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Printing Lingo: What is a Perfecting Press?

A Perfecting Press is an offset printing press that applies ink to both sides of a sheet of paper during a single pass through the press.

All web presses (roll-fed presses) are perfecting presses, because the paper only flows through the press once. However, not all sheet-fed offset presses are perfecting presses. Also, the process of applying printed content to both sides of a sheet is commonly known as double-sided printing, two-sided printing, or duplex printing.

A perfecting press, sometimes called a Perfector, saves production time because it allows double-sided projects to be printed with just one pass through the press instead of two separate passes. For example, if a press does not have perfecting capabilities, the press operator must wait until one side of the sheet is printed, then manually turn over the sheets and pass them back through the press a second time in order to print the reverse side. Needless to say, the manual intervention and extra press run both consume valuable time…time that adds to the cost of a print job.

Offset printing presses use separate printing units (towers) for each color of ink applied to the paper. Therefore, a perfecting press requires more towers than a traditional offset press. For instance, a perfecting press that prints 4-color process (CMYK) on each side of the paper must have at least 8 ink towers. Likewise, a perfecting press that prints 2-color content on each side must have at least 4 ink towers.

Formax offers perfecting capabilities on both sheet-fed and web offset presses. If your double-sided print projects are not currently running on a perfecting press, let us help you perform a price comparison. Just give us a call at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221, or send us a quick email. Depending on the size of your project, a perfecting press could result in substantial costs savings for you.

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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