Printing Technology Course – A Detailed Step by Step Guide
Printing Technology applies to the broad variety of technologies needed to operate jobs in printing & graphic communication. Printing is a process used to generate an image or text using various methods such as inked type, blocks, plates, etc. Bi Sheng in China developed the first movable type printing.
Printing Technology is one of the engineering courses in which printing press processes, design, and development are discussed. Printing technology is presently non-impact and mainly makes use of computers.
Printing Technology is a mixture of different skills, such as science, technology, and art. It is part of the process of mass communication requiring different talents, such as technological skills, which are of utmost importance. Print Technology was invented by Johannes Gutenberg of Europe in the 14th century. He is popularly regarded as the father of printing.
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Below in this article, you can find out all about the printing technology course.
Different Types of Printing Methods
Several different kinds of printing methods are available and they are still evolving. Each style is appropriate for a particular need, which ensures that companies can select a printing method that best illustrates their products or services. Some of the most well-known and widely used forms are here:
It is mostly used for rough-surfaced media, such as wood, canvas, and cloth. It’s a flexible process enough so books, paper, stationery, and more can also be used.
Offset lithography is also known as offset printing or litho and is a very common mass-production printing process. This requires printing plates, usually made of aluminium, each of which contains an illustration of the material to be printed.
In producing consistently high-quality images, offset lithography is nice and can be used for small or high-volume print jobs. Since it can print on any flat surface, it’s also a flexible option, regardless of whether it’s smooth like paper or rough like canvas.
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Used for labels and packaging, anything with ongoing designs, such as wallpaper and gift wrap. The modern version of letterpress printing is flexographic printing and is widely used to print on uneven surfaces. This printing style utilizes semi-liquid, quick-drying inks and can be used for high-volume jobs.
Due to its high press speeds, suitability for long runs, and ability to print on a wide variety of formats, including plastic, cellophane, and metallic film, flexography is a common option.
Used for posters and signs, labels, newsletters, lists, and letters. Digital printing is a new technique that incorporates several different methods, including inkjet and laser printing.
Digital printing facilitates fast turnaround and enables organizations to print on demand.
For small run work, it’s also excellent-requests can be made for as little as one print. If you select the right job for digital printing, it can create a cost-effective technique that still produces high-quality prints close to the other, larger-scale choices.
Used for large signs such as billboards, posters, vinyl banners, wallpapers and murals, floor graphics, laminating. To produce the full print roll width, broad format printing occurs. As compared to other techniques such as digital printing, this printing method allows you to concentrate on a much wider field. Ideal for traditional advertising media and businesses that want to make a significant influence on their clients.
The other techniques of printing would not be able to create a material as large. To create flat objects that can be hung on a wall, most companies prefer large format media, but they can also be folded or made to stand freely.
Used on clothes for printing logos and graphics, fabric banners, posters. Screen printing is a printing method used to transfer an image onto another material using fine material or mesh. The mesh is spread out such that a projector is formed and ink is pressed against it to print the image successfully. Commonly used for printing graphics on clothes and other pieces of fabric, screen printing may also be used for printing on paper and metal.
It is best used for the bulk printing of routine objects. This is not very cost-effective for a limited number of orders. But it’s a highly cost-effective printing method if you need a lot of the same image.
Used for promotion and marketing freebies, new products, showpieces, toy figurines. Using digital model data from 3D models or electronic sources such as an Additive Manufacturing File (AMF), the necessary objects of different shapes and sizes are produced. To create this 3D object, additive compound mixtures are then fused.
Used for newsletters, posters, and leaflets, magazines, catalogues, brochures, and stationery. LED UV printing is a technique that, due to its extremely high-quality prints and fast turnaround times, is becoming increasingly popular among companies.
It is a type of digital printing that, when it is being printed, uses UV (ultraviolet) lights to dry the ink. The drying process is special, also known as UV curing, which distinguishes it from the other methods of printing because it is instantaneous and prevents the ink from sinking into the materials.
Thanks to its ability to dry ink instantly and produce bright, vivid colours, it can transform an ordinary product into a luxurious, high-quality product that is attention-grabbing.
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A Brief Printing History from the 15th century to today
If printing had not been developed, far fewer people would have been able to read, many would still have spoken Latin, news of historical events would never have reached us, and the greatest scientific advances would have arrived centuries late.
We journey through time in this article and we look at the most important technological breakthroughs in printing, stage by stage.
First stage: woodblock printing
One of the many innovations that originated from this great empire in 6th-century China during the Tang dynasty was a printing device using wooden matrices that were engraved, inked, and pressed on a sheet of paper. The scope of this innovation was such that printing is considered one of the four great inventions of Ancient China in modern Chinese historiography.
A copy of the Diamond Sutra (868 AD), a six-sheet scroll over five meters in length, was one of the first books printed with woodblocks.
Second stage: movable type printing
This is one of the most significant phases of printing history: the invention of the movable type. And this innovation came from China once again. Bi Sheng invented the movable form of clay in 1041.
