Accessorize Your In-plant
Often overlooked and rarely explored, offset blankets and inks are those essential accessories
that deserve a closer look.
By Mike Llewellyn
A trio of two-color offset presses keep University of Southern Maine's Administrative Services busy, says Production Supervisor Fred Degenhardt. To keep the quality of the impressions high, he says the in-plant has maintained a relationship with A.B.Dick to stock the shop with press blankets.
"We run everything from business cards to clasp envelopes here," he says.
Degenhardt explains that for the mid-sized presses the in-plant runs, he has found semi-compressible blankets to be ideal.
"Softer blankets tend to mean less headaches for us," he says. "A soft blanket won't hold as fine a dot pattern [as a hard blanket] but it's suitable."
Recommending hard blankets for larger presses, Degenhardt says softer blankets won't smash as easily if there is a misfeed resulting in a paper jam. A smash is a dent made in a press blanket that results in a blank space on the printed piece because the ink can't be transferred.
As a result of the in-plant's opting for semi-compressible blankets, Degenhardt says it's not very often that the shop has to replace the accessory. As a matter of fact, some press operators cut down used blankets for use on the envelope press.
But for the most part, he says, the in-plant continues to buy cut-sized blankets from its suppliers.
Essential for the image transfer that makes a print job one a customer can love, press blankets have seen some marked advances in engineering over the past few years. Here's a look at the blankets manufacturers say are ideally suited to in-plants.
Quality Printing Is In The Details
Day International's dayGraphica 5010 boasts what the company calls "next generation" durability and the quick release and sharp print of the blanket's textured surface. Built on DuraZone compressible layer technology, the 5010 absorbs and minimizes damage from web breaks and smashes. The textured surface and consistent print pressure give impressive web release and sharpness of print.