In the past, digital printers were considered high cost-per-page pieces of equipment that could produce small runs of collateral on limited stock formats. This is why many print shops, mailing houses and marketing departments still use offset printing presses. Yes, offset printers deliver quality results, are more cost-effective than digital printers for high-volume jobs, and they stand alone when it comes to speed. But, innovations in printing technologies have resulted in modern digital printers that can do everything that a traditional offset printing press does – and so much more.
Here are ten key benefits of modern digital printing systems compared to traditional offset printing presses:
- Compact Design
Today’s digital printers are designed to be quiet and space-efficient with a small footprint, so they can be installed in almost any office environment. Offset printers, on the other hand, are large and loud machines with multiple offset press stations, which make more noise and require a great deal more space. They often must be placed in a back room or a separate facility altogether.
Innovations in printer technologies have resulted in many improvements to the modern digital printer. One of the most frequently appreciated features is their multifunctional abilities. An order of customized envelopes, letterheads and business cards can all be produced from one device. They’re like a full-service print shop in a box.
- Quicker Turnaround
Batches of business cards, thank you notes and invitations can all be printed quickly on an offset printing press, but it takes a long time to set up. Digital printers, however, are always ready to produce short-run jobs much faster than offset. Whether the print job is in black and white or full colour, digital printers will always deliver a faster turnaround time.
- Faster Throughput
Because offset printing presses use printing plates and wet ink, the printed collateral needs time to dry before any finishing processes can take place. Digital printers, on the other hand, produce dry stock, ready to be folded, stapled or inserted into envelopes the moment they come from the printer, resulting in much faster throughput.
- Variety of Stocks
Quality digital printers operate at a higher printing temperature, which results in superior toner adhesion, ensuring print compatibility with a wider variety of stocks. These include plain, coated or uncoated papers, magnetic, metallic or plastic materials, wood veneers, heat transfers and translucent stocks, to name a few.
- Variable Data
Traditionally, offset printing meant you had one hard copy original from which you made multiple, identical copies. With digital printing, changing information within a single print job is easy. The output is sent directly from electronic files, so infinite variable data adjustments are possible. Targeted collateral can be customized on-the-fly and even QR code applications implemented.
Personalization is key in today’s fast-paced, egocentric world, and there isn’t a more cost-effective way to produce short-run, customized print jobs of 5,000 or less, than digital. More and more print shops recognize that only once they exceed 5,000 units, and if they are not working with variable data, does the offset press make more financial sense than digital.
- Easy to Use
Offset printing presses are complicated machines that require skilled professionals to operate. There are ink tanks to be filled, printing plates to be cleaned, rubber rollers to maintain, and more. Digital printing machines make life so much easier. They require no special skills to operate, and changing consumables and stock is a simple task most office staff can do.
- Environmentally Safe
Offset printing is messy – inks need to be mixed and printing plates need to be washed using toxic detergents. Digital printers do not use heat and pressure to fuse the toner into the paper. Instead, toner is transferred to the medium and then fused using heat. This means no mixing of inks, which means no mess, which means no harmful chemicals needed for clean up.
- Budget Friendly
Thanks to the speed at which a digital printer can produce smaller batches of letterheads or personalized envelopes, there is no longer a need to store multiple boxes of stationery. This frees up valuable office space, saving on your operating cost per square foot (OpEx), and you are able to replace your capital-intense offset printing press with a less expensive digital printer (CapEx). Finally, there is the huge savings in electricity consumption (OpEx) to be made by switching to a less power-hungry digital printer.
Whether you are a direct mailing house, government office, educational institution or an organization looking for a cost-effective alternative to high-volume printing, we can help. We have over 30 years of experience and have helped more than 2,000 customers in 20 countries. We understand how important it is to choose the best printer for your marketing and business operations.
Find out how we can help you design a custom printing and graphic arts solution for your company. LET’S TALK .