It had the drawback, however, of breaking quickly. In 1298, inventor Wang Zhen began using much stronger wooden types and invented a complex system of rotating tables which improved the efficiency of printing.
Now, quick forward to the 15th century and Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the movable type in Europe. The punch, parallelepiped steel whose head was etched in relief and back to front, was the centrepiece of his technique, with a character: a number, a letter, or a punctuation mark. The punch formed the matrix in which it was cast, then placed, inked, and pressed on paper on a tray.
Here are three major innovations of Gutenberg’s:
- He was the first to use inks based on oil, which lasted longer than the commonly used water-based inks.
- As it was made of an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, his form was more durable.
- And the first printing press, inspired by the grape press, was invented by him.
On 23 February 1455, the first Gutenberg Bible was published with a print run of 180 copies after around a year of experimentation.
Third stage: the rotary press
The first rotary press, perfected in 1846 and patented in 1847, was invented by Richard March Hoe in the United States in 1843. This method was initially hand-fed with single sheets before William Bullock invented a paper roll press in 1863: the pictures to be printed were curved around rotating cylinders.
There was no longer a flat surface that exerted printing pressure: instead, the paper moved through a cylinder exerting a much greater force. Due to the mechanization of the technique and the introduction of continuous paper rolls, the rotary printing presses were able to print up to 8,000 sheets an hour. That makes it ideal as the first press for large print runs. In 1846, the rotary press started to be used for printing the Philadelphia Public Ledger.
The fourth stage: offset printing
The offset press was invented for printing on metal by Robert Barclay in 1875. Then, in 1904, the invention was adopted by Ira Washington Rubel for paper. This indirect printing method is based on a very basic chemical phenomenon: the repulsion between water and oil.
This printing method is anything but straightforward though. The offset plate is divided into two regions: the image area, which is lipophilic and thus attracts the ink; and the non-image hydrophilic area, which repels the ink. In a solution that binds to the non-image region, the plate is dipped and then inked. Only the image adheres to the ink in this way, which is then transferred to a rubber cylinder and then imprinted on the paper.
Advantages of offset printing:
- It produces very sharp, clean pictures.
- Good quality printing, even if it has a surface that is not completely smooth, on any form of paper.
Offset presses are voluminous and need a lot of maintenance. This is why for large print runs only, this printing method is cost-effective.
Fifth stage: the linotype machine
In 1885, German inventor Ottmar Mergenthaler invented the linotype, the typesetting machine. The benefit of this method was that lines of form were automatically composed. It functions in almost the same way as a typewriter: the user wrote text lines by pressing the keys on a keyboard.
Each key would release a matrix for the corresponding character and this matrix would co-ordinate with the others. Molten lead, cast, inked filled the matrix line, and then it was used on sheets of paper to press the characters.
While this is a complicated process, printing has been greatly accelerated by the linotype. It meant that typesetters no longer had to write typed lines by hand: everything was mechanized. In 1886, the linotype machine was first used to print the “New York Tribune,” a New York daily newspaper founded in 1841.
Sixth stage: the laser printer
Electronic processes in a laser printer create the material to be printed and print it directly onto a sheet of paper. To be more precise, the laser transfers the image to a photosensitive selenium cylinder (called a ‘drum’) and from there it is transferred directly via toner to the paper.
It’s possible to print about 20,000 lines a minute with this device. But more notably, from this point on, anyone could print whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, in their office or home.
The first laser printers were quite different from the ones we are used to today; They were bulky, complicated, and very expensive. In 1982, the first desktop laser printer was published by canon. Its high cost, however, meant few could afford one.
It was not until the early 1990s that laser printers became widely available to the public, along with inkjet, dot matrix, and dye-sublimation printers. Since then, printers have become much cheaper, much lighter, and more efficient.
The last stage: 3D printing
We finish our journey through time in the era of the 3D printer. This printing technology was created some years earlier, to be exact, in 1983. Today, there are different 3D printing methods. They vary largely in the way they assemble various layers: they may use heat-melted materials, hardened liquid materials, or laminated and bound materials.
3D printing has taken years to become commonly used since the cost of this technology was incredibly high at first. But 3D printing is still used in many ways, from architecture to archaeology, from art to healthcare, with more being added all the time.
Importance of Printing in Different Sectors:
Since Johannes Gutenberg imprinted copies of the Bible on his printing press in 1452, printing technology has come a long way. His technology played a crucial role in defining the world we know today.
There was already a general need to learn before printing technology was invented. Back then, however, books were handwritten and costly. The cost of printing went down with the invention of the printing press, and more people started reading.
While online media is growing rapidly, printing still has a position in several different industries.
Printing is a significant form of advertising since people usually like newspapers and magazines and value them. Many people think print ads are credible, insightful, and long-lasting. Unlike television brief announcements, print media ads are lengthy and accurately describe the message.
