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The Printing Press

Its truly a magnificent example of human ingenuity and intuition. An invention that has literally changed the world; leading the onset of mass communication and the ability to share information across the world. With roots in the 1400s and 1500s the printing press came at a time when humanity was struggling through change and helped to usher in large cultural shifts.

The printing press has gone through some dramatic changes over time while still retaining its principles of operation. Modern printing presses print at speeds over 15,000 sheets an hour. Some feed sheets of paper that are 6 feet wide. Certain special applications utilize amazing technologies like ultraviolet and infra-red heater systems, others feed thick stiff materials like boards or plastics. The printing press has come a long way from its roots and there's nothing quite like printing in the 21st century.

The future of printing is bright. Despite some systemic changes within the industry the overall volume of printing worldwide is increasing. Periodically major changes in materials, chemistry, and energy sciences lead to changes in the way things are done in the business of production. New methods and processes bring versatility, reliability, increases in production and increases in safety for operators and our environment. For example new methods of printing conductive ink onto non-conductive substrate allow for the creation of flexible and easily mass produces circuit boards. Industry trends indicate that in some time this new method will be widely adopted and become a major channel of manufacturing printed circuits.

Printing Press Ink

Offset sheetfed printing presses would be nothing without ink. It's the reason the press exists. Good print starts with good ink that performs well in the press and in the press room and printing ink can be one of the largest indicators of overall print quality.

Inks can come in many varieties beyond just the color. Inks can come in different tack and finish. Inks can also come with different additives that can help them to dry more quickly. Ink technology in the 21st century is quite advanced and as time goes on we are sure to see very interesting inks in the future

Dampening Systems

In convention offset printing there is a constant balance made between ink and water. In the printing process the image is passed by the special chemical properties of the printing plate itself. In some areas it is hydrophobic and in other areas it is hydrophilic. These two terms essentially mean that the plate will attract or repel water. In the areas that are hydrophobic the plate will pickup ink from the ink-train. In areas where the plate is hydrophilic, the plate will pick up water and repel the ink.

Printing Blanket

The printing blanket has become a staple of the offset printing method. The printing blanket is a smooth mat that is wrapped around a cylinder within the printing unit. This mat acts as a cushion that presses against the master and picks up the image. The purpose of the printing blanket is to transfer the image from the master to the sheet. In other words, the printing blanket is the medium that carries the image from the plate to the paper. Printing blankets are designed to be removed and replaced periodically to compensate for wear.

Printing Powder

Printing press powder has long been used in the world of offset printing. It offers numerous benefits in the printing process and is used by almost every manufacturer in the industry. The first and most important purpose of printing press powder is to prevent ink offset. Ink offset is when wet ink from one sheet is transferred onto a second sheet that makes contact. Powder is sprayed onto the sheets as they are stacked at the delivery end of the press, the fine layer of powder forms a microbarrier between the sheets to keep the ink from making contact. A secondary benefit of spray powder is reduced dry time due to a minute air-gap between the individual sheets. This slight gap allows for an amount of air circulation through the stack and give the moisture within the ink a way out.

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S-90_Toko_ProPrint_suckers
S-90 Toko/ProPrint Sucker
Toko suckers, sold each. Manufacturer part # 1531-47025 or CJ-11. Sucker feet are used in vacuum feed systems. The sucker lowers to the sheet and picks it up to begin the feeding process. Over time suckers do wear since they make physical contact with every sheet.

Our Price: $2.90
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S-66_AB_DICK_suckers
S-66 AB Dick Suckers
AB-Dick suckers  / Package of 12. Sucker feet are used in vacuum feed systems. The sucker lowers to the sheet and picks it up to begin the feeding process. Over time suckers do wear since they make physical contact with every sheet.

Our Price: $5.95
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16_oz_squeeze_bottle
16 oz Squeeze Bottle
This 16 oz squeeze bottle is bottom feeding. Just give it a squeeze and a fine squirt of the contents will come out the nozzle. Pretty simple, yet extremely useful

Our Price: $9.50
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clear_gel_roller_cleaner
Clear Gel Roller Cleaner
Clear Gel roller cleaner is an excellent product that speed up your color changes and ultimately improve the productivity of your entire shop.

Our Price: $9.99
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Varn Complete Plate Cleaner
Varn Complete Plate Cleaner

Our Price: $9.99
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Varn Dampening System Cleaner (Gallon)
Varn Dampening System Cleaner (Gallon)

Our Price: $11.29
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ES-350_water_bottle
ES-350 Water Bottle, American- Toko Parts
ES-350 Water Bottle, American- Toko/ProPrint Parts

Our Price: $11.49
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astro_silver_mark_etch
Astro Silver Mark Etch [1 Quart]
Nikken Astro SilverMark Etch solution is a top selling etch solution.

