The completed plate is stretched around the plate cylinder in the printing press. The plate is continually
moistened with water, named damping solution or fountain, via damping rollers from the damping unit.
There are different types of moistening systems, e.g., brush feeding units, film damping units/alcohol
damping units, or mist damping units. The print-accepting parts of the plate repels the water.
In waterless offset printing there is no damping solution. In waterless offset printing the plate has an ink
repellent silicone rubber layer and a ink receptive photopolymer coating surface instead. Otherwise the
technology is the same as for wet offset.
From the ink fountain the ink passes a number of ink rollers before reaching the plate cylinder with the
plate. The ink sticks to the ink-accepting parts and the plate is pressed against a rubber-clad blanket
cylinder, on which the printing picture deposits its ink. The blanket cylinder is, in turn, pressed against the
printing substrate and there deposits the printing ink.
The press is then fine-tuned to ensure that registration and ink-water balance is accurate and identical on
all copies coming off the press (make-ready). All copies generated in make-ready are waste paper.