In the modern world, more and more taskscan run a computer and devices that directly connect to it. This applies even to the printing house - since the advent of color printing, other methods have begun to lose relevance. However, this does not mean that a color printer is now responsible for all newspapers and magazines - in fact, everything is not so simple. Offset plates can still be found everywhere, so do not write off offset printing from the accounts. It is still incredibly popular for a number of pretty good reasons. So, if you are interested in learning about offset printing, offset plates and everything related to them, then this article is for you.

What it is?

plate offset

Before taking up the detailed considerationWhat are offset plates are, in general, it is necessary to look at this type of printing. With its help, most newspapers, magazines, and many other color publications are still being created. The name of this type assumes that the work is done without contact of the printing plate and the printed material. This is where the offset plates come into play, thanks to which this approach becomes possible.

How it works?

manufacture of offset plates

The process of offset printing is pretty simple - like youalready understood, the shape and material do not contact each other - between them there is a row of shafts made of offset plates. Each of them performs its function. Most often there are two of them - one is responsible for the form, and another - for the image. The ink from the printed form is first transferred to one shaft, then to the other, and from it already falls on the final material.

Advantages and disadvantages

production of offset plates

The main advantage of this method ishigh quality of the final result - no color printer of our time can not bypass the quality of offset printing. Secondly, it gives you an almost limitless choice of materials that you can work on, and also provides you with the possibility of the widest after-processing to achieve the ideal result. Thirdly, this kind is used to make a large circulation of materials in a relatively short time - color printers can not work at such a speed when it comes to hundreds of thousands of copies. And, of course, it is worth noting that, with large runs, the overall price is significantly reduced.

But, of course, there are also shortcomings. The most important of these is the need for post-processing. This includes color separation, color balancing and much more - all that you do not need to do if you are using conventional computer printing that gives you the finished material. Naturally, all these processing steps make the material quality an order of magnitude higher, but they also cause the impossibility of making fast orders, while color printing on a computer can take up to an hour at small volumes. Secondly, the question of profitability has a downside - the complexity of the offset process makes it incredibly profitable for large runs and at the same time extremely unprofitable for small ones. As you can see, offset printing has its own advantages and disadvantages, and in some cases it can be useless and go to you at a loss, while in other situations it will be an ideal solution.

Offset plates and their manufacture

waste offset plates

It's time to talk about what the offset is without.Printing would be impossible - about offset plates. It is because of them that the cost of the process is so high - they make it unprofitable for small runs, but very profitable for large ones. After all, each of them is made separately. The production of offset plates is a complex process. To produce them, various non-ferrous metals are used, which are eventually rolled into finished products used for further printing.

The complexity of the process is also thatThe plate passes through numerous stages of development, before going to the customer. First, it is cleaned of any impurities, then it is granulated in a special acid, through which an electric current is later conducted, which prepares the plate for further work in the press, giving it all the necessary properties. Naturally, these are not all stages of production - the manufacture of offset plates takes a lot of time, but it produces high-quality materials that provide the highest level of color printing.

Bend

bending of offset plates

In order to use the offset plates inprinting, it is necessary to bend their edges so that the desired shaft of a suitable diameter is obtained. For this, there are special machines, on which the offset plates are bent. This is a very important stage, since we have to work with incredibly detailed material - it can not be damaged, so that it will not be reflected in the press. Therefore, bending should always be carried out on high-quality machines by first-class specialists.

What to do next?

However, it should be understood that the offset plates are notare reusable material - they are suitable for the release of one print, after which they have to be disposed of. This is one of the reasons why the cost of this type of printing is high, and making small print runs is thus not cost-effective. Given the fact that they are made of non-ferrous metals, waste offset plates should not be thrown away, but handled for processing - so you will render service to nature and will be able to return some of the spent funds.