WHAT IS WATERLESS PRINTING?

An Inherently Simpler, Superior, Greener Printing

Conventional “wet” offset printing requires two ink and water balance—ink and dampening solution to reproduce an image on press. However, managing two different fluids in the printing press is by default a more complex process, making the press operator's job much more difficult.

Waterless printing is an alternative printing system that runs on standard offset presses. The key to waterless printing is a plate that uses an ink-resistant silicone coating to eliminate the need for dampening solution.

 

Conventional and Waterless Printing Compared

Conventional "Wet" Printing

Dampening solution (shown in blue, below left) is used to repel ink (in magenta). As the result, tainted water is discharged from the press.

Conventional Wet Printing

Waterless Printing

Silicon polymer (in green) is used to repel ink. The mixture of water, alcohol or alcohol substitute and etching fluid are not required in the printing process.

Waterless Printing

By eliminating the dampening solution from the printing process, the waterless printing system provides improvements in productivity, quality, and an environmentally-friendlier operation.

Waterless Advantages

  • A wider color space with richer and vivid colors
  • Sharper dots and denser reproduction
  • Highest-resolution, lenticular, and FM stochastic screened work
  • Uniform print and color quality
  • Capability to print on plastics, films, foils and other non-porous substrates
  • Ability to offer clients an environmentally more responsible alternative beyond FSC, ISO, or wind/solar power

Waterless printing is a clear solution for forward-thinking print buyers who want to be associated with a simpler, superior and less wasteful print process.

Easily Adoptable Waterless

Waterless printing requires the following equipment. Most offset printers should be able to convert to waterless with minimal investment and training.

  • Thermal platesetter (830nM)
  • Offset press with temperature-control capability
  • Toray or approved waterless plate processor (24" or 44")