Advantages of digital printing

Top 11 Advantages Of Digital Printing

The inventions of digital devices and services have driven innovation across many industries, including the printing market. Since gaining traction in the 20th century, digital printers have continued to dominate domestic and industrial markets.

Fortune Business Insights estimates the global digital printing market to grow at a CAGR of 11.9%.

Naturally, if your organisation operates in the printing or packaging industry or heavily depends on devices, the rapid growth of the technology may make you wonder about its functionalities.

You may be curious about digital printing’s advantages and limitations or want to know whether you should invest in this innovative technology.

Today’s blog addresses your questions regarding digital printers to help you learn more about the innovative technology. By the end of this blog, you will know what digital printing means, the key difference between digital and traditional printing, and its advantages and drawbacks.

So, dive into the below section now!

What Is Digital Printing?

Digital printing refers to printing digital-based images directly onto different media substrates using a liquid ink or toner and without the printing plate of traditional printers.

For instance, if you wish to print out desktop publishing files or PDFs, you can directly send them to the digital printing press to print on cardstock, paper, synthetics, canvas, photo paper, fabric and other substrates.

Compared to conventional printing methods, digital printing is much more suitable for printing small production runs, printing quickly and customising the prints. It gives you the flexibility to print on demand, print in small batches, store less inventory and reduce the cost of storage and handling. They are also ideal for producing super-sharp images with outstanding colour coverage.

The Printing Process

Now that you know “what is digital printing”, let’s talk about how it works!

Digital printing connects specially designed printing machines with a computer to print images directly onto the chosen media material. With a digital printer, there’s no need to use transfer tickets or print plates.

Also, since there are two stages between the printing process and the finished image, the digital printing method is much less time-consuming.
Following are the steps for preparing an image for digital printing:

Creating the image: It involves removing artefacts, cropping the image and other edits for a clean printout without losing quality.

Aligning the image with the printing material refers to adjusting the image’s size to fit the highest area on the chosen material.

Formatting the image file: Next, you shall format the image files to the correct file type based on the files supported by the printer and the computer.

One of the primary advantages of digital printing is that it conserves a lot of energy compared to regular printing by bypassing many of the traditional printing processes. For the same reason, many consider digital printing much more eco-friendly and efficient.

Types Of Digital Printing Devices

Online printing doesn’t limit itself to single, compatible forms of transfer. In fact, depending on your needs and preferences, you can use it in several different ways.

Here are the most popular types of digital printing devices at a glance:

• One of the most well-known forms of printing is Inkjet and Laser. You can find these nearly everywhere, from offices to homes.

• Solid Ink is another digital printing device preferred by professionals or larger-scale printing operations. This digital printing method uses waxy resin-polymer to create long-lasting images and striking advertisements.

• For high-volume orders, such as brochures, business cards, booklets, labels and leaflets, digital press is an ideal printing type.

• Dye-sublimation is among the most popular printing types for custom t-shirts, accessories and merchandise. It uses dye alongside heat transfer to print out images onto various fabrics.

How Is Digital Printing Different From Offset Printing?

To understand digital printing, you must comprehend how it differs from analogue printing methods, like offset printing.

Offset printing or lithographic printing engraves a metal plate with printing material, transferring the ink onto a roller or rubber blanket to print it on the media.

On the contrary, digital printing entirely skips the plate transfer process, printing the material directly onto the paper. It presses print the image onto the media substrate without going through all the hassle.

How Is Digital Printing Different From Screen Printing?

Screen printing is a lengthy, manual process. You apply the ink to a mesh screen and then press on the media substrate to print it out.

In comparison, digital printing is faster, more direct and capable of printing out detailed images. That’s why you will notice most organisations use digital printing to print out magazines, books, flyers and packaging.

Why Choose Digital Printing?

Print technology is continuously evolving and advancing. When it first emerged, online printing had several quality limitations.

However, over the years, after several tweaks and modifications, the quality differences between offset and digital printing are hardly noticeable.

Nowadays, for numerous organisations, digital printing is revolutionising how they manage their increasing printing requirements.

So, can it be beneficial for your company as well? Is it worth investing in?

To answer this question, here are the key reasons to choose digital printing for your business!

I. Welcome Innovation into the Market

In today’s increasingly competitive market, innovation, communication and personalisation are three key factors companies have to stand by to stay relevant.

Digital printing offers multiple new features and settings to help organisations prioritise these qualities and get ahead of competitors. For instance, the variable printing feature of this printing process allows users to instantly modify and upgrade their documents. This feature can be used for customising and personalising documents.

Features like this enable businesses to add more value to their products and gain attention from customers.

