Characteristics and application of the hottest col

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Characteristics and application of color on demand printing in 1994, when digital color printing machines appeared, their main goal was to replace offset printing in the powerful short edition printing market Many powerful printing companies believe that on-demand digital color printing (POD) will soon occupy the mainstream position in the commercial printing market of magazines, reprints, books, catalogues and manuals, and have made great investments in this technology. Soon, the innovation of color digital printing absorbed market research companies and some industry promoters, who began to pay attention to this market. For example, in 1996, cap ventures, an American market research and venture capital company, predicted that the output value of printed matter of color pod would reach $13.6 million by 2000

these pioneers are right at all, but they are several years ahead of their times. At first, the price of this technology was high, and the production capacity was not high. The cost of direct printing is about 50 cents per A3 size sheet. Therefore, digital printing is only suitable for the printing method of bubble and ultra short type (250 sheets or less) in the quantitative tube. It is mainly used for printing high-value products such as bidding documents or proofing, so it can hardly be called the mainstream of on-demand printing

realizing that the initial cost was too high, suppliers changed the idea of pod (printing on demand) mode into a printing mode with nitrogen/phosphorus as the most commonly used synergistic flame retardant system. Because the application of digital color printing in this high-value field (such as trademark, packaging, direct mail market) has great advantages, and color products can increase the value of products. Moreover, technology promoters' optimism about the prospects of digital printing continues to rise, and the prospects of these variable prints further enhance their hope index

digital printing is in this high-value dilemma, which is not its fatal problem. Because when the digital printing technology becomes mature, its cost will drop significantly. The following figure lists the performance of digital printing market value in recent years

according to the current situation, for example, if you use Xeikon digital printing machine to print an A3 format color printing sheet, if it is a large number of printing, the direct cost is less than 10 cents. This price is so low that digital color printing can catch the mainstream printing of live parts. This trend is a bit like what digital black-and-white printing could have achieved a few years ago

moreover, the production capacity of digital printing is better than that of offset printing machines printed directly on Zhang, such as environmentally friendly refrigerants. Pod (print on demand) appeared in the monochrome digital printing industry 10 years ago. At that time, almost no one would think of the word color digital printing. But now the situation is different. The era of digital printing is coming

what is pod

pod means printing on demand, which is called "printing on demand" in English At present, industry advocates attach great importance to the development scale of pod in the printing industry, so the term has experienced various forms of digital and short offset printing. It is not only used in publishing and commercial printing, but also in large-scale products such as signs and decorative materials, as well as reports, bills and other documents sent by mail in general

cap ventures, the research company mentioned above, sets pod as a short print with less than 5000 sheets. On the other hand, printers basically define on-demand printing as a form of service: a way of printing when customers need it

in order to define the scale, scope and meaning of pod and distinguish it from ordinary short edition printing, we define pod here as the production and distribution process of publications and commercial printing products according to the requirements of end users for the actual number of products and production cycle. This definition is mainly aimed at market demand, not production process, and emphasizes the difference between pod and simple short edition printing

printing providers can freely carry out corresponding production according to the actual requirements of users. When the printing quantity falls below 5000, it is customarily called "short edition printing". However, in order to better understand the value of pod in the market, the printing length should be closer to the requirements of customers. As a result, the number of orders will further decline, while the frequency of orders will increase. According to statistics, in the United States, more than half of the orders for short version printed moving parts produced by direct printing machines or digital printing machines are less than 1000. In fact, pod has developed to the printing process at the cost of long version printing. This change is most fully reflected in monochrome printing. Digital printing machines led by Xerox docutech have accounted for 85% of the live parts previously produced on small printers and copiers in the United States. This trend is beginning to shift to color printing presses

economic situation

for the printing department, a potential problem of demand-oriented transfer in the market is the reduction of medium and long edition volume of commercial live parts. This competitive field will shift to the printing mode of short edition and higher order frequency. When offset press manufacturers try to maintain their core position in the long version market, more and more printing enterprises turn to the short version market and make profits from this opportunity

