Commercial printing methods
‘Lithography’: – This was developed during the late 1800’s in Germany and has become a very popular process. Lithography is used to print newspapers, magazines, advertising, business forms, and direct mail etc. lithography, is this most widely used printing process used today, and it has a good quality print. However it does have a plate life limit to 150,000 copies, but it can be quickly remade.
‘Letterpress’: – A letterpress is a machine that automates the process of inking a raised surface and pressing it against sheets of paper, it’s a form of ‘relief printing’. It is the oldest and fastest diminishing method used today. Developed centuries ago by the Chinese it is still used to print newspapers, labels etc. It’s quality, however, is not that of the other main processes and tends to print mid low quality. Also letter pressing is not economical for colour work, and it’s a slow process.
‘Flexography’: – this newer printing process, developed during the mid 1900’s. It is very similar to letter pressing in that it uses a relief plate. Flexography has found wide application in printing for food packaging with plastics and non-absorbent stock. It is also used to print envelopes, newspapers, pressure sensitive labels etc. ‘Gravure’: – This is another old printing process used to print packaging, magazines, wallpaper and gift-wrap, etc. The major advantage of Gravure is that it can print very long runs due to its configuration. Money and postage stamps are also printed using a form of Gravure (Intaglio). However it is very expensive to set up.
In manufacturing there are four scales of productions they are as follows: ‘Continuous Production’: – This product is produced over any period of time for example a period of hours, days or years and is continually produced. The product is relatively inexpensive. ‘Mass Production’: – This usually involves the product being produced for days, even weeks but in large numbers. In ‘Mass Production’ the product as to go through various stages in a production line.
Where the workers are responsible for a certain part of the production. However, if an error occurs in the production line the whole production could be put to a stop until the matter is fixed. This could lead to money loss and delay in the production. However, overall the production is relatively inexpensive. ‘One off Production’: – ‘One off Production’ is when a very intricate object or a prototypes product is made at one particular time. It usually takes a long period of time, which leads that product to be very expensive.
‘Batch Production’: – when a series of production are made together in any type of quantities. ‘Batch Production’ is usually all the same, and once made, you can create the product again using the same equipment and work force. The following types are the four main types of printing effects: ‘Die Cutting’: – This is when paper or card with straight edges are cut to shape and size in batches using a machine called CAD/CAM. The paper will only cut providing the paper isn’t to thin. Die cutting can be used for packages unusual shaped paper or cards.