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Showing posts from December, 2011

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

Make Your Makeready More Efficient

All your pressmen are lined up and you're ready to go.  If you're good at what you do, the next events are probably a tightly controlled and efficient makeready.  In today's entry I want to talk about what makes a makeready efficient.  I've written about making a makeready faster before , but this time I wanted to focus more on the procedures and tools that we use to be more efficient.  Most modern four color presses can do a full color makeready in 5 minutes - if you do it right.  Servo drives enable a different pressman to load plates on each unit separately.  Some presses have automatic plate loading capability.  But for those that don't have a super fast modern high tech offset press to work on, let's go over a few basic principles that will help with troubleshooting paper waste and time, the two biggest variables in an offset press makeready.  The tool that is going to help you the most in this race is the lowest tech resource of all, a checklist. F

Roller Settings Done the Right Way

There are so many problems created by bad roller settings.  Here are just a few: 1. It destroys the rollers if set too hard. 2. Increased energy needed to drive the unit.  About 1/2 of the energy to drive an offset printing press goes into driving the roller train. 3  Excessive dot gain with heavy form rollers. 4. Rollers set too hard heat up the unit and disrupt ink and water balance. 5.  Can cause non-gear streaks . Do I need to keep going?  It makes sense to have a good maintenance program and have good roller settings.  If you stay on top of it, problems will be few in the unit.  Let's look at two methods for checking roller settings.  One is a little sketchy and the other is more precise. The Right Tools Roller setting gauge. Here is a roller setting gauge on the right that is perfect for setting rollers.  It is made by Manroland, but are not difficult to make from plastic.  Get a good flashlight and you are ready to go.   The Pull Strip Test  For the

Chinese Looking To Buy Manroland

Shanghai Electric has expressed interest in buying Manroland sheetfed Already the vultures are circling overhead.  Manroland has bared its financial condition to the world and there are interested buyers.  The Shanghai Electric Company (SEC) has expressed interest in the sheetfed division of Manroland.  Press manufacturer KBA has also expressed interest in the company.  CEO Claus Bolza-Sch√ľnemann of KBA has been quoted in a German daily as saying, "we stated our interest to the insolvency administrator."  However there as of yet have been no formal negotiations with Manroland. Manroland filed for insolvency last month in one of the largest business failures in Germany for the past two years.  While bankruptcy differs from insolvency  ( click here for explanation ) , the two are sometimes used synonymously  to mean one thing: the company cannot pay its bills and is in desperate need of bailout.  Since the filing, Manroland has desperately been seeking revenue and gover

What To Look For When Buying Used Offset Printing Equipment

When I have bought used offset printing equipment for our company, I generally look for the same things each time.  I compare it to looking for a vehicle.  Things like mileage, body condition, age and maintenance records all play a large bearing into what I perceive as it's worth.  Buying used offset printing equipment is much the same way.  Here is a list of the elements that I look for when buying a printing press or any other type of printing equipment. running condition bearers, cylinders and auxiliary equipment age brand upgrades dealer support price Let's talk about each of these points one by one. 1.  Running Condition If you cannot see the press running this is not unusual.  However it certainly affects your estimation of it's running ability.  Approach it much the same way as you would buying a car that is not running.  Be skeptical and cautious.  At the very least, ask for samples of the printing and examine them closely.  These are no doubt the

Manroland Avoids Bankruptcy and Gets a 74 Million Lifeline

Manroland, one of the worlds largest offset printers, has received a 74 million dollar lifeline after declaring insolvency a week ago.  Insolvency has similarities to bankruptcy, but handled differently.  To learn the difference in this proceeding, click here .   Those who are waiting on orders purchased from Manroland were relieved to know that it would be business as usual and that equipment would be manufactured and delivered as promised. Manroland had run into serious trouble when orders had declined significantly since the summer.  It forced the company into a situation where it was threatened with going bankrupt if it could not find financing.  The insolvency proceedings helped it to secure financing as well as an agreement with Germany's Federal Labor Agency to pay the company's wages.  Manroland currently has over 5,000 employees in Germany alone. The press manufacturer will receive 13.5 million in cash to deal with immediate needs as part of a loan from cred