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Showing posts from September, 2009

How To Make Printing Ink

  Introduction Printing ink is so much more than just the black stuff that you put on a page. It has been around for thousands of years, and it's been used in everything from newspaper presses to digital printers. As you can see, we're not talking about offset printing ink which is oil based. I want to have a little fun and talk about how you can make your own ink for your printer.  At home! Ready? Ingredients You will need the following ingredients: Soot (5 tbsp) : This is as purest as it gest. You can make the soot yourself by holding a glass up to a flame. This will allow you to slowly accumulate the soot. Water (2 tbsp): For the base of your ink, use distilled water so that you don't introduce any impurities into the mix. Distilled water is also easier to clean up than tap water because there are no minerals or residue left behind from tap water. Alcohol (2 tbsp) (grain alcohol): This ingredient works as a preservative for your ink and allows it to last for several mo

Making Sense of a Heatset Offset Dryer

Even calling it a heatset offset dryer is perhaps one of the most misleading descriptions of all. Take it from me, a heat-set dryer for a web offset press is a very misunderstood concept. Even for the first couple of years working on a Heidelberg M600 web press, I really didn't understand exactly what happened in the dryer.. and come to think of it, 15 years later, I don't think I will ever completely know what heatset printing ink is made of until I become a chemist. Having said that, I would like to share, in lay mans terms, what really goes on in that long box after the last printing unit in a web offset heat-set press. First of all, let's clarify what type of oven we're talking about here. There are a few types of dryers used on offset web presses. Direct Impingement Dryers Hot Air Dryers Combination dryers All three of these refer to floating dryers, and you really don't need to understand in detail how they function. But suffice to say, hot

Tips for Designing Your Inline Finishing System

The solutions to produce a finishing line can be varied and complex, but with careful planning you can optimize for the best design. I've seen probably about 200 inline finishing systems and I can tell you that not one of them was the same. The solutions to produce a desired finished product are as varied as the products themselves. I have been involved in designing and implementing these systems and I can tell you that you should not design a system without a professional representative from a post-press company. To get you started, I've prepared a few guidelines that will help you understand a few limitations and advantages of the various components out there today. I'll by no means cover them all, but the basics are covered here. They consist of: Conveyors - table and overhead Flow and Bump turns Trimmers Compensating or Log Stacking Palletizers You may notice that these components generally occur after a press folder. Many presses include gluing an