Industry Trends Point to Kyocera Inkjet
As a printing technology that has yet to reach the ceiling of its capabilities, inkjet continues to revolutionize the ways printing services providers (PSPs) serve their customers and change the metrics by which they operate. Industry case studies have shown PSPs benefit from inkjet technology through exceptional image quality, strong uptime, faster production, simpler processes, and a reduced need for highly skilled labor. But what are the broader industry trends among PSPs and their customers that support the logic behind inkjet transformation?
Meeting Market Needs
According to data collected and analyzed by NAPCO Research and PRINTING United Alliance*, a confluence of conditions among print buyers and print producers is creating a “sweet spot” within which high-production inkjet can flourish. Print customers, the data shows, are focused on reducing costs in their printing spend and are seeking to enhance the effectiveness of their print communications, which increasingly include print and digital elements. At the same time, PSPs are looking to increase both productivity and efficiency in their operations and to “evolve” the printing applications they offer. Both entities are working toward complementary goals, and inkjet occupies the point where customer desire meets production reality.
For their print needs, customers are increasingly demanding faster turnaround, shorter runs, and personalization and versioning, all at a lower cost. The high speeds of production inkjet enable PSPs to meet these needs head-on, offering all the inherent benefits of digital at a speed and cost per page that toner-based systems just can’t reach.
Finally, “high-quality color printing,” “best reliability and turnaround times,” and “best prices” were among the top five responses among print buyers when asked what matters most to them. Inkjet meets these preferences by offering offset-comparable image and color quality, production speeds that shorten delivery times, and a cost-per-page that enables broader outreach without a broader budget.
Growing Possibilities for PSPs
As a viable solution for high-speed print production, sheet-fed inkjet is more than ready for prime time. According to a technology analysis presented by I.T. Strategies, sheet-fed inkjet technology has fully achieved both reliability and salable print quality. PSPs — particularly those who serve the general commercial printing space — will see significant growth in the use of sheet-fed inkjet in the next five years. Moving forward, sheet-fed inkjet will benefit from increased versioning and SKU proliferation, greater personalization of print, and finishing enhancements that bring higher value printing.
Moving forward, it is clear that the sheet-fed inkjet systems that will make PSPs more profitable and more competitive are those that excel in:
Speed: The inherent speed capabilities of production inkjet exceed the technological “ceiling” of toner-based printing, allowing for more pages per hour, and more jobs per shift. Further, users of production inkjet regularly report uptime above 90%, meaning more time for profitable production, and less time for service or repairs. So, not just speed, but also productivity.
Image Quality: For any printing technology to pull its weight in today’s printing industry, color, and print quality must meet or exceed the expectations of buyers and specifiers who often use offset output as their benchmark. Strong inkjet systems exceed “good enough” by matching offset expectations. The previously perceived limitations of digital printing no longer apply.
Flexibility: Production inkjet has proven itself to be a technology that expands possibilities for PSPs by offering exceptional printing on a much wider variety of stocks than toner-based systems. For customers, this means an ability to dictate the stock – instead of the process dictating it for them. For PSPs, it means a strong opportunity to differentiate their businesses.
The TASKalfa Pro 15000c – the high-production sheet-fed solution from Kyocera Document Solutions – possesses these essential traits and more, all packaged in an easy-to-operate/easy-to-service system that maximizes production hours, expands possibilities, and diversifies operator availability.
How Kyocera Meets the Need
“The Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000c is the perfect system for PSPs seeking to add the undeniable benefits of sheet-fed inkjet to their workflows,” says Fred Morrone, Senior Manager of Production Print Marketing at Kyocera. “These benefits extend beyond the quality, flexibility, and speed that inkjet can deliver.” Morrone highlights that the system expands flexibility beyond stock type by accepting sheet sizes as large as 13” x 19.2”. It is designed to promote trouble-free production through an easy-to-learn user interface and a time-saving design that allows the operator to change out most replaceable parts.
About production inkjet, Morrone says, “It’s been amazing to watch it grow in capability and reputation. The process has proven its benefits across commercial printing, transactional, direct mail, and book production. It’s become an essential tool for profitability, business expansion, and competitiveness.” Because the TASKalfa Pro 15000c is not just a press, but a system that includes optional units to expand feeding and finishing, PSPs can customize to either meet a specific need or seek new opportunities. Machine performance is backed by a strong service structure.
“We’re regularly contacted by printers who are looking for productivity ‘step up’ above their toner systems, or who are looking to add high-speed VDP (variable data printing) to what they can offer their customers,” Morrone says. “As a technology partner, Kyocera works diligently to help them maximize the capabilities of the TASKalfa Pro 15000c for their businesses, workflows, and customers.”
As inkjet brings profound change to the commercial printing industry – shifting the metrics for digital printing and providing new opportunities and approaches — customers are seeing the benefits and adjusting what they expect from their print providers. Embracing the future means embracing inkjet. Kyocera is here to help.
* 2022-23 State of the Industry Survey, PRINTING United Alliance, January 2023; Propelling Your Business Forward in Ever-changing Competitive Environment, NAPCO Research 2022