Web Printing 101: What You Need to Know (Simple Guide)

Fri Feb , 2021

If you’ve ever seen how newspapers are printed, then you’ve seen web printing in action.

Paper moves rapidly through the massive rotating cylinders of the printing machine in a continuous stream. This process is used to print on continuous rolls of paper (or other printing materials), with some capable of printing on both sides simultaneously. This makes web printing a relatively affordable option compared to other methods and makes it suitable for commercial print materials, including:

  • Catalogues
  • Brochures
  • Books
  • Postcards
  • Direct mail
  • Calendars
  • Magazines
  • User manuals or product literature
  • Other technical publications

But what exactly is web printing and how can your business benefit from it? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Web Printing

Does your company have a major printing project? Here, we explore how web printing functions and why you should choose it over other methods.

Everything About Webprinting

How It Works

A web printing press processes the print on a roll of paper before it is separated and cut to the appropriate size and put together. It produces consistent results across all types of paper and offers higher quality than other printing methods like sheet-fed printing. This makes web printing suitable for large runs that need to be completed within a short period.

The images and text are put on plates and transferred onto a rubber blanket before being put on paper. There are two types of web offset printing.

  • Heatset

This method uses ink that dries via evaporation. This is done by placing the printed paper in a dryer.

Heatset web printing is suitable for coated papers where the ink mainly stays on the surface. This offers high contrast and glossy print text and images once the ink has dried.

However, when the paper is out of the dryer, it’s generally too hot to be cut or folded. So it is run through ‘chill rolls’ to set the ink and lower the paper’s temperature.

How quickly the ink dries depends on how long the paper is in the dryer and the temperature the machine is set to.

This printing method is commonly used for inserts, catalogues, magazines, and other medium-to-high-quality productions in large volumes.

  • Coldset

In coldset web printing, fast-drying ink is typically used. This absorbs into the paper it’s printed on. The results however aren’t as good as those of the heatset method. This makes this method unsuitable for uncoated papers and doesn’t require a separate unit for drying. The method is suitable for the production of user manuals and newspapers.

Benefits of Web Printing

Web printing offers several benefits for businesses that require printed materials. Here are a few of them.

1. It’s Suitable for Large Scale Printing

Are you looking to print in large volumes? Then web printing is the perfect solution. It is ideal for large-scale commercial printing owing to its consistent results and quick turnaround time. It can accommodate larger sheet sizes than other methods, like sheet-fed, without compromising the end product.

2. It’s Affordable

Typically, the rolls of paper used in web printing are cheaper than precut ones. This ensures that you get high-quality prints at a lower price.

Additionally, the use of rolls makes the method more efficient since the press can print on both sides of the paper at the same time, further reducing costs.

If you have a large printing order and want the biggest bang for your buck, web printing is your best choice.

3. It’s Flexible

Web printing machines perform other tasks such as perforating, folding and cutting the paper, either during or after printing. The heatset presses come with drying lamps that set the ink quickly on the paper and provide high-quality results in terms of both text and image.

4. It Offers Quick Turnaround

Web printers use big rolls of paper that are perforated, folded, and cut either during or after the printing and drying is complete. These machines are capable of printing hundreds of feet of paper in minutes, and there’s no need for operators to refill them with precut paper. This makes it easy to produce large quantities of magazines, catalogues, and other printed materials. Additionally, changing plates is easy which makes daily production efficient.

Now you know the basics of web printing. It’s a fast and cost-effective printing option that delivers consistent results. With high-quality printed materials, you can better build your brand and retain customer loyalty. This will further help you build your customer base to secure your business’s future.