An ImPRESSive Upgrade

My husband literally grew up in a print shop, and he’s been a printer all of his adult life. He works in a “commercial” print shop, meaning they mostly print business materials — business cards, letterheads, envelopes, flyers, that kind of thing. They do most of their work on one- and two-color presses or digital copiers. For years Lyle has wanted the opportunity to learn to run a full-color press, and finally his dream is coming true!

After months and weeks of preparation (remember installing the beam?) to make room for such a major piece of equipment, the semi-truck backed up to the print shop last week.

Yes. The press is that big.
See all the pieces? That’s all one printing press!
Off the truck it was spread all over the driveway.
The moving crew maneuvered it into the building one section at a time.
It took them 2 days to get it put into place and connected together.
I’m glad they knew what they were doing!
Then another whole day to get all the wires and tubes and gears connected and greased.
Here’s what it looks like now that’s up and running with the covers on.
Can you count the 5 sections? One for each color of ink… cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and a 5th color. (I’m still a little confused on what the 5th color is for. I get the 3 primary colors and black… but the 5th color? I dunno. *shrug*)
Here was their first test run! It prints beautifully on 18×25″ paper.
I’m impressed! Are you?


  • KarlaCook

    Actually, it would be pretty costly to set it up for just one copy of something, so we probably won’t be using it for personal prints. On the other hand, we can do that (I think) with the digital color copier!

  • KarlaCook

    Denise, I asked the same thing. I haven’t heard it run yet myself, but I was told that it’s quieter than you might think. They said there’s just one motor that runs the whole thing and I guess that’s all you hear. Typically printing presses are pretty loud, so I’m curious to see how it compares to a smaller press myself.

  • Anonymous

    OK, don't everyone faint…It's actually me leaving a comment on a blog!

    Just so everyone understands better, the 5th color is so you can print more a more brilliant color in the same pass through the press than is possible with the 4 primarys, like a flourescent or metallic ink. Laura said it was for the gloss coat, but that is actually yet another unit between the 5th color and the delivery unit.

    And yes, it is actually as quiet as our smaller presses, it is really quiet (<—-intentional, isn't that cute?) amazing.


  • KarlaCook

    Somebody pick me up off the floor… because I nearly did faint! My “Darling Husband” actually came out of lurkdom to leave a comment!

    Thanks for the clarification. That does make more sense to me now. When do I get a demonstration?

  • Charlotte

    Oh my goodness. That is some printing press. I printed the church newsletters on a printing press back in the 80s. I enjoyed it but it was such a mess when a paper would get caught in there someplace and I would have to clean the whole thing (what a mess) and start over. I can’t even imagine running one like the one you pictured.

  • Love Bears All Things

    Honey Bear and I owned a Print shop in another life. Well, we and the loan company. It was grueling hours with very little light at the end of the tunnel. We came close to splitting for the second time in our 42+years together. Finally, we decided that “we” were more important than the business.
    We didn’t have a 4 color press but I’ve seen them in action in other shops. And I know how expensive they can be. I hope it pays for itself in short order.
    Mama Bear

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