Developments over recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of print engine solutions available in the field of production (high volume) inkjet. The technologies are having a significant impact on the shape of the printing industry. There is great interest in the possibility of opening up new markets with these devices and shifting production from other printing methods, be they offset, toner based digital, or flexography. The use of inkjet devices offers the opportunity to provide personalized, variable, or short / medium run length products in a cost effective manner to the customer that toner based digital solutions did not provide. It also allows the possibility of adding new products due to the ability to produce printed material in a variable format. In referring historically to the changes in technology , those that have a lasting impact are those that can improve productivity while producing either a similar quality to the process they are replacing or a commercially acceptable quality for the product category, a function many of today's inkjet engines are capable of.
This paper investigates in detail these different market segments that are serviced by inkjet devices from newspapers, books, and transactional documents to commercial printing applications and the different requirements for these marketplaces. Each of the print engines were assessed for their applicability to the different market places. Some of the characteristics evaluated include production image resolution, the introduction of artefacts into the images introduced by either the software or hardware configuration, and performance.