Continuous-feed Inkjet: The Web Paper Challenge
NewPage offers TrueJet Hybrid, expressly designed to print both offset and inkjet. Samples of TrueJet Hybrid 80# gloss showed excellent results when printed on an M130 web press with a Kodak Versamark imprinting system. The hybrid approach may breathe new life into many web offset presses, and accelerate the penetration of inkjet into high-quality direct mail and promotional printing.
While growth in inkjet has been dramatic, market share remains low. Customers that look at total cost are adopting the new inkjet technologies, while those that only look at unit cost are not. Issues that have limited the volume include the high cost of pigment inks, the cost of inkjet papers, the data that's necessary to exploit variable data capabilities and the challenges printers face in selling a value proposition that gets beyond price per page. As costs come down and databases grow more robust, and printers and their customers better understand the value, market share will grow.
The great growth opportunities are in variable content direct mail, and the large general commercial printing or promotional printing segments. These markets can benefit greatly by targeted print with variable data and high-quality graphics.
Printers have to consider various tradeoffs when selecting the press, the paper and the method of printing. Pigment inks cost more than dye inks, but provide better results when they are used in conjunction with specially treated coated papers for jobs with a lot of color. Specially treated papers can cost more than on-press treatment, but again, often provide better results when there is high ink coverage. Ordinary papers can be a good choice for transactional printing where ink coverage is lower. The right solution will depend on the applications and on customer needs.
Digital printing's real value is to transform a business. Printers need to sell that value. This requires a consultative sale that moves the discussion away from cost per page and more to ROI. PI
Jack Miller is founder and Principal Consultant at Market-Intell LLC, offering Need to Know™ market intelligence in paper, print and packaging. Previously, he was senior consultant, North America, with Pira International.
Known as the Paper Guru, Jack is the former director of Market Intelligence with Domtar, where he also held positions as regional sales manager, territory sales manager and product manager. He has presented at On Demand, RISI’s Global Outlook, PRIMIR, SustainCom World and at various IntertechPira conferences. Jack has written for Printing Impressions, Canadian Printer, Paper 360, PaperTree Letter and Package Printing, along with publishing a monthly e-newsletter, MarketIntellibits.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The College of the Holy Cross and has done graduate studies in Statistics and Finance.