Turn of the Century Offset Printing

Printing has become a very automated process that still requires a highly skilled operator on a high dollar piece of equipment whether it is offset printing or digital printing. Most times now the machine can be controlled by computer to hang plates, register in the work and control color. On offset presses, the pressman still has control over this. On digital presses most times it is done automatically with the ability of still manipulating the work, available if necessary. Offset presses can cock the cylinder or laterally move any one plate through computer controls on the console.

Another big difference in Turn of the Century offset printing is the number of people required to run a machine. On a larger press it usually required 3 people to efficiently run the press as few as 10 years ago. That has been cut down to 2 people due to all the automation that now comes on a press. There is still the critical water to ink balancing that goes on but much of that has been made simpler by the automation as well.

Digital presses only require one worker and they have been manufactured where printing knowledge is not as critically important as on an offset press.

See also:
Offset Printing vs Digital Printing
Variable Data Printing
Articles about Graphic Arts

Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company