Today we will learn a little more about offset printing and one of the most important versions of it today: uv offset printing.
Offset printing has been a part of the printing world for many years.
Its invention occurred between 1875 with a first version that printed on tin and 1903 with the version that made prints on paper.
But before knowing everything about offset printing with uv inks, it is necessary to understand what it is and what are the differences between offset printing and digital printing.
What is offset printing?
Offset printing is a printing process that is quite similar to how lithography works, that is, the process involves plates with ink and a cylinder that receives the image and is then printed by the paper (or the material used) by means of applying pressure.
In this article you can find more information about offset printing, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
It is not a very complex process, but one of its great advantages is that it enables the printer to add texture to the print thanks to the participation of the rollers as part of the printing process (the rollers are usually silicone or rubber). .
An interesting fact about this process is that the plate and the paper are not usually touched, the printing is done directly from the rollers to the paper, this means that it is an indirect printing method.
What are the differences between offset printing and digital printing?
With the technological advances and the modifications that offset printers have undergone, every day the differences between these machines and digital ones become much smaller.
However, let’s get acquainted with some of the most notable differences between these two types of printing:
Offset printing is not recommended for printing few copies
The need to spend a plate to make the copies in offset printing makes this type of printing not highly recommended if we only need to produce few copies. Something that is clearly not a problem for digital printing.
Print quality is slightly better
Technological advancements in digital printers have allowed the print quality to come quite close to that of offset printers.
Despite this, the print quality of the latter is still considerably higher.
Offset printers allow printing with larger formats
One of the great differences and advantages of offset printing is that it allows you to print in much larger formats, which is why it is more recommended for larger prints, more elements, among other things.
What is uv offset printing?
UV offset printing is simply a new way of looking at this type of printing that consists of adding in the process UV inks and a lamp at the end of the process that helps reduce drying times, makes the process much faster and even allows energy expenditure to be reduced.
In its early years, it was feared that offset printing with uv inks could generate lower quality prints (the ink has a different texture), but, over the years and based on practice and error, even better results have been obtained with this ink than the one used previously.
It should be understood that the plates that are a key part of the printing process have also been changed, yes, each type of plate depends on the company that produces them and some have greater advantages and benefits depending on the type of plate and brand of the printer .
Advantages of UV offset printing
One of the great advantages of using this type of ink is that it includes very little solvent (in some cases they do not use solvent) and that in addition to making the process much more effective, it also allows the printing to be much brighter.
On the other hand, this process is not polluting for the environment and nowadays with the problems that we live in society and how much we have damaged our planet, this type of environmentally friendly processes take on greater importance.
It is also important to mention that not much storage space is needed when using uv offset printers and that we will no longer have to leave the printed material drying for so long, this is thanks to the rapid drying of uv inks.
What inks are used in uv offset printing?
UV offset printing uses precisely some inks that go by the name of UV inks (they are also known as UV curing inks).
This type of ink is derived from some acrylics that have a higher viscosity and therefore can be easily printed on materials such as paper and many others.
When these acrylics receive radiation from uv lamps they react in a very interesting way (they polymerize) and that allows drying to be very fast and for the ink to take on a much brighter and more solid color.
Another interesting thing about this type of ink is that due to its fast drying it is very difficult and very rare for the colors to mix, clearly that allows the impression obtained to be of much higher quality than with other printing methods and other types. from ink.
Among the few disadvantages that can be found when using this type of inks in offset printing is that the useful life of the ink is usually a little shorter and that the rolls used for the process must be made of specific materials and the ones already can not be used. known polyurethane rolls.
Is uv offset printing better, traditional offset printing or digital printing? The truth is that it all depends on what they need, what they have available and their primary objective.
The important thing is that they know an innovative technology that has really changed the way of seeing the world of printing and that they know that the future is possibly in uv inks.