Thursday, June 4, 2009

Advantages of Rotogravure vs. Web Offset

By Jack Graber
2nd in a 3-part series
(See Part 1, "Rotogravure: A Missed -- and Misunderstood -- Opportunity for Publishers".)

Rotogravure has a variety of advantages over heatset web offset (HSWO), which is the usual method for printing magazines and catalogs:

  • Lower running (per M) costs, especially when filling the entire press.
  • Having no intermediate blanket, ink-water balance problems, or printing of wet ink on wet ink, rotogravure can lay down a greater proportion of ink with more consistency than HSWO. That leads to superior detail and depth of color even on the lightest of papers, which means publishers can reduce their paper and postage costs without sacrificing quality
  • Rotogravure is better suited to lightweight uncoated papers. When HSWO printers use lightweight supercalendered papers, the low surface strength often leads to slower press speeds, linting, and high ink usage. Not so with roto. Rotogravure printing on a good SCA can actually achieve print quality equal to that of HSWO on a more expensive lightweight coated #5 paper.
  • The variable cutoff leads to less trim waste because you can tailor the cylinder size and web width. HSWO presses have a fixed cutoff.
  • The ability to print large signatures, such as 96-page forms, enables some publishers to save on bindery costs by using fewer hoppers.

  • The ability to print large numbers of pages on one press also can reduce cycle time.
Next: Part 3, "Combining Roto and Web Offset on the Same Product"

No comments: