Lithographic Printing "The Basic Requirements & Effects on Print Quality"
Waterless Printing "The Basics Requirements"
Waterless "The Benefits of Change"
Waterless "The Benefits of Change"

THE BENEFITS OF MOVING FROM LITHO TO WATERLESS PRINTING

DAMPENING 
  
FOUNT CONCENTRATE
Eliminated, Cost saving & Environmental advantage.
 
ISOPROPANOL
Eliminated – Insurance required for storage of highly flammable goods no longer required. Fear of fire causing death or injury and interruption of business no longer an issue. Health issues with Isopropanol no longer relevant.
Cost saving & Environmental advantage.
 
WATER
Water is becoming a precious resource. It is of course eliminated in waterless offset printing.
Environmental advantage
& Cost saving if metered.
 
WATER QUALITY
Eliminated - Only important for plate processing.
Cost saving
.
 
FILTRATION
Eliminated – Only important for plate processing.
Cost saving.
 
WASTE
Eliminated – No disposal of contaminated filters or other fount waste.
Cost saving & Environmental advantage
  
INK AND DAMP
INK FORMULATION
The choice of raw materials for waterless inks is not restricted to those that must offer a good ink/water balance. Other properties such as rub resistance, strength, flow, setting speed, drying, etc. are not compromised by this restricted choice.
Potential quality improvement.
 
PRESS DESIGN
Although most press manufacturers are not offering different designs for waterless printing, some are waking up to the fact that press design can be simplified considerably if there is no need for dampening. One manufacturer in particular offers anilox inked presses with just 5 cylinders per unit and no other inking rollers. Other companies that have traditionally printed with flexography or manufactured flexo presses, are looking closely at what waterless can offer.
Simplification & Potential Envoironmental Benefit

DOT SHARPNESS
Due to the fact that the ink on a waterless plate is contained in a cell, halftones are always sharper, and more consistent than offset litho. It is also possible to print much thicker ink films and still maintain sharp halftones.
Quality improvement.
 
PRINT CONSISTENCY
The elimination of dampening, coupled with consistent temperature control, ensures that no variation occurs through a print run. – Extra copies to make up for inconsistencies not required.
Time saved, Quality improvement & Cost saving.
 
SMALL IMAGES
The elimination of dampening removes the variable that is so difficult to control. Waterless inks formulated with extra press stability enable small images to be printed without variation. This is particularly true for waterless UV printing due to the complete press stability of the 100% solid, VOC free inks. 
Quality improvement & Press downtime saved.
 
INK TRANSFER TO WET SUBSTRATE
There is no dampening so there is no wet or contaminated substrate. 
Quality improvement & Press downtime saved.
 
CONTAMINATION OF SUBSTRATE 
Eliminated Environmental advantage.
 
DISTORTION OF SUBSTRATE
EliminatedQuality improvement & Press downtime saved.
 
DAMPENING AND CORROSION 
PRESS PARTS
EliminatedPress downtime saved & Cost saving.
 
DAMAGE TO ROLLER COMPOUNDS
Eliminated Press downtime saved & Cost saving.
 
We can quote one waterless printer who has run a six colour B2 press for seven years and has never recovered any inking rollers apart from those that have suffered mechanical damage.
 
DAMPENING MAINTENANCE
ROLLERS
EliminatedPress downtime saved & Cost saving.
 
CIRCULATION SYSTEM
Eliminated Press downtime saved & Cost saving.
 
CONDCUTIVITY, pH, HARDNESS, TEMPERATURE, AND DENSITY
Eliminated Press downtime saved & Cost saving.
 
MAKE READY
The simple fact that good ink/water balance is not required results is faster make ready times, with less wasted substrate. Anilox inked waterless offset presses offer the best cost saving in terms of time and wasted substrate. 
Press downtime saved & Cost saving.
 
ON THE RUN PRESS STOPS
As colour balance is not affected by ink/water balance good copy is more rapidly achieved. On anilox inking waterless presses good copy can be achieved in less than 10 sheets.  Press downtime saved & Cost saving.
 
OUR ENVIRONMENT
Offset litho became the most popular printing process from the mid 1950’s. Sixty years on and it is still by far the most popular printing process. During that time all those involved have worked to improve the quality of the print produced. One major leap forward in print quality was brought about by the introduction of alcohol dampening. At the time of its introduction protection of our environment was not such an important issue. The improvement in print quality far outshone any concern for environmental issues. For approximately the last ten years however the use of isopropanol has received an extremely bad press. If it had not been introduced when it was it would not stand a chance now! Although most heatset web printing companies now run “alcohol free” it has not been so easy for sheetfed printers to eliminate this VOC without considerable loss of quality and downtime.
Alcohol substitutes are required if elimination of isopropanol is sought. These are often used in smaller quantities but are still undesirable organic chemicals.
Many quite nasty processes in the plate making area of wet offset litho have been replaced with new more environmentally friendly low chemistry alternatives.
However it is not possible to print from these plates without dampening.
 
The only way to eliminate dampening in offset printing and get a quality improvement is to print waterless offset.
 
Waterless inks are now available that offer a true replacement for wet offset litho inks for all forms of offset printing. Our latest generation of waterless UV curing inks can be used on all types of coated and uncoated papers, carton boards, synthetic papers, plastics, films, and foils.
 
Waterless offset is environmentally the best practice offset printing system.
 
COST
Due to the many factors that influence the cost of a particular printing process it is never easy to prove that one process is more economical than another.
It is well known that waterless plates are two to three times the cost of offset litho plates.
It is well known that waterless inks are up to twice the cost of offset litho inks.
Press temperature control systems cost money to buy and run, but so do dampening systems.
 
On the plus side for waterless there is a quality improvement, a saving of waste substrate, a saving of production time, and an environmental advantage. How this is measured depends on the individual company’s financial arrangements, clients, and type of work.  
 
Waterless printing costs can be less than they are today, if the system is adopted by many more printers. In the main, printing machine manufacturers will not drive a change to waterless. Waterless plate and ink manufacturers can influence its growth, but the main drive must come from the printing industry.
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