The Growth of Print on Demand and Customization

While Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing has been around for decades, the rise of “print on demand” book publishing is just now in full swing. Gone forever are the days of stocking warehouses with 100,000+ book runs. The norm today is print to order, with more than 75% of all American print jobs today under 2,000 sheets.

Until recently, the only options were toner based digital printers which provided a “pay per click” model on short run requests. Best suited in the 100 to 1,000 quantity range due to faster makeready times, toner printing fell short in achieving litho quality, had limited productivity options and a high per page cost.

Fortunately, recent technological innovations in inkjet printing have coincided with the rise of short run work requests. These new inkjet web presses offer extremely high quality 4-color printing while working seamlessly within current offset press room environments – for example, printing and folding the paper to yield 24 or 32 page signatures ready for the binder straight from the press.

Plus, digital inkjet delivers variable data printing (VDP) to allow printers to bid and win more custom publishing book and catalog work in monochrome, monochrome with color and full color.

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How Inkjet Helps Book Publishers

Recent innovations in inkjet technologies enable commercial printers to meet these demands and even compete in new, higher-margin printing business to capture more of their customers campaign work. Fujifilm has worked with offset printers internationally to design and develop sheetfed and web presses that deliver the highest quality inkjet prints representing the highest growth potential  – run lengths of a few sheets to a few thousand.

Commercial web printers utilize Fujifilm inkjet technologies today to successfully:

  • Employ Variable Data Printing (VDP) into their product offering, dramatically increasing new higher margin business for customized book runs of one to several thousand.
  • Expand business opportunities by creating new application opportunities like variable data direct mail, personalized magazines, annual reports, school textbooks and newspapers.
  • Expand print opportunities by eliminating plate cylinder limitations – expands flexibility in the cut-off size of the paper to accept a wider variety of jobs.
  • Experience profit gains of 40% to 50% per job on web-press driven applications like books, direct mail and transaction documents.
  • Meet quicker schedule demands while freeing up existing offset equipment.

How Inkjet Dominates the Short Run

Eliminated all platesetting, and virtually all makeready and dry times, combined with a production speed of over 400 feet per minute, makes web inkjet printing the hands on winner for capturing more short run printing business. And compared to pay-per-click digital presses, new inkjet solutions like the J Press 540W result in lower costs and up to 50% higher profits per job.
Recent innovations in printhead technologies, water-base inkjet ink chemistry, color-managed workflow software and real-time, closed-loop color controls have led to press solutions that approach offset quality. Inkjet presses today already provide registration accuracy better than offset for unmatched color consistency throughout the run.
Direct data printing with no restrictions imposed by a plate cylinder provides the added flexibility in how you print, while remaining efficient for standard jobs using standard offset roll paper. Variable data printing expands taking on more custom, personalized work.
Inkjet presses deliver a dramatic reduction in raw materials, hazardous pressroom consumables and paper waste, along with the complete elimination of the plate production process.

What The Experts Say

“Fujifilm continues to make the ink sets we use and the software capabilities we need. Having the confidence in the supplier and in their responsiveness made the decision to put in the W press very easy.”
David Gilson, President, Gilson Graphics
“While it took offset technology nearly 100 years to become as versatile as it has in terms of being able to print on virtually any paper or substrate, it may take inkjet just a decade to be able to print on an unlimited range of papers.”
Marco Boer, Vice President, I.T. Strategies