Productivity of Digital Printing Devices


Document ID: 
Greg Radencic and Mark Bohan


Digital, Non-Member: 
Photo, Member: 
Photo, Non-Member: 


In the commercial print market, digital production presses are providing a viable option for short-run work. The speed and quality of these devices are attaining a level where profits can be made and the work sold based on the same quality expectations as a traditional offset press. The speed and quality expectations of digital printing presses are typically communicated and sold using language that in some cases can be misleading or not understood correctly. This could be due to the specifications being developed based on test criteria that is not communicated or do not represent the end user's typical use of the equipment. Other factors that impact the productivity of the equipment includes processing of the files, color conversion, and RIP configuration. Again factors such as these have a direct impact on the productivity of the equipment. In order to investigate some of these factors, a benchmarking study was developed by Printing Industries of America to capture how images are prepared, processed through the RIP, and how the digital press itself performed in terms of speed and quality. Results in this paper focus on the productivity of the printing operation and equipment. This is based on the same job being printed by all participants. The job printed included challenges such as matching spot color, front to back registration, and color, which has been shown to impact the RIPing process, create problems on press, and potentially impact productivity leading to a reprint of the job. The results from this study show that the productivity of the equipment is directly related to the workflow. If a printing operation is not processing the files correctly, inspecting single sheet proofs for quality, this can directly impact the productivity of the equipment, negatively impacting productivity and profits.

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