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Printing Defect: Is It the Material or the Press?

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No printer ever wants to experience issues on press, but when it does occur, reaching a quick resolution is the best-case scenario. While the cause of the issue may not be readily apparent, there is some immediate problem-solving that press operators can do to determine whether the problem lies with the print media or the press.

Problem-Solving at the Source

Of course, there are many things that can cause printing defects, from ink adhesion issues to misalignment within the press. Re-orienting the material in the press and reprinting can help diagnose the source of the problem. With a roll-form press, rewinding the material in the opposite direction so that the side that was inside to the press is now outside, will allow you to tell. With a sheet-fed press, turning the material around will accomplish the same thing. If the defect moves with the web, then the problem lies with the material. If it stays on the same side, then the problem is with the press.

Material on Press

Quicker Resolution

It’s a simple thing to try, kind of like rebooting your computer before calling IT Support, but it can avoid time being wasted on calls to both your print media supplier and your printer OEM for help. If the latter were your first step, it’s likely that at least one of those calls would be a waste of your time. Furthermore, any one of the parties may jump to conclusions about the cause of the problem, which could start you down the wrong path and extend the time required to solve the problem.

Diagnosis, after all, is a process of elimination. Re-orientation of the print media can rule out an issue with either the material or the press, leaving you with a path forward to proper diagnosis and resolution. It also opens the door for identification of the root cause of the problem to prevent recurrence. Finally, if you find that the issue may lie with the print media, the support team at your supplier will be able to help you rectify the situation, but if the problem is with the press, your press operator may be able to make adjustments to resolve it without calls to anyone - a win-win for all stakeholders.

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