Offset printing is when the ink from a flat surface (where printing and non-printing elements are at the same level) is transferred onto the paper with the use of an offset cylinder with a rubber blanket.
This method has become dominant due to the whole range of objective reasons:
- the opportunity to simultaneously print the back and front offset
- easy printing of large format paper on sheet fed and web fed machines using paper of various grammage and thickness
- improved quality when printing multiple colours
The Banknote Factory uses various methods of printing: offset, intaglio, letterpress, flexographic, silkscreen and inkjet. Combined methods of printing are also used. Each method has its own advantages.
Offset printed sheets have the following peculiarities:
- even ink level over the printed area
- half-tone images are printed with the use of raster elements varying in area, form and colour.
- continuous fine lines and dots
- Printing can be wet or dry
Dry offset printing is mainly used as one of the security features of banknotes because the continuity of lines is even better than that of metallographic printing.
Letterpress printing is the transfer of the image onto paper from the printing plate with raised image areas and lowered non-print areas. The printing plate can be in the form of a metallic type-setting, photopolymer and other material. In order to transfer the ink from the plate to paper, significant pressure is required.
The main purpose of the Orlof printing is to print a multi-coloured image from a single plate but through a set of intermediate ink schablon rollers which have their own printing image for each colour. Each ink schablon roller transfers its inking image to the collecting offset cylinder and then onto the plate which contains the entire image. This allows the transfer of a multi-coloured image on to the paper in one pass, without breaks or spewing.
Deep metallographic printing Intaglio is when printing images are lowered on the plate surface. On printing, the ink transfers from plates onto paper and on drying forms a relief ink layer on the paper surface which is thick enough to feel. With this method of printing one can achieve high accuracy and tactility of the printed image.
The Banknote factory is the only printing enterprise in Kazakhstan using the Intaglio method of printing which provides the highest security of a product against counterfeiting.