The make ready is the phase immediately before the actual processing of the raw material. It’s the moment in which a product, after the design phase, is going to be printed / die-cutted for the first time. It consist in the calibration check of the entire production process. Usually, during the make ready process, the reel or the sheets (depending on the type of the product) are positioned and the inking of the systems are adjusted to ensure the best result.
So, the plates are loaded, the first sheet is printed, then the position is checked together with density and color matching. When everything is calibrated, the printing process could proceed with the entire run.
Some of the main checks in this phase are:
Input register - it’s printed several times, in order to keep the perfect overlap of the picture on the same sheet.
Background uniformity - it reveals if the ink values are uniform and homogeneous on a solid background.
Dot gain - in offset lithography and some other forms of printing, it’s an evend caused by the excessive increase of the dot size from the film to the printed image. The dot increasing is one of the factors that determine the most the color variations in printing. If the "dot gain" of the four-color process colors were the same for each one of them, the image would not lose its chromatic balance, but if one of the colors has a different point crushing than the others, the image would suffer a chromatic imbalance.
Pinch grip - the pinches are special clamps, attached to the printing cylinders, which hold the sheet until the print impression is made. They must be regularly positioned and kept in optimal state.
The task of printing is to reach a sort of best balance between all the components which are part of it. In addition to those described before we have the density parameters, the type of ink and its drying time.
The final purpose of the printer is to bring his printing machine in the best conditions in order to operate at its best level of production and quality.
This page is part of Gerp's glossary of terms. Gerp is a dedicated MIS to packaging industry.
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