4 Considerations: Is A Commercial Analog With Inkjet Press Retrofit Right for You?
On June 13, Printing Impressions hosted a webinar sponsored by IPT Digital exploring the advantages of whether retrofitting a commercial printing press with inkjet capabilities is right for your business. The webinar, "The Missing Piece to Your Analog Press: The Commercial Retrofit Advantage," featured Peter Kuschnitzky, founder of IPT Digital, and Cameron McClean, managing partner at Still Creek Press, a printing operation that successfully retrofit its web offset press with Memjet inkjet heads to create hybrid printing capabilities.
After a brief introduction from Printing Impressions Editor-in-Chief Mark Michelson, McClean launched into a detailed look at the process behind Still Creek's decision to retrofit its commercial press and the considerations that were made before finalizing that decision.
- Identify Pain Points: He advised that before taking the leap to retrofit analog equipment, every company should identify its pain points, such as determining if short runs and makereadies are proving to be problem areas.
- Determine If There's Enough/the Right Kind of Work: It's also important to ascertain that there is the type of work that lends itself to justifying production inkjet capabilities. For example, McClean cited three examples of the type of hybrid applications ideal for the added VADP and versioning capabilities: short-run book printing; and direct mail and transactional printing
- Is There the Right Expertise In-House?: Another consideration that McClean pointed out is that before retrofitting a commercial analog press, every company should ensure that there is technical expertise in-house that will be able to handle the new hybrid digital printing technology.
- Is It the Right Investment?: In terms of the investment needed to retrofit equipment, McClean explained that while it may be a smaller investment than installing an entirely new production inkjet printing system, it is still significant and should be considered carefully. In early 2016, according to McClean, Still Creek Press considered acquiring a high-speed inkjet solution, but ultimately determined that the process would be complicated and not necessarily cost-effective. There needs to be "the right type of business at the right time."
Following McClean's exploration into the considerations required before retrofitting an analog press, Kuschnitzky provided an in-depth look at Memjet inkjet technology and how IPT Digital incorporates it.
During a lively question and answer session, Kuschnitzky was asked what the future of press retrofits are within the industry:
It's a real industry and a great way to get into digital [inkjet] printing.
To listen to the entire webinar, "The Missing Piece to Your Analog Press: The Commercial Retrofit Advantage" is available and can be viewed on-demand for 90 days. To check out more educational webinars available from Printing Impressions, also visit our webinar page.