Digital printing is the best means of printing in the modern world to communicate, advertise and market your products. You can have short-runs, low cost customized services in a short period of time. Hence, digital printing is the order of the day.

Some of the main commercial printers are HP Indigo press manufactured by Hewlett Packard, Oce VarioPrint 6250 by Oce, InfoPrint system by InfoPrint Solutions Company, the iGen3 by Xerox and Nexpress by Kodak.

Hp IndigoThere are two types of format. The small format is used in business offices and libraries and is up to ledger size sheets. The wide format is used for drafting and designing and is up to 3’ or 914mm, rolls of paper.

There are different types of printing technologies that are used. Chemical technologies use blueprint. When the characters have to be pre-formed and applied individually, daisy wheel is used. When array of dots are used to print, dot-matrix is used. When ink is sprayed on paper to create the desired impression, ink-jet is used. This also includes bubble-jet. Laser printing is done when the toner in desired colors is melted and applied on to the paper to create an impression. Line printing is done when pre-formed characters are applied to paper by means of lines. When heat is transferred to special paper, like in earlier fax machines, it turns black to form the printed image and then we have heat transfer. The benefits of using digital printing are many.

  • In the traditional methods, thousands of impressions of the same image were made using a set of printing plates. Now, every image can be different.
  • Conventional ink got absorbed into the substrate. The ink and toner now used does not absorb into the substrate. It forms a layer on the substrate.
  • There is less wastage of paper and chemical used in the ‘set up’, that is, in checking the right color and the right position before printing.
  • It is very good for rapid protoyping. Short-runs are very economical. Many types of designers find it easy to use.

In some machines the substrate is positioned upon and this travels through it in a conveyor belt.

Other advantages are that this can be used for Print-on-Demand. With Variable Data Printing (VDP) personalized children’s books with their names can also be printed. Postcards, where each one differs from the other in form, style and image can be printed. Postcards can also be addressed in a presorted manner, cut, finished and then mailed. Booklets of varying sizes and quantities can be printed. Labels with variable data can also be made. Different types of binding such as, saddlestitch, perfect bound or wire or plastic spiral can be undertaken.

In digital printing an electric charge is used to transfer the toner or ink to the substrate that it is printing on. Earlier only black and white or single color printing could be done. Now with digital printing you can use any color or a combination of colors. IGen3 and Nexpress use toner particles. Indigo uses liquid ink. Toners are more expensive than inkjets.

Digital printing is now the most used form of printing. In terms of the quality of the printed material and the quantity that can be printed, with personalized printing, the customer can be assured of the best services.

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