As the gap widens in the world market for greater innovative ways to create printing and packaging of items on the global scene, many industry giants such as Proctor & Gamble are relying more and more on digital printing for innovative ways to package material. Paul France, an entrepreneur with Proctor and Gamble was quoted as saying, “Anyone who wants to work with us should definitely buy a digital press, or they will find it an uphill struggle in the future.”Statements like that are not taken lightly. Many printing companies are fully converting their offset printing environment to digital printing to stay up with the competition and regain lost market revenues. The fact is digital printing has made great strides in a very short period of time.
According to InfoTrends, a Questex Company, a survey was taken that reveals digital printing is quickly displacing offset printing in in-plant environments, especially for color printing. Even in the book printing industry, digital printing is becoming the source of printed book and newspapers propelling digital printing into the medium and large run arena. Oce has launched the Oce Jetstream 2800 with a maximum web width of 30 inches. This web width supports the feasibility for the formats of the printed book markets. Utilizing digital printing with continuous inkjet spray technology, it can be determined that using offset printing to produce five thousand copies on 20 inch wide stock would take about 30 hours to print, where as utilizing the Oce’ Jetstream 2200 Digital Printing Press and 20 inch wide stock, would require just four hours when printing on soft back style books. These results can really be an eye opener.
There can be no denying that the cost for the printing of printing books and newspapers with digital printing will be cost beneficial to not only the publisher, but also the end user. This is significant in the world of the book publishing, as cost factors become more relaxed and ongoing production can be implemented according to sales. Inventory and storage facilities are reduced greatly as print on demand will be the method of production when based on inventory levels.
In an effort to be cost effective, many offset printing companies store and reuse plates. This method of saving production time is not advisable, as too many complications can arise. Gaining registration may become a problem due to changes in blanket thickness or improper plate coatings, such as gum, can result in lost production time. Offset printing press operators may lose valuable production time as they experience trial and error methods in an attempt to return to the original color and print quality. With digital printing, there are no plates to store. Since everything is stored digitally, it’s like plug and play. If you can imagine storage size of 100 printing plates compared to 100 stored digital files stored in programs, well, the size difference is ridiculous. At this point in time, magazine printing is still printed on offset presses as the norm, however as digital printing technologies expand, all things become possible.