Offset lithography is a process used for printing on a flat surface, using printing plates. An image is transferred to a printing plate, which can be made of a variety of materials such as metal or paper. The plate is then chemically treated so that only image areas will accept ink. Water and ink is applied to the plate and because of the chemical treatment the ink only "sticks" to the image areas, areas without images reject the ink. The plate is then rolled onto a rubber cylinder applying the inked area, and in turn the rubber cylinder (or "blanket") applies the image to the paper. The system is "Offset" because the plate does not come in direct contact with the paper, which preserves the quality of the plate.
An offset press can run continuously, which makes it extremely fast. Depending on the job, the press may be sheet fed, which means that individual pieces are pulled from a stack by the press and run through, or web-fed, in which case it accepts media from large rollers.
Compared to other printing methods, Offset printing is best suited for cost-effectively producing large volumes of high quality, sharp prints and requires little maintenance.
Offset lithography is one of the most popular ways of creating printed matter. Common applications include: newspapers, magazines, brochures, stationery, books and flexible packaging.
To cope with the demands of Offset lithography, the LithoTec Series are concentrated, high colour strength pastes, expertly formulated to be compatible with conventional Offset, Heat set and UV cured offset inks. LithoTec offers exceptional lithographic characteristics combined with fast setting and drying. LithoTec formulations provide superior press stability and performance, whilst also giving improved gloss and rub resistance. Starting formulations are available upon request.