Regardless of breakthroughs in output quality, inks and pre-coat fluids, the fundamental overarching problem of a lack of qualified labor is what will drive commercial printers to embrace production inkjet technology.
Entering its 10th year as a printing technology, production inkjet hasn’t replaced all the volume from offset or digital toner printing technology. It has, however, become an indispensible tool in the arsenal of any print services provider and many in-plants. Some continuous-feed inkjet printers are on par with offset productivity. Others are reaching output quality levels nearing digital color press output. And new cut-sheet production inkjet printers are putting inkjet technology within acquisition cost reach for the first time.
These are good days for the production inkjet printing business, for both users of the technology, as well as its related equipment and supplies manufacturers. Everyone is growing, everyone seems to be making money and promises of technology advancement are being delivered upon.
The transition of pages from analog to digital production printing is happening at a rate slower than most digital printing manufacturers might have anticipated. Page volumes will not tip from analog to digital production print technology in the foreseeable future.