Research on Emerging Print Markets: Digital Press and the Light Production Market
Commercial printers thought digital printing would eliminate the need for preprinted offset shells, as well as provide a means to economically print smaller volume jobs. Some of this did happen, but it wasn’t an easy transition. The variables that were ignored were the ancillary cost of prepress, invoicing, finishing, etc. The frequency of short-run digital jobs increased as well, thereby increasing the overall labor cost at a time when that cost was difficult to charge for.
Once the learning curve of the digital technology itself was achieved, there would be other challenges. The biggest non-technology related hurdle would be a change in behavior from the print buyer and the print salesman. The learning curve was steep; but those who did manage to climb it and figure out a way to implement digital printing by selling the value, are reaping the benefits.
Fast forward to today — digital printing is a necessity. Not a replacement for offset but a new market — necessary to meet the tight timelines and short-run jobs the market demands and also a way to target the customer with relevant information achieved by variable data printing (VDP). While in general there is less printing today, there are applications that have remained compelling.
I.T. Strategies takes a look at the following key areas when considering a digital press:
- Challenges With Cut-Sheet Digital Printing
- Digital Press Versus Light Production (MFP) Market
- Light Production Hardware (MFP)
- Size of Market
- User Perspective
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