Paper has a long, illustrious history. That’s because paper is one of the oldest innovations known to humankind. The history of ink attests to how old writing, and indeed, printing really is. But here is a lingering question: how is paper made? More specifically, how is offset printing paper produced? Offset printing paper is a massively important element of printing, and the process of its creation can be time-consuming and expensive.
What Goes Into a Paper Machine?
For paper machines to run at optimum efficiency, it must consume a tremendous amount of resources. Wood and water are the two basic resources used to feed paper machines and churn out vast quantities of paper. Even if it isn’t offset printing paper, the creation of paper follows the same basic formula:
- Wood is ground down and converted to fibers.
- Water is combined with the new fibers over a screen of wires. This screen of wires is called a Fourdrinier table.
- Little by little, the materials are fed through a drying mechanism,
- After the raw material is dry, a special coating is applied to it.
- Then rolls of paper are formed once the coating is set.
How exactly does a fourdrinier table work? The overwhelming majority of what is spread out onto the screens is discarded. Only a tiny amount – one percent! – of what comes out can be used. Water is separated out from the mixture and allowed to flow away with the assistance of gravity. The huge amount of water necessary to produce the amount of raw paper need is staggering. What’s more, many paper mills are usually located around or on a river itself, to provide enough running water to facilitate the creation of paper on such a stupendous scale. Why are rivers such a key part of the process? Besides providing the water source, rushing rivers can spin up incredible amounts of energy. Along with wood and water, energy is the third essential resource to create paper.
The Best Trees Make for the Best Papers
The best wood comes from the best trees. The best trees make for the best possible papers. Without the trees, the entire process of paper creation is nearly impossible. Once the wood is converted into fibers, both long fibers and short fibers can be used. Evergreen trees yield longer fibers, which result in more durable papers. Hardwood trees yield shorter fibers, which result in heavier weight and changes in opacity levels. Taken together, these elements prepare newly-created paper for offset printing presses.
While plastic recycling is greatly beneficial to the environment, it’s not as great for smooth paper production. Though recycling is a sustainable method, plastic being mixed in with paper interferes with the efficient operation of the paper machines. Plastics getting into the paper result in hickeys – the odd bits of incompatible matter that distort final products.
Custom Orders, Custom Designs, and Custom Shipping
When it comes to offset printing paper, custom orders and custom designs are the main outlets for the product. These orders and designs can be shipped both domestically and internationally. For instance, Israel is just one destination for a custom order of offset printing paper.
Offset Printing Paper and More from Atlantic Graphic Systems!
Whether you need bindery equipment repaired or need help relocating your plant, Atlantic Graphic Systems has almost 40 years of experience in the graphics field. We are proud of our reputation for excellent customer service and quality products. For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 290-8200. For more tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.