Printing companies are breaking through traditional boundaries in the industry as they seek new opportunities for growth. It’s becoming the norm, for example, for shops to run traditional offset equipment side by side with various digital technologies. This transition allows them to serve markets as varied as sign printing, variable data printing, and traditional long-run static litho.
The reason is clear. Many studies show that while offset is still the mainstay of the overall printing industry, growth is in digital applications. A study released last year by Smithers, a leading global research firm, showed that by 2027 analog printing is expected to grow by 0.8%; digital printing will clock in a growth rate of 5.7%.
What’s more, digital work is considered to be of much higher value—as in higher margins for printers. That’s because digital technologies can print short runs efficiently and affordably and they can print fully variable documents in a single pass.
An Affordable Path to Digital Printing
Digital is the printing technology of the future, but for an offset shop to explore the opportunities in digital applications today, a hybrid solution may be just the right move. Here at DDS, we take calls every day asking how to take advantage of the growth in digital printing without reinventing an entire print production workflow. In case after case, hybrid makes the most sense.
Hybrid printing refers to bolting an inkjet module inline onto a traditional offset press. At DDS, we offer various modules that will integrate with your unique environment and elevate your applications. You can choose monochrome and full color heads, different head widths to accommodate your existing offset press, and select speeds that easily keep up with your equipment.
Hybrid setups offer the best of both printing worlds. The obvious advantage is the ability to produce long runs economically on litho technology. By adding a digital print head, you gain the creative ability to add variable data and graphics to static pages in full color, in a single pass.
With the old workflow you moved products such as preprinted shells from a press to a laser printer to be addressed. A hybrid workflow, by comparison, offers impressive benefits, such as time savings, fewer touchpoints, quicker set up and makeready, and less cleanup.
But there’s more. Other benefits of a hybrid workflow include:
- The ability to offer your clients high-value personalized messages and graphics, beyond a simple name change, exponentially increasing the impact of their documents.
- The potential to increase your revenue and your profitability.
- Access to specialty inks, including dye based, pigment based, latex, or UV curable options, as well as custom spot colors expanding the color gamut beyond CMYK.
- You can preserve and extend the life of your web offset press while producing additional work that fits seamlessly into your existing finishing and converting equipment.
- The ability to produce short, fully variable runs not possible on a litho press.
- An affordable and economical means of adding variable printing capabilities to a print production facility at speeds and quality levels that match the litho output.
- The ability to reduce your carbon footprint and reap environmental benefits from digital technology. Digital printing uses less energy, produces less waste, and has a smaller footprint compared to offset.
Digital printing may well be the way of the future, but a hybrid printing model is the most efficient and profitable means of investing in its potential today. Don’t miss out on the growth of digital printing just because your business is focused on offset technology. DDS can help you decide on an upgrade that leads to higher profit margins in a competitive marketplace. Call us. Our experts are happy to have a conversation and show you the promise of hybrid printing.