Press passing for TANK Magazine at our fantastic printers in Poland

It’s always interesting to get to go on a press pass to a new factory and this was no exception. We landed in Warsaw at 7:30 on the Wednesday evening and will be landing back home (well Luton) 7:30 the next day.

Our hotel was in the beautiful old town and was particularly ‘quirky’!

The concierge didn’t say much!

Press pass turkey
Printing press pass

We arrived in torrential rain so decided to choose a restaurant close to the hotel – next door in fact – looks like we had walked into a Hunting Lodge.

When we arrived at the factory at 9am Thursday morning and already we have 2 presses running for TANK magazine, the 10 colour Heidelberg for the text and the HUV Heidelberg for the cover.
The first sheets off the press were actually pretty good, it didn’t take much tweaking to get the first section signed off. We are hoping to sign off 5 before we have to leave to go back home.
Printing plates

Printing plates

HUC printing press

HUV printing press

10 colour press

10 colour printing press

It’s always a tricky process getting the colours absolutely perfect – on the first sheet we have a very heavy red advert on one end of the sheet and a very yellow image at the other – making sure we get the yellow as vibrant as we can without turning the red too pink was a challenge.

There were also lots of flesh tones to get right in the mix.

It’s clear we have a great press minder in Raphael who is very responsive and within 4 passes we have the first sheet approved.

Printer press pass
The printers have set us up in one of their board rooms, so it’s back there for a coffee and biscuit while they run the approved section and make ready on the next and then we have to do it all over again!
While we are sitting in our meeting room, the people in the room next door are getting English lessons. All of the staff here are being taught English as part of their working week. It looks like they get an hour’s lesson a week perhaps – which is great for us as it can only improve our communication when we travel over here. That said, they are making them watch Top Gear videos and repeat sentences like ‘The Stig has taken public transport, but James has travelled by car’ it’s hilarious!
After an hour of waiting around, a blanket clean and a lamination test, the second section and the cover are now approved! We are whizzing through! Just another hour to wait for the next one – these guys in Poland are very good!
Polish printing factory
Press passing
Turkish press pass
Next section is on a different stock – uncoated instead of the matt coated stock that we’ve been running so far. It’s always tricky to match uncoated Epson proofs to uncoated litho proofs as the ink behaves very differently on the litho stock. The colours are very tricky to match as the paper acts like blotting paper – but with a few tweaks and by bringing the magenta right down we are close to approving this section. We have noticed a scratch on the black plate, so it’s back up to our meeting room for 20 minutes while they look into it, then we should have this next section approved.
Sadly, it looks like the ‘scratch’ is on the artwork supplied. We followed our host through their huge factory, past the section sewing machine (see video), past the web machines and through distribution and past the PUR binding section into their repro division. We wanted to see if we could correct the file rather than waiting for a new one. We couldn’t, so we urgently email the client in London and get a new page sent over. This holds up the press pass a little as we have to get the file ripped and new plates made.
Lunch is being delivered and I think that by the time the new plates are on, it might be all we have time for as our cab back to the airport is due in an hour or so. It’s been a great experience. Shame about the weather – but considering our journey consisted of cab, hotel, restaurant, hotel, cab, factory, cab, hotel – there was never going to be much time for sightseeing!
Sod’s law – as we were boarding the plane home, we leave Warsaw bathed in glorious sunshine.
It’s been a whistle-stop tour but definitely a place to come back to.

Selina Smith, Senior Sales Consultant

Printing press in action

Section Sewing Machine