How Does a Web Printing Press Work?

web press printer

How Does a Web Printing Press Work?

Web press printing is the optimal choice for high-volume professional publications where time, money, and quality are reign supreme. Although the terminology may sound foreign, the process is likely something you’re familiar with if you’ve printed material before. If you are looking to cut costs, move large volumes, and get the job done fast, printing with a web press is for you.

How Does a Web Printing Press Work?

Although the name may suggest a link to the internet, the machine is actually an enhanced version of the classic lithographic printing method that provides the same extraordinary results. Also known as a roll-fed press, a web press is a modern offset printing press attached to a massive roll of paper. As paper unwinds, it forms an uninterrupted “web” through the press.

Each paper roll can weigh up to one ton each. A series of rollers, also called festoons, secure the paper in place to keep it taut while feeding into the printer. Festoons also regulate the speed for which the paper moves through the press. Separation and cutting of the paper occur after printing.

Using a large roll of paper allows for continuous printing for a fast and streamlined production turnaround. Even if a roll of paper ends, the printing process continues. For maximum efficiency, the festoons mechanically splice a new paper roll to the old roll. A press operator oversees the process, but an automated process controls the printing and splicing.

Clients with print runs of 10,000 to 50,000 or more impressions find the most value in this printing method. It’s also the most cost-friendly choice for long books with batches as low as 1,000 or 2,000. We print high-volume publications such as:

  • Books
  • Brochures
  • Catalogs
  • Directories
  • Magazines
  • Manuals
  • Packaging

The list above is not all-inclusive. We work with a variety of clients with different printing needs. Contact us If you have a print job not listed above, and we’ll gladly discuss your options.

Why Commercial Clients Choose Web Press Printing

Web press printing is the premier printing option for commercial clients. Professional publications require a unique print standard. Our business clientele chooses our web press services based on superior quality, volume capacity, economic value, and fast turnaround time.

Detail Oriented

Details matter—and your satisfaction is paramount to our success. We take as much pride in our services as you do on your projects, and strive for perfection. Working with you every step of the way to deliver the highest-quality prints possible. We are the experts in web press printing for the U.S. & Canada.

High Volume Printing

Nothing beats a web press for large runs. Through a combination of speed, affordability, and quality, web presses are the top choice for your book, magazine, catalog, or other publications with high-page-counts or mass distribution needs.

Low-Cost Printing

When pricing matters, using a web press to print your professional publication is the most budget-friendly option. Paper is the most significant expense when planning your print job. Buying paper in a roll is the same as buying it in bulk. The bulk paper offers substantial savings over the pre-cut sheets needed for a sheet-fed press.

Moreover, web presses are compatible with varying paper stocks. You may opt to print on a very light paper stock to minimize the bulk and weight of your publication. Lighter paper is an especially attractive option for material with many pages that may otherwise become difficult to handle or too heavy. Distribution and storage costs for your project are cheaper as a result of printing on lightweight paper stock.

Fast Delivery on Orders

Time is of the essence, and we are up to the challenge. Printing with a web press is fast. Our web presses are capable of production speeds of over 3,000 feet per minute. We work with you and your timeline to meet deadlines and exceed expectations.

To double the speed, we are also a premier national Canada Post Partner. This partnership process millions of pieces of our printed material on time, every time, every month.

Personalized Service

We believe in the extraordinary. In our 100 years in the print industry, customer service and client support systems have been our top priorities. Not only will you receive the highest quality print publication possible, but choosing us gives you access to our dedicated support staff. We employ only the best team to assist you throughout your experience with us. Together, we provide you with the most exceptional printing product on the market.

What’s the Difference Between Coldset and Heatset?

There are two distinct types of processes used to cure inks after printing: coldset and heatset. What differentiates the two lies in the details. Heatset printing offers crisper lines and a much higher quality overall. However, coldset printing is more suited to certain specific jobs.


If you have ever smudged ink on supermarket fliers or a newspaper, this is because of the coldset process. In this process, the ink absorbs into the paper and evaporates to dry. Coldset isn’t compatible with glossy or semi-coated papers because the ink doesn’t absorb.


High-quality publications demand a different standard for drying. Inks on these prints must go through a heatset web offset process. To print on coated stocks, we must use special heatset ink that responds to high temperatures. The heatset process is more complex and utilizes more machinery. All sheets run through an oven at the end of the press to cure the ink. Next, they must flow through cooling rollers onward to finishing equipment.

The benefit of using the heatset press is that we achieve sharper imagery, four-color prints, and uniformity in production value.

Why Is a Web Printing Press Better than a Sheet-Fed Press?

For large print volumes, a web press is cheaper and more efficient. Although a sheet-fed press could get the job done, it will take longer and cost significantly more. Marked technological advancements have propelled web press four-color quality, so it is now very similar to sheet-fed presses.

We can provide you with web press print samples to help you make the most informed decision about your run.

Why Choose Dollco for Your Project—Now Serving Canada and the U.S.

Dollco has been a significant player for business printing for over 100 years, and we proudly serve clients in the U.S. and Canada. We are the fourth largest printing facility in Canada and the Canadian Market Leaders in magazine and catalog printing.

We operate from a 115,000 square foot world-class facility in Ontario, Canada. Our workhorse technology includes three full-capacity web press printers that produce over 34 million pages every day. Our clients and consumers know us for the consistently reliable quality they count on.

We provide a full end-to-end printing service. When you choose end-to-end with us, we take care of the logistics so you can focus on creating. From stunning web press prints, warehouse services, customer support, to superior logistics and delivery services, we have solutions for you no matter the size of your project.

Get a Quote for Your Printing Needs

We are here for you when you want the job done right the first time. Find out how Dollco Printing Solutions can transform your publication process now by reaching out. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready to help you take your project to the next level with web press printing. Contact Dollco Print Solutions Group to learn more and to get a quote.


How web press work

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