That said, the colourful presentation and insightful text attract many readers’ attention. By taking advantage of the credibility of printing, many businesses print detailed brochures and colourful flyers to advertise their goods.
Printing’s most significant role in advertising is its lifetime. A short television advertisement could have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ effect on viewers, but with print advertising that is not the case. For months, individuals can keep the brochure or print it with them.
Today, most photographs are posted and viewed in digital form. The effect of printing a photograph, however, has more emotional meaning than a digitalized one. The moment captured is immortalized into a physical entity using a printed image.
A printed photograph also impacts the legacy of individuals. The black and white pictures of your grandparents and great grandparents, for instance, are your family’s legacy. Even if your great grandparents or grandparents have not met you, their photos are important to you.
When it comes to giving something special, compared to a digital photo album, a photo album containing pictures of your loved ones would be of great benefit to you. And the hard drives used to store photos that die someday, but centuries to come will look at the printed photographs.
People are surrounded by various consumables, and these items are packed. Product packaging is an integral component of any product since it contains product information. Be it food or cosmetic products, the specifics of the manufacture, expiry, and batch number are printed on the packaging.
For the customer, these details are necessary. Simple and high-quality printing, apart from the detail, adds to the overall look of the finished product. It is part of the brand and enhances the product’s image. That’s why the final product is prepared using superior packaging materials and flawless printing technology.
We are living in a digital age, where print may seem to have lost its meaning. But, that isn’t real. Printing is important, be it advertisement or packaging, to help the functioning of different industries. It is a significant channel that increases the scope and helps to distribute data.
Courses and Eligibility for Printing Technology Course
You have plenty of choices to choose from if you are trying to pursue a printing technology course. In this sector, many diplomas, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral courses are available. Some of the most sought-after courses are listed below:
The Diploma in Printing Technology course is for three years. After passing 10th with Mathematics & Technology Science, students may apply for this course.
B.Tech/B.E. in Printing Technology course has a total length of four years. Candidates can take admission in this course after passing 12th with physics and mathematics as compulsory subjects for this course.
B.Tech/M.E. in Printing Technology course is a two-year master’s program. To apply for this course, in the related area, students must have passed B. Tech or BE.
Students should hold a master’s degree in the relevant field of printing technology course to gain admission to PhD courses. This course is delivered on a full-time as well as part-time basis.
Some other certificate courses are:
- Certificate in Printing Technology
- Certificate in Pre-Press Operations
- Certificate in Press Operations
- Certificate Course in Offset Press Work
- Certificate in Paper and Printing Technology
Subjects of printing technology course include:
- Theory of Printing Machine
- Printing Process
- Typography & Typesetting
- Electrical Systems in Printing Machines
- Quality Management
- Electrical & Electronics
- Security Printing
Admission in Printing Technology Course
Applicants may appear at JEE Main or any other state-level engineering entrance exam to be admitted to bachelor courses (BE/B.Tech). Admission will be made based on the rank obtained in the examination by the candidates.
Admission to master’s degree courses shall be carried out based on the list of merits drawn up following the rank given to candidates in the GATE or any other state-level examination.
A Career in Printing Technology and Jobs
You can expect plenty of career opportunities in India and abroad with a degree in a printing technology course. One of the country’s fastest-growing sectors is the printing industry. In this sector, job opportunities are growing rapidly. This area gives the deserving one a promising chance, but it also takes a lot of hard work and patience.
In today’s media-driven world, printing technology has a definite reach. Printing jobs are not limited to the press industry. You can get jobs in magazines, newspapers and advertising agencies, government and private publishing houses, and teaching jobs in different colleges and universities after taking courses in this field.
Some government-run publishing houses approach graduates of printing technology. For that purpose, you must have acquired knowledge by doing a printing technology course. You can also work in private industries. In the publishing section, you serve as an editor, sub-editor, assistant sub-editor, associate editor, or assistant editor. As production in charge, you can also act.
Below are some of the job profiles you can work as:
- Printing Supervisor
- Printing Trainee Engineer
- Screen Room Printing Engineer
- Printing Officer
- Marketing Manager
- Printing Technologists
- Quality Assurance Engineers
Job areas after completing printing technology course are:
- Publishing Companies/houses
- News Papers Production
- Digital Printing
- Electronic Printing
- Security Printing
- Textile Industry
- Advertising Companies
- Polymer technology relating companies
You can also serve as a teacher in different organizations after completion of the printing technology course, apart from all of these. A very promising career choice is teaching. You must pass the National Eligibility Examination of CSIR (NET).
Salary after Printing technology Course
This field provides amazing packages for deserving candidates who have gained cognizance from the printing technology course in terms of salary. In India, the starting salary of a degree holder in printing technology can be about Rs.2 and 3 lacs per year. You can receive higher pay packages if you hold a higher position.
Thank you for the article on printing technology course. After reading this article I have come to know a lot more about this field. I wasn’t aware about the different career options available in this domain. I plan to set up my own business once I gain some experience in this field ,therefore I would like to start my journey by doing the course.