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Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 10:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My 2006 calendar went to press yesterday, and what a pleasant surprise.

The company who does the printing, point one graphics ( and the client for the calendar) used this project to bring a new technology on line in their plate department. It is called FM screening. I know very little about that end of the process, but what I can see is the level of detail in the final output.

One of the technical guys helping with the proofing said that it was equivalent to 2400 dpi.
From an Offset press!

I don't know if this was sales talk or actual values but for the first time I have seen the final press output exceed the colour quality and details of the Epson proofs!

January




Link to the rest of the calendar

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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 12:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just had a look at the calendar on your website. The photography is very good and the studio setups are pretty cool looking also. Nice work on who ever painted the backgrounds for those.

Jim
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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The backgrounds come from different sources

White Lady and Cow Girl are by the MUA's mother in Bulgeria
Golf is a backdrop I picked up at a prop place that was going out of business
French Maid is a painted flat that was "donated" by a movie set designer

The rest are just seamless paper or cloth some with clouds added.

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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As someone who has worked in Electronic Prepress, and on a printing press, I havn't heard of this "FM" screening process. It kind of sounds like something the company I worked for called "specta" process. Translated - instead of all of the dots on the printed page all bieng the same size (as it's been for the longes time) they are different sizes, of course with some order to the sizes, but thereby increasing the sharpness, resolution, or what I call print quality.

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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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FM Screening (Frequency Modulation) avoids moire patterns in image and screen ruling. It also does not make use of screen angles like traditional printing processes and has a virtually continuous tone reproduction. It also places small dots in a calculated randomness and varies the frequency of dots on page rather than the rosette effect created by screen angles. This results in a higher image quality and less process variability in the print run. It does have it's limitations however, mainly that mid-tones are either are too light or too dark and can't be corrected by ink key adjustments and secondly dot gain is much higher. It also seems to work better for sheet fed presses than web presses.
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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 02:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Again I will plead ignorance for the different technologies. The older screening used on most of their plates had mulitple sizes. When you looked at it under a glass it looked kinda like a rossette stone.

With the new system ( from Fuji I believe) the dots are so small that they are hard to see under the glass, and they don't seem to have a pattern.


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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The press is a sheet feed.

What is dot gain?

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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 02:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Specta not only has the random sized dots, but also not an any certin pattern. Specta is used on web based presses, usually heat set, since it tends to use more ink.

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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 03:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dot gain occurs when ink is transferred from the plate to the blanket of the press and finally to the paper which it is printed on. A halftone dot becomes larger because of the mechanical process of transferring ink. If one does not compensate for dot gain there is a possibility of the line screen or halftone looking much larger than what you had in mind for the print. It can also result in colours bleeding into each other and muddying up parts of a print.
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Re: Changes in printing press technology
Old 11-06-2005, 03:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Is this something that happens over time ( ie you have to watch for on long runs) or should it be noticeable right at the beginning of the run?

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