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Digital breakdown

Three ways to maximize the value of your digital press

Once a technology reserved for large commercial printers, digital printing is now a staple for most of today’s printing companies. Printers of all sizes benefit from the greater flexibility, convenience and on-demand nature of digital presses, but there’s just one problem: Most companies aren’t getting the full value out of their digital investment.

“Digital output is the largest growth area for any one of our customers,” says Chester Quinn, a digital
specialist at The Millcraft Paper Company. “But we often see companies that are not taking full advantage
of their digital presses or fully understand what digital output can produce for them.”

Whether you already have a digital press or you are considering investing in digital, these three tips can help you get more bang for your digital buck.

  • Keep up with trends. Digital printing, or digital output, has been around for a long time, yet it is a constantly evolving industry. To understand where your company can offer the most value for customers, it’s important to continuously research new digital trends and technologies, Quinn advises. Variable data printing, high-speed inkjet printing and printing on special media — such as synthetics, polyesters and fabrics — are all growing areas for digital print customers. Wide-format printing, used in point-of purchase displays, car wraps and other advertising, is also a high-growth opportunity for printers that can provide it.
  • Weigh your options. When it comes to commercial printing, digital may be faster, but it isn’t always the most affordable or effective option for a print project. If you are printing more than 2,500 images or have a large-quantity job, for example, you’ll get a better price point going the traditional route. The same goes for customers who want post finishing on a piece, such as scoring and perforation. In this case, traditional printing will produce a better quality piece than a digital press. Knowing when digital is the best option for a project will help you deliver better value and higher quality for customers.
  • Partner up. To make digital output efficient and cost effective, you need a good understanding of the materials used with your digital device — including substrates, inks and supplies — as well as the press itself. Partnering with a paper merchant that specializes in digital output is a way to master both areas. Experienced digital specialists, such as those at Millcraft, can work with you to ensure you are using digital presses efficiently while helping you select substrates and materials that meet all of your needs. “As a vendor of material, we can evaluate any shortfalls on your digital press workflows to increase your overall opportunities in digital,” Quinn says.