Color Inkjet Printing: Inkjet’s Web Paper Pursuit
As noted, the two areas that are finding the most immediate traction are books and direct mail. For books, waste factors are high, logistics are expensive and returns remain a major factor. Digital solves these problems and, even though paper costs may be a bit higher, the economics remain favorable. Bradshaw notes that this is not about going into a bookstore or ordering online and getting a copy printed on the spot. Rather, these presses can efficiently produce medium-length runs, keeping the cost low, while slashing inventory and logistics costs.
For direct mail, the economics are equally compelling. John Busch, director of print services at the Direct Group, explains that it is much better to print 500,000 copies of personalized, targeted direct mail and get a response rate of 8 to 10 percent than to print a million copies and get a 2 percent return.
Busch explains that Direct Group profiles all of its papers. Most of its work is done on treated uncoated papers, which only cost a few percent more than untreated papers. For some applications, untreated uncoated papers are also satisfactory, according to Busch. For coated papers, Direct Group's best results have been on a Mitsubishi specially coated inkjet sheet that can cost twice as much as standard coated papers.
Kodak's Burns explains that some of the best results are obtained on expensive photographic inkjet papers, adding that the Kodak Prosper has interstation dryers that permit it to work well with a broader range of coated papers. Appleton Coated's Bradshaw agrees, pointing out that the HP T300 also has a drying unit that permits it to handle a broader range of coated papers.
For books, Courier Corp.—North America's third-largest book manufacturer—has installed an HP T300 press to expand its service offerings to include digital printing. And last year, Consolidated Graphics (CGX), one of North America's largest commercial printing companies, installed the HP T300 at its Denver-based Frederic Printing operation.
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.