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How is a book printed?

Now, walking into a bookstore, readers are feeling in the book variety. But also appreciate the book fine printing process. What is the process of making a book in a printing plant? How has the printing process changed? Recently, the reporter walked into the book printing factory to understand the story behind the book printing and binding.

Plate making

The printmaker is the “Motley man”. The printing of a book begins here.

With the roar of the machines, printing presses were running at a high speed. The workers put the paper into the machine and spread the blank paper on the assembly line through the rotation of the machine. Pictures and words of printed matter poured out from the other end of the printing press.

This is the impression most people have of a book-printing shop. But, the beginning of a book’s entry into the printing process does not begin at the printing shop, but at the plate-making shop.

The publishing and production of books are basically divided into pre-press, in press, and post press. First, photography, scanning, and then typesetting and color correction are carried out. After the printing plate is output by the plate making.

In the process of plate making, the light requirements for photosensitive materials are very high. The reporter noticed that in the darkroom, the light of the lamp is not the same as the ordinary light, but a kind of dark yellow light.

Zou saw the reporter’s confusion, explaining that the printing plate in the production, like the development of photos, need to be operated in a darkroom, and the environmental temperature is required to maintain at about 24 degrees Celsius.

In addition to operating all kinds of software, the plate makers here also need to be familiar with the whole printing process.” Zou said frankly, because the space available for debugging on the printing machine is limited after all, if the front end is not well done, it is difficult to make up for the follow-up work, and even everything has to be pushed over again, so its importance can be seen.

Printing plate production completed, which means the completion of a book printing “Prototype”.


Three persons of one machine print 12000 pages per hour

Following the thick smell of ink, the reporter came to the core department of the printing center, the lithography workshop and the rotary workshop. The two workshops mainly carry out book printing. On the same day, the workshop was busy printing a book. Several printing presses are beating regularly, with stacks of books and pages that have been printed stacked on one side.

The reporter met Liang Haihua, the deputy director of the lithography workshop of the Printing Center. He is an old printer and has been engaged in printing for 27 years. He told the reporter that an advanced Heidelberg printing machine now requires only three staff members to complete all operations, namely the captain, the deputy captain and the assistant, and can print 12000 pages per hour.

Before the printing machine is started, the captain, assistant captain and assistant need to check the equipment. During printing, the three persons have a clear division of labor, check the correction at any time, observe whether the ink is uniform, and adjust as soon as possible if problems are found. “Mature printing workers have developed a pair of bright eyes. If there is any deviation in printing color, they can immediately find and adjust it,” Liang said.

For the captain, the requirements are much higher. The captain needs to be aware of the work content, personnel and equipment before and after the book page printing, so as to do a good job scheduling. “It’s the real work of time, and that’s why a good printer Captain has to work out for a long time.”

It is understood that because of the high standard of quality requirements, printing shop schedule pressure has been very large. Liang said that in order to protect the publication time of key books, there will be two shifts, one morning from 8:30 to 16:50, the other night from 20:30 to 6:30 the next day.


Multiple quality inspection links are “insurance” for book quality

With the printing out of the fold to the bookbinding workshop, a book printing, production is also about to enter the end.

In fact, the bookbinding department of the process has a lot of subdivision, a common book includes sewing, adhesive and other processes.

Zou introduced that at present, there are two main binding methods for printing, namely riding nails and glue binding. Horseback riding nails usually refer to “wire flat nails”, and they are not pre made staples. During the production process, the machine cuts a section from the rolled metal wire, nails it into the paper, and bends and fixes the wire on the other side of the paper.

And the book binding process is much more complex than the process of horse riding, you need to fold the pages into a book, and then through the machine milling back, and then glue, and finally stick together with the cover.

The reporter saw in the binding workshop that all the staff were working hard on the binding assembly line, and the machine was running at full speed. Just after being printed, the pages turned into exquisite and beautiful books.

The reporter found that although the production process has now been fully automated, but in the key positions of the operation still need to be completed manually. Such as the setting of quality inspectors, they take out samples from time to time, the finished product and the original printed pattern and color information check, self-check. It may seem inefficient, but Zou says it ensures the quality of the finished product.

It is understood that in order to control the quality of the finished book, the staff will also conduct patrol inspection during the binding process, and track the handling process of the problems occurred in the inspection. In Zou’s words, it is “insurance” for the quality of books printing.


Pure manual folding precision, stitching picture without gaps

With the development of the times and the change of technology, the technology of the printing center has been on the “fast track”, but in a small room in the factory, the most traditional pure manual folding remains.

This year, 60-year-old Hu Xiaohua has retired for 10 years, due to a skilled manual folding technology, she was rehired back after retirement. “In the early years, we all used to do manual folding, book binding, and book cutting. Manual folding was a required course for entering a factory. It was completely different from today,” Hu told reporters about his previous job, carrying baskets of paper edges on a pole, the book is cut like a steering wheel, with a lot of strength.

Outside the smallest workshop, high-tech automated machines are running at high speed. Today’s technology has been so advanced, why printing center to keep pure manual folding it? Hu told reporters that many customers need books sample book, sample book must be fine, the requirements are particularly high, so is generally pure manual folding.

Compared to the machine, pure manual folding precision is higher, after Hu fold out the page, two pieces of paper to spell out the middle of the picture can hardly see any gaps. To a 16 open size 100 side of the book, for example, pack a book like this, Hu only half an hour of time.

“I have been doing this job all my life, and I really love this job,” Hu told reporters. “This kind of technology is an old tradition in the printing industry. I hope more young people will pass it on.”

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