Plate-Feed System

One of two basic types of continuous-flow dampening systems utilized on offset lithographic printing presses. Unlike an inker-feed system, which uses the first inking form roller as a dampening roller, a plate-feed system uses its own designated dampening form roller. Similar to inker-feed systems, however, a plate-feed system uses a rubber-covered metering roller as a fountain roller, which transfers fountain solution to a hard chrome transfer roller at a metering nip, which then delivers the solution to the form roller and, ultimately, the plate. As with other continuous-flow dampening systems, the advantages include an unbroken stream of fountain solution to the plate, as well the ability to supply a carefully metered film of fluid by varying the width of the metering nip. The metering or water pan roller can be attached at an angle or skewed, which provides more or less metering at the ends or in the center of the rollers, depending on the dampening solution requirements of the plate. There are also several types of combination inker-feed and plate-feed dampening systems in use on offset presses. (See Dampening System.)

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