II. Increase Efficiency and Optimise Processes

With a growing young customer base, businesses, including the printing industry, must deliver faster services and quality products.

Analogue printing requires manual effort and a certain amount of prep time to set up the various components of the printer before printing can actually take place.

Digital printing eliminates all these hassle and preparation time, increasing the efficiency of the printing process and reducing downtime. Consequently, you can deliver your products much faster, saving cost and time.

III. To Become Eco-Friendly

Being an environmentally friendly corporation goes way beyond earning accreditations and making plans. Suppose your organisation wishes to reduce its carbon footprint. In that case, you must prioritise sustainability at every level of your company, including how it manages its printing requirements.

Since digital print devices have fewer mechanical components and pieces, you will generate less waste when using digital printing. Also, digital printing consumes less energy than other printing methods, potentially lessening your company’s energy consumption.

IV. Gain Competitive Edge

Organisations with a high output require efficient printing techniques at reasonable costs.

Recent developments in digital printing technology, including the development of Inkjet, have made this possible. By combining monochrome and colour on a single high-speed device, this printing method has enabled businesses to print a variety of high-quality documents. The newly launched devices are also incredibly cost-efficient. Businesses that adopt this technology will reap valuable benefits and competitive advantages.

V. Improved Supply Chain Efficiency

Disruptions in the supply chain can devastate an organisation and its bottom line.

As company owners and package printers strive to improve their supply chain efficiency by producing more products in less time, online printing methods shine bright in the hour of need.

Digital printing makes it easier for packaging printers to adjust their production according to fluctuating demands. It reduces production time while eliminating the costs related to tooling and plates.

Considering the ongoing integration of AI, robotics, and cloud-based data mining, digital printing’s functionalities are expected to improve even more.

11 Advantages Of Digital Printing

In recent years, the advancements and advantages of digital printing have taken many by surprise. The technique’s noteworthy improvements in colour accuracy and image resolution have made it a viable alternative to traditional methods like offset printing, screen printing, and flexographic printing.

Furthermore, the digital printing category offers several different approaches, including UV printing, toner-based, inkjet, and dye-sublimation.
In addition to these factors, digital presses offer a host of other benefits that traditional printing methods simply cannot accommodate.

Here, we examine those benefits in detail to determine whether digital or online printing is ideal for your organisation.

1. Cost-Effective

Digital presses’ set-up expenses are much lower than those of other printing methods. You can print your PDF document design without hassle by sending it to the digital presses.

Also, since the online printing process is scalable for high and low volumes, you can make it even more cost-effective for a variety of applications, as per your needs.

2. High-Quality Prints

The high-quality liquid ink and toner digital presses produce sharp images and improved designs. For instance, many digital printing devices employ ElectroInk with smaller particles to create more transparent, vibrant images. This revolutionary technique enables you to make changes seamlessly to attain the desired results.

Also, offset printing grabs the paper with grippers and drags it through the press, making it challenging to print an entire sheet with colour. Digital presses, on the other hand, use rollers to move the paper. This allows you to print on more sheets and waste less material.

3. Accuracy and Consistency

Once you have sent the PDF, the digital printing device goes directly into the printing stage. After completing the printing project, you can save the file with or without edits for future use.

The digitally calibrated process allows you to repeat the prints while maintaining consistency with your past projects and prioritising outstanding quality. So, if your business occasionally requires 100 similar flyers, you can use digital prints to easily reproduce the design with high-resolution images and crisp, clear text exactly the same way you need.

4. Fast Turnaround and On-Demand Print

Since digital prints reduce production and processing time, you can enjoy quicker turnaround rates and fulfil on-demand prints.

Producing same-day turnaround with online prints is also easy because you don’t have to invest in costly preparations like traditional printing methods.
In comparison, other printing methods require substantial time for every step, from drying the ink to setting up the plates.

On top of that, digital presses are versatile and compatible with various printing thicknesses and materials. So, no more stressing about what goes with which printing method every time you use the printing device.

5. Variable Data Printing

VDP or variable data printing allows you to customise on a per-unit basis. It can help you modify each batch of prints in case your organisation makes any changes to the production. You can also utilise this feature to add more security, SKU variety, and flexibility to printed materials.

With no plates and a set-in-stone design, digital prints remain flexible and valuable for businesses. You can revise and modify between batches without hassle, which means there’s little room for errors and wastage. Furthermore, this feature can enable you to customise individual pieces in a single print run, such as seasonal or themed graphics.

6. Exceptional Colour Accuracy and Inline Finishing

One of the most significant advantages of digital printing is its exceptional colour accuracy. Unlike other printing methods, digital printing can guarantee nearly 95% colour accuracy. Some printing management companies also use special equipment to check and recheck the different shades in your print design to create precise copies.