the opportunity of on-demand printing obtained by digital printing is determined by two factors: one is the profit and loss point of cost and production capacity between offset printing machine and digital printing machine, which determines the competitiveness of digital printing and offset printing; The second point is the actual profit and loss cost level, which determines the market demand for digital printing

to illustrate this problem, we can compare the production cost and production capacity of Xeikon dcp/32d and dcp/50d printing machines, which can be considered as substitutes for offset printing machines. In this case, the offset printing machines selected are Heidelberg Kuaiba Di and Kuaiba. Kuaiba Di is a hybrid digital offset printing machine, which belongs to direct imaging printing machine; Speedpa is a traditional offset printing machine. In order to ensure the objectivity of the analysis results, we stipulate the following conditions:

1 All fixed costs and time factors are included in the actual production environment

2. The production conditions of various products are used to simulate various work problems faced by a typical printer

3. Statistics are made from two aspects: the actual production test and the printer's experience in using equipment

4. Analyze with common record operation and management statistical standards

breakeven point comparison table between Kuaiba Di and Xeikon dcp/50d







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market average



note: the printing volume of Kuaiba Di and Xeikon dcp/50d in the table is the same

this result (as shown in the table) is very shocking. Many people in the industry previously generally believed that the cost profit and loss balance point of digital printing and offset printing was 250 prints. Our research found that Xeikon printing can compete with offset printing in terms of cost, with an average of 950 prints. Moreover, for sheet fed data sheets and postcards with A4 format, the cost profit and loss point varies from 1850 to 3000 samples. As for the production capacity, it is defined as the ratio of the number of live parts that can be printed on the printing machine to the time of the whole live parts on the printing machine. For Xeikon dcp/50d, compared with Heidelberg fastbar Di, this profit and loss point ranges from 1450 suitable for product catalogs to more than 3000 postcards, and for the market as a whole, the average is about 1550

when the actual cost of digital printing and offset printing is lower than the income of a representative printer, Xeikon dcp/50d is a more suitable equipment to replace offset printing machine compared with Kuaiba Di with an average print volume of 1050

every device has its application scope. Of course, our purpose is not to recommend using a technology for a live part that it does not intend to use. However, the results of this study clearly show that the profit and loss point of Xeikon equipment, like a printing press, is much higher than most people think, which is mostly due to the operation improvement and cost reduction promoted by equipment manufacturers in recent years. However, profit and loss points are only part of it. As important as the profit and loss point is the cost. The question is, has the price of digital printing reached the level that may make it a mainstream need

to answer this question, we investigated the docutech printer. Using the same market estimates and operational assumptions, the direct cost of docutech printing is about 2 cents per A3 paper when printing only monochrome; For four-color printing, multiply the cost of monochrome by 4 colors to 8 cents/a3 format. Moreover, the profit and loss point of docutech offset printing is less than 1000 prints - actually about 800 prints, which is equivalent to a small web printing machine. Therefore, for A4 format printing, the cost of each color is 2 cents, and the profit and loss point is less than 1000. Docutech printing machine has designated a competitive pod range, and has obtained many monochrome moving parts from small offset printing machines. Moreover, Xeikon dcp/50d has a higher profit and loss point than docutech, and its operating cost is the same as docutech, which is suitable for color live parts

color field

in the United States, the number of digital color live parts printed on demand will reach 54% of all printed live parts by 2000. The deformation of the sample can be obtained, and the national output value of printing will rise to 21%, reaching $3.9 billion. In 1998, the digital printing press threatened the offset press for the first time in the mainstream market of short version color moving parts

although insiders emphasize that the market of digital color printing only accounts for a part, the real increase in the number comes from the dramatic cost of technology and the improvement of production capacity, which will make printers realize that they can obtain greater sales and profits from the investment in digital color printing, so the current on-demand printing is active in the field of color

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