Digital printing has come a long way. While it used to be known as the cheaper, but lower quality alternative to offset printing, technology has helped advancements in digital printing bring it right up to par. But many organizations and businesses aren’t aware of the benefits that digital printing can bring them.
As a Xerox vendor in the DFW area, we’ve worked with a lot of companies that are interested in production-style printers, but can’t justify spending the extra money on a big offset printer. That’s where Xerox’s new digital printing technology comes into play.
What is Digital and Offset Printing?
Offset printing is typically what you’d think of when you picture a newspaper press or a big magazine production setup. It involves using wet ink and printing plates to print colors and images and is known for its control over color and high-quality imaging. Offset printing is economically feasible for those who print very high volumes of images, such as magazines and newspapers, but it doesn’t make much sense for small runs like brochures, business cards, posters, and other marketing materials.
Digital printing, on the other hand, is the easiest way to print marketing materials and other short runs, but up until recently, digital printing didn’t have the same quality and color capability as offset printing. Now however, Xerox is changing the game by introducing all-new color options, quality prints that are indistinguishable from printing presses, and production machines capable of handling large volumes as well.
What Does Xerox Have to Offer?
Xerox has a lot to offer when it comes to digital printing solutions. With tons of different production style printers to choose from, there’s a guaranteed fit for whatever your printing needs might be.
Xerox’s line of production style printers ranges from light, “entry-level” machines like the PrimeLink family, designed for smaller print jobs with a big impact, all the way to inkjet machines like the Baltoro, which can handle an impressive 300 letter pages per minute duplex.
Production printers also come equipped with the ability to print in metallics and fluorescents, with the use of CMYK+ technology, which can give your organization a big leg up when it comes to printing promotional materials and handouts.
Inkjet printers are printers that spray the ink onto paper and dry naturally, as opposed to toner printers which use electrical currents to attract toner “dust” onto a piece of paper. As the name says, inkjet printers use ink, and toner printers use toner. Because inkjet printers run paper along a large wheel, and then cut it to the appropriate paper size, it typically isn’t good for print jobs that need specialty media (such as heavier paper stock) or for short-run applications (smaller print jobs).
Deciding whether an inkjet or toner printer is right for your organization comes down to a couple of main considerations:
Inkjet printers have a lot of benefits when it comes to production-scale printing and offer increased efficiency while also handling a lot of different functions. Xerox even has a term for it: “Inkonomics: it’s all about expanded opportunities, simplicity, and the lowest total cost of ownership. With offset volumes and turnaround times declining, digital page volumes increasing, and skilled labor in short supply, being able to produce more premium pages with less effort and cost is more critical than ever”. For more information on the differences between offset and inkjet printing, watch this informative challenge video.
Feeding and Finishing
Printing pages is all easy work, but it’s the different finishing options available where Xerox really comes to shine. The options are nearly endless: booklet makers, coaters, integrated solutions, cutters, folders, binders, hole-punchers, transport solutions, and feeders just to name a few.
Xerox works with some top-of-the-line vendors additionally, so you know if you have something you need to make, we can find a finishing option that fits your needs.
Having the right machine is important, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that having the right software for the job is just as important.
These days, there’s software to help with just about anything. Job management and web-to-print software are some of the more popular, but there’s also software such as prepress and variable data that can transform the way your organization advertises and prints promotional material.
Prepress for starters, automatically sizes your design as many times as possible onto your chosen paper size, so if you were printing one postcard on an 11x17” sheet, it would find the best way to replicate and format your postcard on that sheet as many times as it would fit. This way when you cut the sheet you’re not left with any additional paper, and you can minimize time spent having to manually duplicate and figure out how to fit as many as you can onto the page. It can also save you a considerable amount of money since you are charged per page.
Variable data applications, as mentioned above, allows you to personalize your promotional materials, so if you wanted to send postcards with your customer’s names on them, it’s a quick and easy process and is the best way to get their attention.
Packaging printing is a trend that’s on the rise with manufacturers looking for smarter ways to package items to grab the attention of consumers. We’ve all noticed how amazon boxes have changed from a smiley face logo on the outside to advertising the latest Marvel movie, but this is just the tip of the iceberg for packaging printing. Now there are options for folding cartons, smart packaging that can communicate information digitally, and flexible options like printing onto plastic before it’s molded so there’s no need for labels. Is your shop doing this now?
The Possibilities Are Endless
You don’t need to invest in expensive offset printing presses to get the high-quality and vivid colors that you want, and you don’t need to compromise on lower quality but cheaper printers. You can now have all the benefits of an offset printing press, on an affordable and office-sized digital printer.
If you’d like to learn more about production equipment, check out our article Is a Production Multifunction Printer Right for Your Business? (+Costs), and other relevant articles in our Learning Center.