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By Editor Morten B. Reitoft 

Dear Printer,

My name is Morten Reitoft and I am the editor of INKISH. I am writing this open letter, as I understand how difficult it must be to choose what technology your future business should use. Offset machines become faster and faster, not only when printing but also set up - and the quality continues to amaze. You may have used offset technology for years and therefore know how to operate the press, pre-press, and finishing equipment. But times are changing - and regardless of how much vendors try to convince you that inkjet is ready to replace offset now - it's, of course, biased.

On the other hand, you also know digital. You may have used toner-based equipment for years and recognize the advantages of digital for the short-run, personalization, etc.

So where does that leave inkjet right now?

Inkjet is here, and if you in the good old times chose offset because of print-quality, that is hardly the case anymore. If you chose offset because of speed, it depends on your production-mix. If you have many change-overs and short runs, the fast setup time of digital most likely compensates for the print speed. If you chose offset over inkjet because of operational cost, this is rapidly changing, and though inkjet inks are more expensive than offset, it's still much cheaper than toner.

So if you believe that future demand won't change, analog is most likely an excellent place to be. But, that is probably not the case. Anything that can be digital will be digital, and that most likely also applies to print. 

In a conversation with Eileen Morrison from the printing company Henry Ling in the UK, published on INKISH.TV we spoke about digital vs. litho.

And here is what Eileen Morrison said "...I probably shouldn't say this, but going back a few years ago, inkjet wasn't my preferred printing method. Because I felt that inkjet wasn't comparable to litho. That has changed so dramatically over the last couple of years."

And as Eileen Morrison works with publishers, this clearly indicates how much inkjet has moved in quality. The Canon ProStream Henry Ling has invested in - deliver on par with the offset capabilities they also have!

So inkjet offers opportunities that offset simply don't, and as Eileen Morrison continues, "I think, again, with digital, sometimes the unit cost can be higher per book. But again, so many variables come into it. So the publishers know that they need to look and understand that they print on demand if you like. They are printing the books they need. They're not printing two thousand books, and they might only sell a thousand. So that it very much is all part of the decision."

So with inkjet, the market will change demand - and as a PSP, you simply need to take this into account when looking into your future investments.

Our friends from Inkjet Insight have made this tool to help you find solutions - check it out if you like.

All the best,
/Morten

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