By Sander Sondaal, Director Commercial Print Sales, Graphic Communications Group, Ricoh Europe
Ricoh Europe, London, June 11 2021－In previous blogs we have looked at why digital inkjet is desirable and feasible. We considered the business benefits and opportunities it presents. We reviewed the market demands it responds to and how it enables commercial printers to capitalise on growth predictions for digital print.
Inkjet is also viable. It is stable, produces a quality level that is comparable to offset and responds to market demand for mass customisation, cost effective short runs and print on demand that does not increase costs. It also enables the selection of a greater variety of papers for the seamless transition of offset print to digital.
This is the case with both continuous feed inkjet systems, that include the flagship Ricoh Pro™ VC70000, and sheetfed with our newly previewed Ricoh Pro™ Z75, B2 colour inkjet press. They support operations no matter what their commercial print production mix.
Digital inkjet is also:
Digital print eliminates the need for preparing and loading printing plates which saves time and reduces costs. Arguably offset presses have increased their automation to reduce makeready times to minutes but with instant changes from job to job, a digital press would already have printed 375 sheets in five minutes. When considering the average run length in general commercial print these minutes add up over a shift. Digital print allows each document, or a part of the job, to be customised and commercial printers to add value. Work can also be seamlessly finished with existing B2 finishing solutions.
It delivers the quantities required when needed. It responds to market demand for mass customisation, cost effective short runs and print on demand that does not increase costs. It provides flexibility and agility that cannot be matched by offset.
Inkjet has to be competitive. That does not mean competitive at every run length for every job, users will still need to have the right mix of work and – some variable content, or at least versioned content – as well as short runs. However, the overall efficiency of the process of automating job submission, printing in sequence, mixing papers in the same run and inline finishing (if appropriate) should be factored in. It is not a simple case of the cost of putting the ink on the paper.
Average print runs are falling so ultimate running speed is becoming less critical. However, if an average makeready was six minutes and the average running speed was 10k per hour, 800 sheets could be printed quicker on digital than offset. Talking to commercial printers, 800 sheets encompass a large percentage of their work. That’s before the next production step where printing in sequence brings added benefits.
Inkjet is an inherently reliable process. While cleaning and preventative maintenance tasks need to be followed, uptime is high. We know from the Pro VC70000 that our own developed stainless steel printheads have a long life, contributing to overall efficiency.
All these reasons make inkjet a viable choice, including alongside – or as an alternative to -offset production capacity. Supported by the technology mix digital offers.
To discover more about inkjet’s viability and how you can make the most of the growth opportunity visit https://www.ricoh-europe.com.
Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling
individuals to work smarter. For more than 80 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, communications services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras, and industrial systems.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in approximately 200 countries and regions. In the financial year ended March 2020, Ricoh Group had worldwide sales of 2,008 billion yen (approx. 18.5 billion USD).
For further information, please visit www.ricoh-europe.com