Complementary Future of Offset, Digital Printing to Be Seen at Drupa
Precision Printing – Changing the Business Model
A very good example of this can be seen from Precision Printing, a U.K.-based printer. Precision was a typical medium-size offset printer that first invested in digital in 2005 with an HP Indigo press.
For a number of years, its digital business was just complementing the litho business for short-run printing that matched its offset printing. Following the last Drupa in 2008, Precision changed its business operations by developing its own workflow for automating all the shop’s processes, and adding a very advanced Web-to-print ordering operation through an alliance with Italian specialist Pixelartprinting.
This move has allowed Precision to double its turnover in five years with only a small increase in staff. Its offset printing turnover has hardly changed in that time despite an increase in capacity with the addition of a new Heidelberg 10-unit press. The increase has come through moving to a B2C operation with online ordering and automated production via its workflow, allowing a huge number of small jobs to be processed on the company’s four HP Indigo presses. At the same time, the addition of variable data printing has allowed Precision to offer a much wider range of services to its B2B customers.
Web-to-print software and integrated workflow is the key for making print businesses more efficient and allowing them to widen their markets as Precision has done. This type of workflow will be one of the key items on display at Drupa from a range of companies.
Kodak will be one of the key ones showing such software with its Unified Workflow Solutions that link up the Prinergy commercial workflow with the InSite portal solutions, together with Darwin variable data and Kodak Web-to-print solutions to drive offset, flexo and digital printing systems. Most of the main industry vendors will be showing similar workflow approaches that reach up and down the value chain to allow printers to widen the scope of their businesses.