Digital printing has picked up a massive amount of momentum over the last 5 years. However, lithography still dominates much of the printing landscape in terms of the sheer number of pages printed and this is unlikely to change. As of 2022, it’s been estimated that 70% of print output will still be traditional litho-based pages.
But it’s important to understand that much of this printing will be for things like newspapers, magazines, and directories, which likely will continue to fall in demand in our digital world. It’s only a matter of time before digital printing overtakes litho completely.
The History and Growth of Digital Printing
In the 1970s, digital print was used primarily for transactional printing, the first color cut sheets arrived in the mid-1990s. Since then, both electrophotography and inkjet printing have been developed significantly, thanks to high R&D budgets.
Today, digital systems provide high-quality prints, reliable operation, enhanced productivity, and lower printing costs. This has made digital print much more popular with smaller print shops, as they can benefit from a lower cost of adopting digital technology and shorter run capabilities, which would be unprofitable for litho-based printing.
Digital printing continues to become more accurate, affordable, and widespread. For those reasons, in time, it will surpass traditional litho-based processes, especially as demand for mass-produced printed materials declines.
What Does Digital Printing Mean for Those Who Maintain Machine Knives on the Floor?
Quicker turnaround times, shorter runs, and faster print speeds mean that your company must always have its stock ready; this includes your machine knives. We all know that more downtime means less money and resetting your blades, or failing to get new knives delivered in time, can constrict your operations, and make shorter production runs less profitable.
That’s why, at TGW, we’re responding to the changing world of print technology, and building blades that are meant for short digital print runs and offer the best cuts and reliability. There is no going back to the old world of print, so we must find a new way forward.