How to deal with the challenge of digital printing

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In recent years, with the accelerating pace of digitalization in the printing industry, new technologies such as digital printing and CTP have developed in full swing, and the goal of digitalization has penetrated into all corners of the printing industry. The remaining oil in the traditional small offset press market is 10~11 liters, of course, is no exception. So, facing the increasingly fierce competition in the market, how should the traditional small offset press cope with the challenge of digital printing press

small offset printing began to develop in China in the mid-1980s. It entered a high-speed development stage in the mid and late 1990s. Small offset printing initially appeared in the printing market as light printing. This equipment is characterized by small investment, fast return, low cost, good quality and simple operation and maintenance. In the general field of fast short edition commercial printing, the demand for live print between 500 and 5000 copies is the largest. At present, the traditional offset printing method has obvious advantages in print quality, printing cost, cost performance and so on. Therefore, some experts predict that the traditional small offset press will still occupy a dominant position in the field of short version printing for a long time in the future

the digital printing machines we discuss are generally divided into several categories: one is the plateless digital printing machine. The advantages of this kind of equipment are mainly that variable data printing can realize one piece of printing and personalized printing; the other is the direct plate making digital printing machine on the machine. Their advantage is that they can optimize the process flow, which is very suitable for businesses with 300 ~ 5000 pieces of printing. There is also a digital printing machine using inkjet technology, which is mainly used to print a large number of bills, commercial bills, etc. its advantage lies in the low printing cost. It can be seen that the advantages of digital printing are concentrated in the aspects of high speed, variable information and layout, simplified process, short cycle, etc

one advantage of digital printing over traditional printing is that it is economical and efficient when the printing volume is about 5000. Nowadays, digital printed matter can be roughly divided into books (about 6%), catalogues (about 16%), trademarks (about 12%), leaflets (about 6%), brochures (about 16%), political propaganda materials/security printing/identity cards (about 5%), etc. almost all printed matter printed in the traditional way can be completed by digital printing at present

nowadays, digital printing technology continues to develop and expand, and has become an irreversible mainstream development technology in today's printing industry. A variety of digital printing machines compete to form the main melody of modern printing development. According to the survey data of relevant departments, the installation of digital printing machines will increase by 14% - 19% every year, and the prospect of digital printing is promising. At this time, the traditional small offset press is being hit by different aspects of the digital printing press. On the one hand, the world's major printing equipment manufacturers have increased the research and development of digital printing machines, and have launched a number of models, which is undoubtedly a heavy blow to the traditional small offset press market

at present, the most widely used digital technologies are machine-made plate technology and computer direct plate making technology. Heidelberg company is one of the first companies to set foot in the field of digital printing. The machine-made version is the technology first introduced by Heidelberg company. On the QM and gtolj offset presses of Heidelberg company, they can now be configured in the machine-made version system. At the same time, Japan's leyoubi and Hamada companies also began to develop their own digital technology. The v-color48 launched by Hamada company is a new model with certain digital technology content. In addition, the truepress printing machine launched by big Japan screen company should also belong to the small offset printing machine in the machine-made version

the greater impact on the traditional small offset press comes from some enterprises that have nothing to do with the production of small offset press, including indigo company in Israel, Xerox company in the United States, Agfa company in Germany, Ricoh company in Japan, Canon company and Xeikon company. The digital printing machines with different performance and principle introduced by these enterprises directly threaten the survival of traditional small offset press production enterprises

of course, it is the color digital printing press that poses a threat to the multi-color small offset printing press. The first enterprise to launch a true color digital printing machine was indigo company. In recent years, indigo has been continuously improving its products, but also committed to reducing costs. At the same time, the price of expensive consumables for digital printing machines is also falling sharply. It can be seen that digital printing machine manufacturers are trying to lower the threshold and expand their market share

on the other hand, from the perspective of the market, with the continuous improvement of the printing quality and economy of digital printing machines, they have entered the traditionally considered restricted area of small offset printing machines. Its quickness, convenience and flexibility make them an absolute advantage in the field of ultra short edition, that is, the market with a printing number of less than 500 copies. For example, various digital printing machines represented by Indigo's digital printing machine can realize on-demand printing and variable data printing, which is more suitable for the personalized ultra short version commercial printing market

the development of digital printing press with such a strong momentum has broken the pattern of traditional small offset printing machines dominating the world in the field of short edition printing. So, will digital printing replace the traditional small offset press? Judging from the technological development in recent years, digital printing technology is indeed booming, and a variety of digital printing machines are blooming. However, the outstanding performance of digital printing machine is that it can realize personalized printing or variable information printing. "Fast" is not its outstanding feature or advantage. At the same time, for the current printing industry, a large number of prints are not variable information. It should be pointed out that the digital printing press has its own market space, and there will be rapid development in the field of ultra short edition printing in the short term

At the same time, the traditional small offset printing technology is also developing completely, especially the combination of Prepress digital plate making technology and traditional offset printing technology, which makes the traditional small offset printing machine enter a new world. There is no so-called trend that one technology replaces another in the market. At present, the emergence of digital printing machine should be an expansion of the traditional small offset printing machine, forming a variety of alternative printing schemes. However, in the future, with the development of information technology and network economy, and the continuous decline of manufacturing costs and consumables costs, digital printing machines are bound to pose a threat to the traditional small offset printing machines. In this regard, small offset press manufacturing enterprises should not blindly underestimate the impact of digital printing technology. They should pay close attention to the development trend of digital printing press and take positive and effective ways to meet the challenges of digital printing press

first, speed up the development and production of heavy-duty multi-color small offset press technology, improve the technical content and automation control level of multi-color small offset press, improve the printing quality of equipment, strengthen the stability of the whole machine, and constantly adjust to meet the changes of market demand

second, carry out digital transformation of traditional small offset printing machines, especially the automatic digital technology transformation focusing on reducing costs and improving printing efficiency, so as to realize the convenient and fast printing of small offset printing machines. In other words, to achieve what users need "in the shortest time, with the most concise and rapid printing preparation and adjustment, with the least waste of paper and consumables, print the best high-quality prints, and ensure timely and rapid delivery"

the third direction is digital printing press. To develop and improve the digital printing system based on fast printing and form a complete digital printing solution around small and medium-sized printing plants, breakthroughs should be made in the following three aspects:

① through the combination of simple CTP technology and small offset printing technology, a non integrated digital printing system and an integrated digital printing system should be formed

② realize the digital printing system through the combination of direct plate making technology on the machine and small offset printing technology

③ through the combination of high-speed inkjet technology and small offset printing technology, a cheap digital printing system is realized

to sum up, the development momentum of digital printing machine is unstoppable. It will occupy the market share of traditional ij and offset printing machines, and seriously threaten the survival of small offset printing machine manufacturers. In the face of such fierce competition as convenient operation, small offset printing machine manufacturers should keep a clear and calm mind. On the one hand, they should constantly improve the technical content of small offset printing machines to meet the needs of the market; on the other hand, they should pay close attention to the development of digital technology and organically combine digital technology with traditional small offset printing machines to meet the challenges of digital printing machines

source of information: Printed today

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