Offset Printing: Change of an Era

Article by Carol Gracias

Printing, whether offset or digital, has become an automatic process with the advancement of technologies but even then it needs skills to operate the costly and sophisticated printing machines. Most of the works of printing machines like registering works, hanging plates, controlling colors etc. are being done through computers now but the controls are still the hands of the pressman in offset printing machines though seldom the computer controls are used to move some plate for the sake of comfort. On the other hand digital printing system is almost automatic but the pressman is still needed to manipulate some work if needed.

Offset printing needs much more man power as compared to the modern technique of digital printing. Normally on a big offset printing machine two to three pressmen with experience of more than ten years are needed as skilled technicians even in this age of automation. Though the automated technique has changed the process to a great extent but the water and ink balancing technique still persists. On the other hand digital printing presses need only one man even with no are some experience.

If you go through the history of development of Offset Printing you will know that it started in 1875 when England resident Robert Barclay started printing on tin and it went upto 1903 when US resident Ira Washington Rubel started it on paper. Those were the time when printing on tin was much popular as tin being the most popular material for packaging goods in early 19th century. Initially the technique of lithography was being used for it, being a low cost technique, but it could be used only for flat and porous surfaces as limestone was used to form printing plates. The offset printing technique was discovered in 1843 when Richard March Hoe introduced cylindrical printing plate of metal instead of flat stone. Thus gradually it developed to the present position by facing many changes in the meantime

On comparing the offset printing technique with digital printing technique you will find that offset printing, though a very old technique, is still useful for printing large quantity of job and costs much lesser than any other technique. This technique also has adopted computerized process for some of its processes. Printing option for larger sizes is preferably with offset printing. But it takes somewhat longer time to finish its job.

On the other hand digital printing technique needs lesser man power, no skilled labor required, quick in finishing the job. It can offer you to print different images or texts at a time as every sheet is unique and can be changed easily. But for large quantity or bigger sizes than 12×18 or 14×20 digital printing is not feasible and offset printing will have to be adopted at that time.

Carol is an expert article author, sharing the information about online printing and offset printing through article, news, press release and blogs. For more information on print product and online printing visit our website.

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