Embracing Inkjet: An Opportunity for Growth and Cost Savings
It’s an exciting time to be in inkjet. Today’s production inkjet offerings are transforming the graphic communications industry by enabling an easier path to entry, lower production economics and greater productivity and flexibility. According to InfoTrends, production color inkjet print will account for 57% of the total production digital color page volume by 2019. This represents a tremendous opportunity for in-plants, and the time to get in the inkjet game is now.
Historically, inkjet was only economically viable for the largest print shops with high volumes and the floor space required to justify these large seven-figure inkjet acquisitions. Fortunately, those times are changing. For in-plants that previously saw entrance into inkjet as out of reach, new options on the market are making it more accessible than ever before.
Inkjet technology can provide a wealth of benefits to in-plants and complement other technologies currently in-house. Inkjet brings all the advantages of digital printing to a higher volume band including personalization, just-in-time manufacturing, workflow automation, high speeds and outstanding image quality.
As we look to 2017, here are some of the key opportunities we see for inkjet adoption in in-plant environments:
- White-paper-in migration: Today, many in-plants are looking to move away from preprinted shells to plain white paper. Inkjet’s image quality, speed and cost controls align perfectly with this strategy. A white paper approach gives in-plants better control over inventory, reduces costs and provides the flexibility to do more. Additionally, as in-plants invest in inkjet technology, more applications can be completed in-house that were once being sent out to an outside source.
- Growth in new application areas: Another big trend in inkjet is the growth of transactional and direct mail applications. Such applications can benefit from inkjet’s white paper only approach; color letterhead, forms and data can all be printed in one pass, eliminating overprinting to streamline production and lower costs. Color and variable information can be applied anywhere on the document, potentially improving the relevance and impact of promotional messaging.
- Improved shop operations: Inkjet will bring more automation and streamline workflow processes — a big deal for smaller in-plants that may be spending too much time, money and resources to get the job done.
As an in-plant, consider what it costs you in time and waste to get your current work out the door — not to mention, the conventional processes may be limiting your ability to offer more creative, personalized and colorful, eye grabbing solutions.
For in-plants, driving cost savings is a big deal. Offset migration is an important piece to that, but reducing the footprint is a critical component. In an environment and industry where everything is going digital, look at the investment in inkjet. It’s a smaller footprint and lower capital investment for small to mid-sized shops, and a powerful tool for in-plants that need to ensure they’re driving productivity and cost savings.
Mike Heacock is vice president of Continuous Feed Inkjet Products for the Xerox Graphic Communications Business Group. Prior to joining Xerox in 2006 he was a vice president at Pitney Bowes and Danka Services International, working on their managed services teams. He has also worked at Sun Microsystems and Eastman Kodak and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.