In school, you are taught about the old hand presses that were used to print newspapers. But have you ever wondered what machine prints newspapers and magazines now? Most modern printing presses are mechanized and rely on laser imprinted sheets or cylinders to transfer ink to the paper. This form of printing is commonly called flexo printing. But how can they prevent excess ink from being transferred onto the paper?
How To Print Flawlessly
There is a flat, thin blade that scraps all the excess ink off the imprinted sheet or cylinder allowing only the ink that the printer needs to remain and be pressed onto the paper. This blade is called a doctor blades for flexo printing. These blades must be made well as their function is essential to ensure that every magazine or newspaper printed comes out printed exactly the same without odd ink splotches. Considering how many copies of an item need to be printed for distribution they must also be reliable to function every time regardless of how fast the printer is moving.
The Doctor Is Disposable
What is interesting about this doctor blade, is that while it needs to be made with the highest level of quality, it must also wear away evenly along the entire edge so that it consistently removes the excess ink without causing wear in the imprint itself. This doctor blade is, therefore, a disposable item within the printing business itself. Which is rather ironic since the items that are being printed are also disposable.
Each day all across the nation the printing presses could go through multiple doctor blades to ensure that we all have access to the printed material of our choosing. So next time you read a flawlessly printed newspaper or magazine, think of the all-important, yet simple, doctor blade that made it all possible.