In printing, mechanical refers to the process of physically creating a printing plate, which is then used to transfer an image to a substrate. This process is also sometimes referred to as photomechanical or photochemical engraving.
There are a few different ways to create a printing plate for use in a printing press. One common method is to use a light-sensitive coating, which is exposed to light through a negative film. The light changes the properties of the coating, hardening it in the areas that were exposed. The remaining soft coating is then washed away, leaving a raised image on the plate.
Once the printing plate is created, it is mounted on the printing press and inked. The ink is then transferred to the substrate, which can be paper, cardboard, fabric, or metal.
The mechanical process is the most common method of creating printing plates, but there are other methods that can be used, such as laser engraving or direct write.
The printing process is a critical part of many manufacturing and production operations. Quality control during the printing process is essential to ensuring the final product meets the required specifications.
Mechanical engineers play a vital role in the printing process, as they are responsible for designing and developing the machinery and equipment used in the printing process. They also work closely with other engineers and technicians to ensure that the printing process runs smoothly and efficiently.
Without the expertise of mechanical engineers, the printing process would be far less efficient and would produce inferior results. The contributions of mechanical engineers to the printing industry are therefore essential and greatly appreciated.
The purpose of creating a printing plate is to produce a high-quality printing surface that can be used to create sharp, detailed images. This is especially important for printing applications where accuracy and precision are critical, such as in the medical or scientific fields.