Our Price: $11.90
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S-65_ryobi_sheet_seperator
S-65 Ryobi Sheet Separator
Ryobi - Itek cat whiskers  / Package of 12. Sucker feet are used in vacuum feed systems. The sucker lowers to the sheet and picks it up to begin the feeding process. Over time suckers do wear since they make physical contact with every sheet.

Our Price: $12.00
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Blue Swell Blanket Repair
Rapid Blanket Blue Swell (Varn Swell Alternative)
A fast acting, topical blanket smash repair. Works quickly to eliminate expensive downtime by applying directly to the damaged area or low spot of the blanket to restore a proper printing surface for halftones and critical images.

Our Price: $12.88
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S-88_Hamada_Suckers
S-88 Hamada Suckers
Hamada suckers for heavy stock, package of 12. Sucker feet are used in vacuum feed systems. The sucker lowers to the sheet and picks it up to begin the feeding process. Over time suckers do wear since they make physical contact with every sheet.

Our Price: $14.40
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Varn Triple Threat Deglazer (QT)
Varn Triple Threat Deglazer

Our Price: $14.99
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silver_master_SLM-OD_fountain_solution
Silver Master SLM-OD Fountain Solution [1 Gallon]
A fountain solution specifically formulated for use with Polyester plates.

Our Price: $16.60
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varn_take_it_off
Varn Take it Off [1 Pound Tub]
his highly concentrated blend has hundreds of uses in the pressroom and bindery to keep jobs running smooth and static free.

Our Price: $16.90
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royse_filter
Royse Filter Bag
This filter bag will help keep your Royse unit functioning like the day you got it.

Our Price: $18.56
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TC-90 Waterless Process Black "N" 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Process Black "N" 2.2lb (normal tack)
TC-90 Waterless Process Black "N" 2.2lb

Our Price: $19.36
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TC-90 Waterless Pantone Black
TC-90 Waterless Pantone Black 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Pantone Black

Our Price: $20.33
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TC-90 Waterless Transparent White
TC-90 Waterless Transparent White 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Transparent White

Our Price: $20.33
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PolyAd_fountain_solution_additive_for_poly
PolyAd Fountain Solution Additive for Poly Plates
MP2000 Fountain Concentrate runs polyester plates wetter and requires no additional wetting agents. It will also help to keep your plates cleaner throughout your press run.

Our Price: $21.45
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TC-90 Waterless Process Yelllow "N" 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Process Yellow "N" 2.2lb (normal tack)
TC-90 Waterless Process Yelllow "N" 2.2lb

Our Price: $21.54
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TC-90 Waterless Process Magenta "N" 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Process Magenta "N" 2.2lb (normal tack)
TC-90 Waterless Process Magenta "N" 2.2lb

Our Price: $21.78
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masking sheet
11 1/16" x 18 3/16" Masking Sheets [Box of 100]
Fits Multigraphics 1250-W, LW, 2650, 2850, 2975.

Our Price: $22.75
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TC-90 Waterless Process Cyan "N" 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Process Cyan "N" 2.2lb (normal tack)
TC-90 Waterless Process Cyan "N" 2.2lb

Our Price: $22.75
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Varn Triple Threat Deglazer (GAL)
Varn Triple Threat Deglazer (GAL)

Our Price: $23.82
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masking sheet
17 7/8" x 14 5/8" Masking Sheets [Box of 100]
Fits: Miehle 17. Rotaprint R30, 90, Apha-Delta 38

Our Price: $24.47
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varn_true_blue_offset_plate_cleaner
Varn True Blue Offset Plate Cleaner [1 Quart]
True Blue Plate Cleaner quickly and completely opens all types of metal offset plates, even after long periods of storage.

Our Price: $24.75
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TC-90 Waterless Pantone Process Blue
TC-90 Waterless Pantone Process Blue 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Pantone Process Blue

Our Price: $25.89
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TC-90 Waterless Pantone Opaque White
TC-90 Waterless Opaque White 2.2lb
TC-90 Waterless Pantone Opaque White

Our Price: $26.14
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SLM_Fountain_Solution_additive_OA2
SLM Fountain Additive OA2 [1 Liter]
Used as an anti-toning additive where Silver Master plates are used.

Our Price: $26.21
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varn_versi_fountain_solution
Varn Versi Fountain Solution Concentrate [1 Gallon]
Versi is Varn's highly versatile fountain solution concentrate designed for use  on presses equipped with conventional, integrated or Kompac®Automatic Dampening Systems.

Our Price: $27.23
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