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Crisp Imaging Adds to West Coast Network; and more…

It was the smell that offended. It assaulted your senses. It emanated from the far end of the prep department, in the back, behind the large horizontal camera, by the plate exposure frames. This was not the sweet, almost floral, scent of the isopropyl alcohol evaporating from the fountain solution on the multi-unit offset presses. This was not the pungent, thick, smell of offset inks, nor was this the overwhelming petrochemical odor of the press wash at the end of the day when multiple presses shut down simultaneously.

It was the ammonia that stunk. The smell permeated the prepress (ne’ stripping) department in the early morning when the majority of blueline proofs were made. After exposure and processing, the blueprint paper was washed and laid out to dry, flat, but still never really flat. The strippers glued the bluelines back-to-back to emulate two-sided printing, cut, folded, and stapled the thick, bulky, crinkly blueprint paper to approximate the finished project as closely as possible. The sales reps, myself included, eagerly waited for production to sign off, so we could get on the road to take the blueprint proofs on our daily runs to customers. By the time the proofs were delivered, the smell had mostly lifted and our customers were spared the stench of ammonia-based blueline proofing.

Not long after I began my career in printing, substitute photosensitive papers that did not require obnoxious chemical processing came into widespread use as the proofing paper of choice for offset printers. The nasty ammonia smell was a thing of the past, an early olfactory benefit of the march of technology in our industry. READ MORE


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