Quality Control in Commercial Printing

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   The commercial printing business maintains quality control from the pre-press, finishing up to the delivery. This is necessary in order to retain their customers. The bottom line in choosing a printer is still good quality printing.

   •     Printing Quality Check - The printing operator handles the loading of plates, ink, and paper in the printing machine. Before he runs the many reams of paper, he does a test print of just a few copies to see if the quality of printing is good. Once he has achieved a good quality print, he presents this to the print supervisor for approval. With the go-signal of the supervisor, the operator goes back to the machine and continues the mass production. His work does not stop here--he checks the copies as they come out of the press. Each copy should be identical and so if he sees a discrepancy, he removes the damaged material from the pile. This job is very important because the operator should be alert always to separate the damaged materials from the good quality ones.

   •     Binding and Finishing - After all the materials are run, they are then processed in the finishing department for all the final touches required by the client. For examples, brochures need to be folded while catalogs need to be bound. Some materials need lamination, like posters and card standees. Flyers need to be cut. If the client did not specify a finishing for his project, the most that the finishing department will do is to cut the edges of the printed material in order to trim off the excess paper.
   •     Preparing for Delivery - Most printing jobs are just picked up by the client when these are done. Some printers do offer free delivery within city limits. That is their value-added service to the clients. Whatever the case, the printer has to properly pack the printed materials. If the materials are printed in bulk, these are divided, like 1,000 copies to a pack so that they are not too heavy to carry. This will also help the clients in their storage, so that they will not have to open a big pack when they will only need a few pieces of the materials first. However, there are clients that are located in other places and their materials need to be shipped or sent through airfreight. In this case, the printer will have to make provisions in packing so that the materials will not be damaged during handling and transit.

   •     Issuing the Invoice - When the printed materials are delivered, they usually come with a sales invoice that contains the details of the printing job, the amount that the client owes the printer, and the terms. If the client has paid a down payment, this amount and the balance are also indicated in the invoice. In most cases, a commercial printer usually requires a 50% down payment and the remaining 50% to be COD.

   Being in the business of commercial printing, you have to be a stickler for quality. Otherwise, you will make your customers unhappy and lose them. Even if you have slightly higher prices, clients will still seek you if you have better quality. What use is a low priced commercial printer if their finished materials could not be used?

   Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in commercial printing technologies by a commercial printing company that help businesses in their marketing and advertising campaigns.

Article By: Kaye Z. Marks

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