• Ink fountain liners

    A long time has passed since offset printing was started by Ira Washington Rubel in 1903, who invented a new printing machine built on the basic principle of three rollers working and located next to one another. It was an innovation that would revolutionize printing industry for a long time to come. A plate roller with the text to be printed moved in contact with a rubber cylinder, which in turn performed the print on the paper wrapped around the third roller. The discovery of the new technique was completely accidental, but showed that the quality of a text printed from a rubber surface was higher than the one from a metal plate. The old printing process has remained more or less the same till now, with some innovations, of course. Modern improvements in offset printing are directed at machines which need less maintenance and can be more resistant, thus saving time and money. The economic upturn of efficient printing machines is not a lower priority, considering the huge number of prints distributed all over the word every day. Mass distribution is actually one of the main advantages, along with image quality, that makes offset process the most common printing method worldwide. A large number of editorial products such as newspapers, magazines, catalogues and books are printed in black and white as well as colored copies with offset machines which have become faster and are more frequently connected to digital systems for image transfer and typesetting. Press rollers are subject to absorb different types of deposits during printing process with negative effects on ink transfer and roller endurance. To prevent damages and long cleaning operations, all modern printing machines can be provided with special liners which protect the ink fountain. Ink fountain liners are applied along the length of the inking roller by an adhesive strip to enable direct contact with the bottom of the ink fountain. Color changes operations largely benefit from using ink fountain liners, whose thickness varies according to the ink aggressiveness i.e. metallic, abrasive or UV inks as well as the number of runs and working load of the printing machine. Ink fountain liners are made of plastic material layers and can be easily removed when changing colors by the use of cleaning scrapers. Time and cost saving is not the only advantage they offer. The quantity of solvents and cleaning materials used for the maintenance of a press machine is largely reduced when using ink fountain liners. In fact, environmental protection is another aspect to take into consideration when ink fountain liners are concerned, promoting an environmentally responsible approach of the printing industry.