Offset vs. Digital

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Offset vs Digital  by Steven Barrett

Offset lithography and digital imaging are the two primary methods of printing flat sheets. Over the last decade the print manufacturing industry has shifted from almost 100% traditional offset printing to a near 50/50 mix in 2013. So what’s better? What fits your organization? To be fair, the headline to this story is outright wrong.

The truth is that both technologies offer opposing benefits and are quite beneficiary. Having both be strong parts of your production model allows for fluid production and better cost control.

An organization with both a digital department and an offset department is able to take any job that comes through the door. With just a quick glance at a jobs requirements, run length, and deadline a production manager can make an informed decision about where to send the job. The ability to properly delegate jobs based on their requirements is invaluable in production. Beyond the simple productivity gains, properly working a job through the right hardware can reduce costs and increase profits in a big way.

There’s no doubt that digital printing will continue to gobble up market share from offset printing technologies, and maybe in 15 to 20 years printing presses with plates will be a thing of the past. But for today’s equipment buyer, it’s wisest to look at our current market and make sure that both departments are operating efficiently.

Today’s print buyer is dynamic. Even though on average we are seeing run lengths shrink, there are still large amounts of long-run static printing and modern printing presses are far more efficient than those of years past. Modern presses set up in less than 15 minutes and can electronically set their own ink keys.

To pit offset against digital printing is missing the point, the real players in the industry is to have both and know how to optimally utilize each for their own benefits.

Take your mind out of the debate and put it into the discussion of what YOU need.

Mid-State Litho, Inc.
5459 Fenton Rd.
Flint, MI 48507
Toll Free: 1-800-343-4231

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