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Showing posts from January, 2012

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

Wages for Pressmen Raise to Highest in Two Years

Looks like it's time to ask for a raise.  According to, the average wage for a printing press operator is at its highest in almost two years.  The company provides the data by scouring job sites, newspapers, and company job postings to find what the market is offering.  Below is a graph showing the average salary over a two year period. Average Wage For Pressmen Over Two Years Interpreting the Graph The data was based on an average wage for pressmen of 34,000 per year.  This graph of course fails to distinguish years of experience, type of equipment and the wage difference between sheetfed and web pressmen - something I covered in an earlier article . According to the California Employment Development Department , wages are principally distinguished by the following criteria: Kind of press Size or width of products Complexity of process While the type of equipment you work on may not be so easy to change, the graph helps determin

Why Web Growth Occurs In Offset Printing

Web growth happens mainly for two reasons.  First, the application of water on the web.  Second, fiber directions.  Web growth is sometimes referred to as fan out , a topic I have written about before .  But this time lets look at at each of these reasons to help understand why a good prepress department and bustle wheels on the press are necessary in dealing with this phenomenon. 1. Water applied in the offset printing process. The nature of web printing requires that the paper is under tension.  This tension causes the paper to stretch, and it stretches in both  directions: circumferential and lateral.  Pass that paper through four printing units that are each applying a thin layer of water, and you have the recipe for web growth.  As the web passes through each printing unit and is stretched by the tension from one to the other, it literally grows larger. 2.  The direction of fiber in the paper making process. When paper is made , it is goes through a process that causes th

Possehl To Buy Manroland Web Division

The verdict is out in Manroland bankruptcy fiasco and it appears that the German company L. Possehl & Co. will emerge the victor by taking the crown jewels of the press manufacturer - the Augsburg web manufacturing site. The announcement was made in the wake of a bidding war and speculation about possible buyouts from Chinese and American companies. Platinum Equity in Los Angeles had reportedly offered to buy all three of the Manroland sites in Offenbach, Plauen and Augsburg. Speculation was also raised that Shanghai Electric, the owner of Goss International, was interested. However it is a claim that they flatly deny. The deal struck keeps the company in German hands, but ultimately resulted in the breakup of the business into three separate entities. The cost of the deal will ultimately result in the inevitable loss of thousands of jobs. The insolvency administrator Werner Schneider stated that job cuts would come in the following doses: Augsburg plant reduced from 2,

Manroland Bankuptcy Draws Bitter Bidding War

With Manroland in the throes of bankruptcy, the vultures are circling over head - all with different reasons.  In Germany, thousands of jobs are at stake with 6,500 employees waiting to see if they will get their walking papers after Manroland entered bankruptcy proceedings .  The date that will likely tell all is February 1st when the government stops paying the wages and the insolvency administrator takes the reigns back back, hopefully to give them to a new owner.   Breakup Likely Imminent From a purely German perspective, the worst case scenario is the layoff of around 2,000 employees which seems inevitable.  Along with this is the likely breakup of each of the Manroland's facilities.  The insolvency administrator has confirmed that there are several interested parties.  However there is no indication of a single buyer to resurrect the bankrupt press maker. Goss vs Manroland Shanghai Electric has been very interested in the outcome of the bankruptcy proceedings.  As a fie

Why We Use Two Ink Suppliers

I've faced this scenario many times in our press room.  The ink is not working like it should.  We call the ink supplier in and the blame game begins.  He takes a look at the problem and says it must be our fountain solution (or something else).  We then call the fountain solution supplier and he says it must be the ink - and so round and round we go.  It's a frustrating scenario that can drive any pressman batty.  This is what drove us in the first place to choose two suppliers for our offset printing presses.  Here are two main reasons I recommend every press should have at least two sources for printing ink. 1.  Ability To Troubleshoot The above scenario can be put to bed by doing one thing: putting their competitors ink in the press.  It's the ink that you have handy in a safe place for just such a scenario.  It's the ink you make sure your main supplier sees from time to time just to send the message that you are ready at any time to jump ship if he doesn