Also, digital prints guarantee excellent adhesion on different substrates and high legibility, which is critical for transmitting data in industrial applications.
Another noteworthy feature of this printing technique is the ability to add an inline finisher to the process. An inline finisher can fold and stabilise a saddle stitch book and three-sided trim.

7. Approved For Food Contract and Safety

Digital printing can be ideal for organisations operating in the food packaging and application industry. Some printing devices in this category are non-toxic and odourless, which is often critical for adhering to corporate printing guidelines and food regulation laws. For the same reason, some types of online printing also comply with children’s clothing and toys’ safety standards.

8. Quick Printed Proofs

When you work with professional print managed services, you receive printed proof for approval. This printed proof is your finished product. You can request that your print manager provide the print proof on specific stock to ensure the evidence correctly depicts what the finished product will look like when using digital printing. The sharp and precise prints will stimulate approval and reduce the production timeline.

9. Increased ROI

Digital prints allow users to track engagement and ROI by employing product packaging personalisation methods. It lets you track when and where your target audience engages with your marketing piece.

You can measure whether your campaigns are producing results and how many of your leads are turning into sales. Plus, with digital printing, personalising your product packaging is much easier and cost-effective, enhancing your chances of an improved return on investment.

10. Easy Customisation Of Campaigns

From using a variation of imagery and language to printing QR codes on packaging for customers to enjoy offers and other perks, packaging customisation is more relevant than ever before for appealing to different demographics of consumers. Digital printing, with its various features for personalisation and sharp and colourful prints, can help you quickly print out personalised packages at reduced time and cost.

11. Durable Products

Irrespective of how large the volume of your file is, you can use the online printing method to print out highly detailed and visually appealing applications.
Also, several digital printing devices offer excellent durability against heat, friction, moisture, cold, and fading. These devices can help protect the legitimacy of printed products and add to their longevity.

Limitations of Digital Printing

While digital presses offer several advantages for printing documents, they have a few limitations to keep in mind.

From the colour range available in online prints to the cost of large prints, when not strategically used, digital printing can be costly and might fail to meet your requirements.

So, before following the trend and searching for tips on choosing the correct printer, let’s examine the drawbacks of using digital printing.

• Higher cost for small print runs and paper size:

Using digital printing can be expensive for smaller print runs. Hence, short-term projects might not be as cost-effective as you would expect.

For instance, if your project has more than 2500 impressions, the longer print run results can result in a higher click count and drive up the project’s expenses.
Another drawback of online printing is that it uses smaller paper sizes to facilitate the registration process. Offset printing, on the other hand, can take paper sizes between 20×28 and 40″.

• Limited material compatibility:

While most digital printing devices and techniques are compatible with popular surfaces, some materials need to be better matched, which limits the surfaces you can print on.

Despite the popularity of digital prints, it’s nearly impossible to find a wide range of paper stocks, finishing options and inks compatible with digital press compared to offset printing.

• Variable colour accuracy:

Inconsistent colour accuracy is rare but possible with digital printing. Most toner-based digital presses are unable to print a PMS colour. Instead, it simulates the PMS colour by using the Pantone to CMYK values of the PMS colour you picked.

This printing technique faces challenges in producing light colours for printing on dark-coloured materials. For instance, if you wish to print white on black paper, you must use offset press. It can lead to colour variation in the final products, specifically for colours like tans and light blues.

• Durability issues:

Depending on the tools and equipment used, prints produced using digital prints might be less durable than traditionally printed products.
Also, most inks used in digital printing techniques tend to fade fast when exposed to direct sunlight for a long period of time.

Furthermore, printing large quantities of materials with digital presses can be more time-consuming and expensive than traditional printing methods. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning to use digital printing techniques for custom labels or packaging.

Tackle Your Businesses’ Printing Requirements Seamlessly With Munster Business Equipment

That was a quick overview of the key advantages of digital printing and its drawbacks. While digital printing has quickly become a wave in many industries, it does have some limitations. Digital printing is beneficial for producing high-quality printings rapidly when you have a tight budget or wish to make personalisation.

However, you may need to print many products in various colours and on multiple surfaces, in which case online printing may not satisfy your needs.

Luckily, you have Munster Business Equipment to tackle all your printing needs at a competitive price. With a team of dedicated experts, we provide offices with high-quality printers and manage their printing needs for enhanced productivity, cost-saving and seamless operations.

Fitted with all the necessary features, we offer business printers tailored to your organisation’s specific needs, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of choosing between a plethora of options.

So, wait no longer, and get in touch with us today!