The Genesis of a Book at
When a manuscript enters production, each individual page is hand set at the plate maker on printing plates. The plates then proceed to the press room.
The press operator then etches each plate and hangs it on the press. The operator manually adjusts paper speed through the machine, ink flow and many other factors that affect the quality of the book. While many of the new machines highly automate this process - we feel that having a person monitor the quality as it is offset printed is an vital quality control step that is missing in many automated systems. If the press operator decides a page is not the best it can be (within standards), a new plate (sometimes even new half tones) for the page is ordered and the page reprinted.After the offset printed pages dry, each page is checked for pagination, blanks, defects that might have gotten past the press operator, etc. If anything is off standard, a new plate is ordered and that page is reprinted, allowed drying time and then the new pages checked.
For all types of bindings, except saddle stitching, the quality checked pages are then collated: changing the individual stacks of page 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, etc. into a text block that is sequential (1-6, 1-6, 1-6). Saddle stitched books are collated and bound in the same step by machine.
Once the digital manuscript has cleared pre-press it is ready for production:
If printing from Camera Ready Digital files (electronic manuscript): The file or files are sent to the digital machine directly from the pre-press/check-in computers.
If printing from a CRDPM: The hard copy manuscript pages are loaded into a mechanical document feeder of the digital machine.
The text block is printed out from the digital machine already collated. Depending on the size of the book and publication quantity, the digital files may be printed out in smaller page sequences/sections and hand collated in preparation for binding. Additionally, special items such as 4-color, specially folded pages, slick inserts and card dividers are added by hand as well - as required.
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