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A new interpretation of the relationship between digital printing and offset lithography

with the changes in the market, printers have finally found a space for the coexistence of digital printing and offset lithography

in the past decade, there has been constant debate about the two printing technologies of digital printing and offset lithography. Now when the two printing technologies collide passionately, most people's attention changes. Printers no longer focus on the process. Digital printing and lithographic offset printing have been used as a combination to work together to improve their competitiveness in the market, rather than relying on their own strengths and weaknesses

Jon branken, director of Cleo's product management department, who now belongs to Kodak, said, "frankly, we didn't expect that the competitive relationship between digital printing and lithographic offset printing has been maintained for so long. Successful companies have seen that digital printing and lithographic offset printing are two complementary technologies, and in many cases, they can jointly provide customers with perfect market solutions."

it is worth mentioning that digital printing and offset lithography are complementary technologies, which is very attractive, but it also causes confusion about the scope of digital printing among many sellers, printers and printing customers when the cast iron specimen is compressed. For some people, all the concepts of digital printing are about documents. If digital documents pass through all the rollers of their printing, then digital printing is completed; For others, all the concepts of digital printing are about ink. If toner is used to replace traditional ink in printing, it becomes digital printing. Finally, there is another view that if the printer can print data files that can be changed every page, then this is digital printing

according to Howard Howie Fenton, senior consultant of digital technology of the American Offset Printing Association (NAPL), defining digital printing according to ink may be the most commonly used method in daily life. No matter how you view or define digital printing, it is objective. According to the American Printing Industry Association/printing technology foundation (pia/gatf), digital printing is considered to be the fastest-growing part of the printing industry

Laurie Harriman, owner of Queen City imaging in New York, said, "thanks to the customer satisfaction and other good reputation brought by digital printing, our business has improved rapidly." She bought the company in 1998, when it was still a small copy center. In 2000, she wanted to increase business and reduce costs, so she printed two Libby color digital offset presses. Since then, she has integrated digital printing machines such as OSI 3165 and Canon 6000 with post press binding equipment into the company's operations. She recently purchased OSI varioprint 2090, which has an offset printing patent. Quinn image company uses offset printing for color cover printing, and then prints the printed matter through OSI varioprint 2090 digital printer for variable data printing

dillon Mooney, technical consultant of pia/gatf, has been in contact with many integrated printing processes. He said, "it is a good way for printers to integrate the two technologies by printing in color on an offset press and then printing sheets on a digital press." Mooney warned that the use of ink and the moisture content of printing sheets may cause some problems. Digital printing machines using toner use heat to melt toner and then transfer it to paper. If laser safety ink is not used in the previous offset lithography process, the ink on the printed sheet will melt in the digital printing process. Another problem is the moisture content of the paper. The high temperature in the digital printing process can dry the paper. At the same time, it will curl the paper and jam in the process of printing, post printing and folding. If this situation happens continuously in printing production, it will be very bad. If the printer operator transfers the paper printed by the digital printer to the offset press, humidity problems will also occur. Very dry paper will absorb moisture and deform during the printing process on the offset press. Mooney added, "it's not as simple as unloading a print sheet from one device and then loading it onto another device for printing. You have to be very careful with your raw materials."

not only the printers themselves have successfully solved these problems, but also the sellers of digital printing machines are trying to completely avoid these problems. Bruce Ganjie, senior sales director of OSI North America, pointed out that the digital printing design of offset printing technology uses low-temperature melting instead of high-temperature melting. In addition, Ossi has also developed mono component color separation powders including developers. Since the developer is included, the primary reason for the disharmony of printing quality caused by the deterioration of the developer is eliminated. Low temperature melting, single component ink and shorter and simpler printing methods ensure the stability of printing. Copy press technology also allows printers to print on a wide variety of substrates. This low-temperature melting ability enables the printer to print heavy paper, light paper, coated paper and glossy paper without changing the speed

technology marriage

the marriage of short edition, low-cost digital output equipment and high-quality offset lithography - direct imaging (DI) printing machine, can provide the greatest advantages of the two technologies. As a pioneer in the industry, pressek launched the di solution in 1990, which is used to provide live parts whose production volume is between digital printing small batch production and traditional offset printing large batch printing. Pressek technology is still the core technology of most Di printing machine equipment with high quality

the digital printer uses toner printing, so it is very close to the effect of laser printing, while the printing of Di printer is a high-speed automatic waterless offset printing process using ink. Similar to traditional offset printing, di printing requires plates and inks. But unlike traditional offset printing, the printing plate has been installed on the printing machine before imaging. This reduces the job preparation time, and the automatic operation also reduces the occurrence of many errors

John shikov, global vice president of Kodak Polaroid Digital Printing Department, pointed out: "the new generation of Di printers provide offset printing quality in an efficient and profitable form. Di printers are the best choice to control the short version color printing market."

