

Many modern offset presses use computer to plate systems as opposed to the older computer to film workflows, which further increases their quality.

 

Advantages

 

Advantages of offset printing compared to other printing methods include:

 

Consistent high image quality. Offset printing produces sharp and clean images and type more easily than letterpress printing because the rubber blanket conforms to the texture of the printing surface.


Quick and easy production of printing plates.
Longer printing plate life than on direct litho presses because there is no direct contact between the plate and the printing surface. Properly developed plates running in conjunction with optimized inks and fountain solution may exceed run lengths of a million impressions.

 

Cost of Offset printing is the cheapest method to produce high quality printing in commercial printing quantities.

 

A further advantage of offset printing is the possibility to adjust the amount of ink on the fountain roller with screw keys. Most commonly a metal blade controls the amount of ink transferred from the ink trough to the fountain roller. By adjusting the screws the gap between the blade and the fountain roller is altered, leading to the amount of ink applied to the roller to be increased or decreased in certain areas. Consequently the density of the colour in the respective area of the image is modified. On older machines the screws are adjusted manually, but on modern machines the screw keys are operated electronically by the printer controlling the machine, enabling a much more precise result.

 

Disadvantages

 

Disadvantages of offset printing compared to other printing methods include:

 

Slightly inferior image quality compared to rotogravure or photogravure printing.
Propensity for anodized aluminum printing plates to become sensitive (due to chemical oxidation) and print in non-image/background areas when developed plates are not cared for properly.
Time and cost associated with producing plates and printing press setup. As a result, very small quantity printing jobs are now moving to digital offset machines. (PYS Printing)

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