Industry Challenge

The days of relying on a steady flow of high volume work for most commercial printers has been replaced by requests from clients to do more frequent work using shorter runs.  Unfortunately, the internal costs and time of makeready and drying often lead to prices unacceptable to these clients. Yes, they appreciate the high quality offset, but today’s print buyer has a wide variety of printers eager to meet quality, price and speed.

Fortunately, recent technological innovations in inkjet printing have coincided with the rise of short run work requests for offset printers running sheetfed or web presses.

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How Inkjet Helps Commercial Printers

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 offset-quality inkjet prints representing the highest growth potential  – run lengths of a few sheets to a few thousand.

Commercial printers utilize Fujifilm inkjet technologies today to successfully:

  • Capture more of their clients branding business.
  • Employ Variable Data Printing (VDP) into their product offering, dramatically increasing new higher margin business for runs of one to several thousand.
  • Create new application opportunities like gatefold brochures, folders, posters and variable data direct mail.
  • Print at half the costs for web-press driven applications like books, direct mail and transaction document.
  • Enter the direct mail business with single-pass, high volume variable data printing as opposed to printing offset shells and overprinting with toner.
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How Inkjet Dominates the Short Run

Eliminated all platesetting, and virtually all makeready and dry times, combined with a production speed of up to 1.3 seconds per sheet, makes 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 720 result in 50% reduction in the price per sheet.
Recent innovations in printhead technologies, water-based inkjet ink chemistry, color-managed workflow software and real-time, closed-loop color controls have led to press solutions that meet and soon may even surpass offset quality. Inkjet presses today already provide registration accuracy better than offset.
New flexible format sizes help create new opportunities for digital print, with applications like gatefold brochures, folders, and more unusual page sizes now possible, even with run lengths of one. Plus presses like the J Press are designed “half-sized” to make it fit into most any existing sheetfed pressroom without the need for alterations in terms of paper handling and finishing.
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. It is estimated inkjet delivers a 25% lower carbon footprint than an equivalent traditional offset half-size sheetfed press. Fujifilm Vividia inks have the highest rating for recycleability.

What The Experts Say

“The exciting new opportunity may be for sheetfed inkjet production presses, which may redefine the cost/quality production category for short- to medium-run lengths.”
Howie Fenton, Consultant for NAPL
“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