Christian cerfuten, marketing director of Manroland North America, said, "I see more and more companies with two types of equipment. We believe that digital printing includes the printing method of data information directly transmitted to the equipment, not just whether to use toner ink or whether to have variable data printing ability." Manroland's DICO web offset press uses Cleo's Square dot laser to cure the polyester layer directly on the drum inside the press, and the effect of this polyester is very similar to the image on the printing plate. When the printing is finished, an automatic cleaning device, like the blanket cleaning unit in a traditional offset press, can remove these images from the drum. It only takes 12 minutes for the device to clean the image, re image and fix the image. It can use heat to fix more than 500 printing plates on the drum, and then it can achieve a printing rate of 30000

don tritan, vice president and general manager of xpedx, a distributor of leyoubi Di printers in the United States, said, "with the continuous improvement of functions, di printers can meet different printing needs. Our sales targets include commercial printing companies, express printing centers, traders' stores and service institutions. They use Di devices to print color brochures, newsletters, and even greeting cards."

Joerg Danhart, manager of small format printing products in Heidelberg, USA, suggested that printers considering introducing Di technology should pay attention to the refurbished Di equipment, which is only half the price of the new equipment. "As long as $150000, you can have a refurbished device with the latest rip installed by the installer. One advantage of Di printing machine is that you can upgrade rip to the latest version at any time, and it can bring more profits."

cost and demand are the key

obviously, offset printing and digital printing have their own advantages. In addition to its advantages in the speed of long version printing, offset printing also has a wider range of printing than digital printing, more types of inks can be used, more colors and paper sizes, and higher printing quality. Bruce Ganjie, senior sales director of OSI North America, pointed out, "offset printing is still the way of large project printing. No normal person will print 900million books on the digital printing machine, such as the latest Harry Potter series. There is no doubt about this."

the Xeikon brand of punch graphics USA has established a solid position in the digital product market. By August, the sales of Saikang 5000 of the company had exceeded the sum of 2004. Saikang 5000 is a color digital printer with a speed of 130ppm, a resolution of 600dpi, dry toner and a unique one pass duplex technology. Expresscopy, a web printer, has just installed four Saikang 5000 to help complete the printing of more than 125000 postcards a day. Li Ditz, general manager and CEO of expresscopy company, said, "Saikang 5000 and x-800 digital integrated control system constitute the core of our process. About 90% of our live parts need double-sided printing, so the one-time paper double-sided printing technology is the most ideal choice for our process."

of course, cost is also a key factor in determining which way to print. There is usually some debate about this. Most people believe that the best cost of each page needs to be determined according to the whole piece. Our interviewer provided you with a rough calculation method of four-color living parts as a tool to decide which method is the best

Dillon Mooney, technical consultant of pia/gatf, believes that the competition between offset printing and digital printing is only between Zhang and Zhang. In 3000 sheets, P - compressive strength of corrugated box (n); Customers will choose digital printing, and customers will choose offset printing if there are more than 7000 pieces. Finton, senior consultant of NAPL digital technology, believes that 5000 sheets have been considered as the dividing point for many years. If it is more than 5000, choose offset printing; if it is less than 5000, choose digital printing

Danehart of Heidelberg said, "we believe that digital printing is the right solution for short-term printing." At the same time, Steve Sankoh, the North American Marketing Director of pressek, said, "Di printing machine is the best choice for live parts, but this printing machine can also be used for live parts with a printing volume of 15000 or more."

finally, branken of Cleo concluded that printing customers may consider digital printing or offset printing to complete the work between them. This series of answers also shows that this question is difficult to answer. The final choice is determined by the type of live parts, printing cycle and the evaluation type of digital printing or offset printing

technology sale

the founder of the survey center of Outlook Weekly, which provides survey services for sellers in the printing industry, asked Joe Webb

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