William C. Lamparter

William C. Lamparter
Digital Printing Observations — The Technology Race Is On

THE PRINTING industry is bulging with new and improved process technology, but implementation of what is available proceeds at a faltering snail’s pace. With Drupa 2008—the global printing big box superstore—opening its showroom in late May, the technology bulge is about to turn into a confusing avalanche of competing technologies and products. Suppliers have started to hold their pre-Drupa show briefings for analysts and the trade press. Clearly, the technology race is on. While the announcements of new print software to the introduction of heavy pressroom iron and automated, fault tolerant postpress equipment accelerates, what leads the differentiating innovation pack with the promise of

Technological Developments — More Changes Reshaping the Industry

Print has become a digital-centric process with software, the glue that controls and holds the diverse elements of print production together. As traditional printing processes decline in volume, digitalography is growing with a developing technology race among the diverse strains of digital output (as is detailed in the January issue of Printing Impressions). This PI e-posting picks up where the print article left off with the forecast of a process race between toner and ink-jet digital printing. Product showing and announcements at Drupa 08 in May will serve as a process competitive benchmark in the race, which really seriously started at Graph Expo ’07,


FASTER, BETTER, targeted, personalized, long run capable and continuously improving quality utilized by a new breed of information providers—transactional/promotional and marketing service providers—are prime drivers of digital printing growth. The idea that digital printing is limited to very short runs of static content material or limited runs of rather basic personalization is obsolete. The high profit dollars for print providers are in long run, increasingly complex, personalization. Long runs—sometimes in the millions on short turnaround schedules—are being produced on several different digital equipment configurations. The most common current approach is to utilize one of two methods of hybrid printing: off-line or in-line production. Off-line