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The printing industry is full of sophisticated machines that can print high-quality products within a short period. Since the early 21st century, offset printing has been one of the most common techniques used for printing.
Digital printing and flexography are part of the techniques you will see in the printing industry. Read on as we take you through the nitty-gritty of offset printing labels.
Offset printing is a technique where the image to be printed is transferred from the image carrier to a transitional carrier before it is transferred to the substrate. Most analog printing utilizes this technique.
The early printing technique like Gutenberg’s famed invention was through the transfer of ink from raised surfaces to the material. Towards the end of the 18th century, lithography became a technique of printing.
Lithography is a technique where the image-carrying surface is not curved but flat. The technique uses the concept that oil repels water. When an image is drawn on a flat surface with a greasy substance, the remaining part is treated with water.
Oil-based ink is applied to the surface. The oil-based ink sticks to the greasy portion but not the wet portion., leaving behind the image. The image can now be pressed on paper or other materials.
The use of lithography was quite popular in Europe and U.S.A. It got to a point of using an aluminum or zinc plate that could be bent into cylindrical shapes. The challenge of lithography was that the images were delicate. After direct contact with the printing surface, the image wears off quickly.
The solution to the problem was the use of offset printing. To image has to be transferred to an intermediate surface first before printing it on the paper. The first offset printer was in 1875 in England.
The printer utilized rollers that were covered with cardboard for the transfer of images from stone to metal. However, the modern offset printer was discovered accidentally by a printer called Ira W. Rubel.
The current offset printers comprise plates, arrays of rollers, feeders, and other essential components. Three major rollers do the work. The work of the first roller is to hold the metal lithographic plate.
The second has a rubber blanket on it that receives the image from the first roller. The third roller is simply an impression cylinder that passes material such as paper between the roller and the rubber blanket.
There are numerous advantages. Some of them are:
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