Color Inkjet Printing: Inkjet’s Web Paper Pursuit
Not Just for Short Runs
Frederic Printing President Chris Greene advises that it was the second installation of an HP T300 in the world. He explains that the initial application is for short runs of textbooks, i.e., runs of 1 to 1,500. Although Frederic generally wouldn't run just one book, it might run a thousand, each different. But even for a run of a single book, the economics are potentially better than with earlier technologies.
Frederic is working directly with some mills (Appleton for 45-lb. matte and NewPage for 80-lb. gloss) to optimize the paper and print performance. Greene confirms that these are specially treated papers, but declined to comment on price. Other applications include maps, engineering drawings and saddlestitched books.
For now, there are only a handful of the new generation presses, but clearly, digital is no longer just about short run print-on-demand or desktop printing. As Table 1 shows, a single new generation press can consume three to five tons of paper per shift. Consultant Merilyn Dunn observes, "Nine installations of HP's T300, as of May 2010, use more than 33 tons of paper per shift. By comparison, the average paper use of these printers in one shift is more than 600 desktop inkjet printers use in a year!
"As this market expands, increased speed, various widths, differing core diameters and wide ranges of media weights will require a close collaboration between paper and press manufacturers, converters, paper merchants and printers to ensure that sufficient supply is available at reasonable prices," Dunn notes.
As the installed base grows, run lengths at the mills will lengthen and costs will come down, providing a stimulus to demand for digital printing for an increasing range of applications. Offset will still have a place in long-run, static printing and specialized work such as metallic inks, but digital will result in further erosion of offset printing.
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.