Printing technology plays a major role in today's media â driven world. This industry is considered as an autonomous industry, even if it's often allied with publishing industry.
The revolution of printing started with the invention of the printing press by Johan Guttenberg in the 14th century. The industry got a breakthrough with the development of the steam printing press in 1830. The emergence of the rotary press (hundred years later) made the mass production possible. The basic forms of the first generation printing press were gravure and letterpress. But today we have many refinements and additions to the technology. Offset printing is an example of this.
Before the arrival of computers most of the important developments were around printing. It's only after the latter half of the twentieth century, the quality and the speed of the printing press improved. The level of automation increased and press became sophisticated. Later with the help of new technologies now it can produce high quality color separation and four-color printing. It was the rotary press who paved the way to the web with offset presses in the 1970s. Printing presses increased their consistency in the last 20 years. The new generation printing press is controlled by computer and custom settings can be made automatically as well as being able to be operated remotely.
Now-a-days we have an extensive variety of products from printing industry. New establishments offer quick printing files for their consumers.
The printing business is divided into 12 segments and this reflects the most important category of the printing system. Organizations that use printing plates, image carrier and deal out ink are divided into five segments such as lithography, flexography, screen printing, gravure, and letter press. Lithography use flat metal plates and it's connected to computer composition and the use of color. The lithographic printing establishment is considered as the largest industry. Though newspapers use this process, their actions are not integrated in this industry.
Flexography use printing plates prepared of rubber. It's considered as a speedy process and it uses quick drying inks, which is mainly used on different materials including shopping bags, cartons, corrugated boxes and labels.
Gravure is normally used for packaging and product printing and because of its top quality reproduction, pagination (flexible) formats and reliable print quality it won a major share of packing and manufactured goods printing. They also take care screen printing, drawing on clothes, napkins and hats. Letter press prints pictures from the lifted surfaces which are produced by acid etching and photo emulsion.
The digital printing segment includes plate-less or nonimpact procedures, they are considered as the most advanced technology. Electronic, inkjet or electrostatic printing comes under this category. They are mainly used for copying and field printing which carry personalized or short run work, but plate-less printing is used continuously all through the industry.
Variable data printing or digital printing offers rapid turnaround capabilities. The figure of jobs and in regard of establishment's quick printing is considered as the industry's third largest segment. This process is mainly used by undersized businesses and individuals. Other parts of this industry include prepress services, deal binding, improvement finishing and linked work.