Digital Color Presses: If Only They Had Known...
To be fair, all the managers we contacted were pleased, overall, with their digital presses. Their responses to our questions here should not be viewed as complaints, rather as helpful tips for others about to embark on their own digital journeys.
What would you do differently if you were buying a digital press today?
Smith: I wish I had acted to install the digital press earlier. I knew for three years that this was a necessary move to meet the changing demands of our customers, but I was hesitant to spend the money. Also, I found it difficult to find a clear choice or winner from the various vendors supplying these machines. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. I was able to objectively pick the machine I thought best for us, but I took too long to do so. I could have begun selling work on the press much earlier, if I had it installed. I find it a nice, and necessary complement to an offset environment.
Harty: I believe we would have upgraded the front end to get a more robust system. This would help in processing large variable data files in printing.
Anonymous: I would have probed vendors more about upcoming equipment/new products. That would have led to probably a smaller, more cost effective device—available now but not then. Xerox released a smaller, less expensive device four months after we evaluated our equipment. This would have been a better financial fit for us. They knew, they just could not say anything.
How would you have evaluated equipment differently?
Rigby: The only thing we didn't test well enough was how well the ink adhered to the sheet when going through the postal system. The HP Indigo 3050 is weak in this area.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.