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What is Paper Scoring?

Paper Scoring
Scoring is the term applied to the process that places a crease in paper stocks and other substrates allowing the material to be folded. A score may be used to crease the cover of a publication, provide areas for folding a document allowing insertion into an envelope, create heavy creases in shipping cartons to allow easy assembly of the carton, and numerous other applications.

Parallel Scoring
When a score must be applied parallel to the direction that the stock travels through the printing press, a steel scoring wheel is used. As the stock travels through the press, the scoring wheel applies pressure on the stock in the area where the score is desired. The scoring wheel has a flattened edge, which squeezes the paper fibers in a concentrated area and thereby creating the score in the stock. The flattened edge of the score wheel prevents the substrate from being cut rather than scored. Scoring wheels are available in various widths to produce narrow or wide scores on the substrate. Multiple parallel scores can be applied at the same time. Since the printing and scoring of the substrate are accomplished in one operation, considerable savings in labor and cost can be achieved than if the scoring was performed as an offline operation.

Perpendicular Scoring
For scores that must be perpendicular to the direction the paper travels through the printing press, steel scoring rules are used. The steel rules are inserted into cylinders on the press, which allow the rules to stamp the score into the paper as the cylinders revolve. Like scoring wheels, the rule edges are flattened to allow for proper scoring and prevent the scoring rule from cutting the substrate. Compared with parallel scoring, there are usually more limitations as to the number and placement of perpendicular scores, so it is best to consult the print provider to learn of the possible limitations.