Commonwealth Education Handbooks

2310-1482 (online)
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This series of practical handbooks are designed to assist educators in addressing the continuing task of teacher education especially where existing training facilities cannot keep pace with demand.

Equipping Smallscale Printing Units

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C. S. Morris
01 Jan 1983
9781848593596 (PDF)
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  • Foreword

    Ministers of Education at the Eighth Commonwealth Education Conference recommended that the Commonwealth Secretariat should organise some of its meetings of experts in such a way as to enable them to prepare handbooks, training manuals and other educational publications as a contribution to various forms of national development.

  • Introduction

    This handbook is intended for people in management and administrative positions who do not themselves possess a knowledge of printing techniques but whose organisations need to have anything from a few dozen copies to one or two thousand copies of inexpensive printed materials to support their work.

  • Composition Systems

    Anyone who has visited a newspaper office, a Government Printer or the like, will have seen large and costly machines being used to set type. Some use molten metal to form the characters and words (hot metal setting); some use photographic methods (photocomposition). All are very expensive and employ skilled operators who need special training.

  • Preparation of Camera-Ready Copy

    This consists of bringing together all the various pieces of the job that is to be printed and pasting them together in their correct order and position. It is generally known as paste-up or make-up.

  • Camera and Darkroom

    Process cameras are expensive pieces of equipment and will be needed only by units using printing machines larger than A3. They are used to prepare negative and positive film needed for the processing of pre-sensitized metal litho plates (Section 5). Most small printing units can operate very successfully without one.

  • Duplicators and Plain Paper Copiers

    The term “duplicator” covers a wide range of machines, from the jelly in a tray of the hectograph to small offset duplicators.

  • Plates and Platemaking

    Offset litho plates must meet certain essential qualities. They must have a durable base. They must also have a surface that is water-receptive but will also accept and keep a substance that is grease-receptive.

  • Offset Presses

    The cheapest machine is the A4 table-top press. It is not much different from a duplicator to look at. It is capable of producing reasonable-quality work from paper plates of any of the following kinds: direct image, chemical, or electrostatic. The quality and length of run will depend on the type of plate that is used.

  • Silkscreen Printing

    The simplest way of describing silkscreening is to compare it with stencilling. Both processes consist of ink penetrating “holes” in a screen onto sheets of paper beneath.

  • Finishing

    Collating can be carried out by unskilled staff with little or no training and in many cases without equipment. A benchtop is all that is needed. It should be long enough to allow the sheets or sections to be laid out in order.

  • Management

    In a printing unit the manager is responsible for the smooth running of all the production departments, the day-to-day liaison with customers, the cost of work, and the ordering of supplies and materials. The extent of management required will depend on the size of the unit. Very small printing units do not need a full-time manager.

  • Appendices and Glossary
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