Would on-demand printing, in other words, digital printing, be detracting from offset printing? This question may seem a bit provocative. However, when you take a deeper look, you realize that, over the past 20 years, printing techniques and requirements have evolved considerably. The emergence and success of self-publishing is the most visible result.
On-demand printing of books
Technological progress is at the origin of this new printing process. However, It is still in its early stages as on-demand printing follows digital publications. But having said that, today, there are two main types of machines that allow you to print a book, in one or several thousand copies, with a reduced staff and a reduced carbon footprint.
For the first type, we have, for example, the Xerox Espresso Book Machine. This printer looks like a very large photocopier. However, it has the capacity, to print, connect and trim a book, in less than a minute.
It is therefore found in specialized outlets. And, as it is positioned at the border between traditional office automation and classical printing, it does illustrates the fact that digital on-demand printing, has its source in the automation offices.
For one or a few copies and to be sure to supply any bookseller, the simplest way for a small publishing house is to go, for example, to self-publishing or on-demand printing website, associate a drop shipping service and indicate the procedure to be followed by the bookseller.
The second type of printing machine is larger, such as the Prosper 6000 inkjet press from Kodak. Its production line can reach up to 28 m. Its printing quality is almost identical to that of a classical offset print. It is commonly used for short and medium runs.