These days, more and more of the posters, display graphics, yard signs and other types of printing you see are printed using digital inkjet technology rather than older conventional methods like lithographic, flexographic, or screen printing processes. This is something we at NGS Printing have encountered frequently – most of our customers, both new and long-standing, are needing work that better fits with our digital printing capabilities. That's why we weren't surprised when market research company Smithers Pira predicted digital printing will see the fastest growth of any other format between 2017 and 2022. Writing for Ink World Magazine, Sean Smyth, a Smithers Pira consultant, said that although analog printing will still make up the majority of the market in 2022, the products created will be low-value goods like magazines and newspapers along with other larger production runs. Digital Printing, on the other hand, will be increasingly used for niche, value-adding or limited-run products.
"Businesses are demanding more flexibility in their print jobs."
What's the reason for this trend? Businesses are demanding more flexibility in their print jobs, and digital printing has proven to be the best way to satisfy their needs. Here are three reasons why digital printing is becoming so popular:
1. Digital printing lowers overhead costs.
Old conventional printing methods like offset, flexographic, and screen printing require a lot of setup and oversight. Each color in the graphic needs a separate plate or screen, meaning images with a variety of hues need many different materials. In addition, many times these larger conventional presses require multiple operators to run effectively, thereby increasing the initial cost. Meanwhile, digital printing on our Inca Onset Q40i that prints directly onto rigid materials like plastics usually requires a single operator, and setups are a fraction of the time, which results in less downtime and smaller labor costs.
2. Digital printing provides greater flexibility.
Because of the lack of set-up, digital printing processes are best for tight deadlines. A printing vendor can generally receive, print and ship a finished project in a significantly shorter period of time. In addition, digitally printed jobs require significantly less overrun or press sheets to meet the necessary quantities. This results in less press time and less material needed for the job, leaving more capacity for the next job in the system.
3. Digital printing is improving in quality.
Quality, in terms of digital printing, is measured by the size of the ink drops the printer produces. A smaller drop means more nuanced color transitions, resulting in a higher-quality image. Ink drops are measured in picoliters – an incredibly small size that equals a trillionth of a liter. As Print Week noted, 5 billion picoliters fit in a 5 milliliter spoon.
These days, printer manufacturers are constantly releasing machines with increasingly smaller ink drop sizes. NGS is always investing in the latest commercial wide format digital printing technology, so your graphics are always printed with superior quality at economical prices.