Offset Web Presses and Digital Web Presses combined with inline..
By Davey Teague, President
Web Press Parts.
February 24, 2019
Direct mail web offset presses are adding variable data to their equipment more and more every year. It used to be just black variable for addresses, bar codes, etc.. and now the runs are so target marketed companies are able to run static printing roll to roll and run the variable data offline or they can run the static on their existing web offset press and go straight into the variable imaging tower to run the work that they can't run in the existing web offset press without changing plates and adding a ton of cost. The other option is to run straight into a inline or offline finishing system and finishing the product in one step but this is only a advantage if all the numbers work. Meaning complexity of job, run length, and run speeds. This was giving the printer a huge advantage over their competitors the last 10-15 years or more but now everyone is catching on and the printers that have been a head of the curve are continuing new strategies to stay ahead of their competitors.
Most of my customer base is direct mail printers running variable data so I can't say more in this article than what I already feel most people already know is going on unless I am in a situation where I am helping my customer with a project they want to invest money in to become a true competitor or leader in this section of the industry. In that case I have to do the same thing I did with the companies that are now leading the industry and teach my customers how to be more efficient than anyone else running direct mail and/or variable data work. Although everyone thinks they are doing something nobody else is doing the truth is everyone knows how to be as efficient as possible by now otherwise they are going to be out of business very soon but there are always more things available that most printers do not know about that can make them run more efficient, reduce waste, increase speeds, utilize labor better, and utilize the best ROI items on the market to give them a step a head of the competition. I'm starting to work with the packaging and or flexo printers and I am finding out it is very interesting how much we can learn from each other by watching how they are running product compared to how the web offset guys are running product and visa versa.
There are a lot of opportunities for both to learn from each other and that is one of the things I have been focusing on the last few years. Its amazing how similar the production of producing a product is but how different we are running a product that is almost identical to each other when finished. Its kind of like running a job over 50,000 Impressions into a sheeter versus running it with a Inline finishing system. In most cases the person running the job inline is going to out perform the person running it in rolls or sheets significantly. This is just one example of why so many printers are struggling. The good news is there is help out there and I am willing to do what ever it takes to keep the web offset market going as long as possible while utilizing the new technology with digital variable data at the same time. Digital has its place and will eventually be the way to produce most products but right now there are many ways the two can work with each other to produce the best outcome with the most efficient way to run the product being produced. The quality and speeds of digital printing is getting better every year but they still can't compete with a static job that is over 50,000 Impressions on a old Harris or Man Roland web offset press. The key is utilizing technology but also utilizing what has been working for many years and incorporating the two together to give you the most versatile product and producing it the most efficient way possible.
I know that everyone isn't going to agree with what I have said and because of that I want you to reply and give your opinion no matter how different you are thinking compared to me. I dont expect everyone to agree with me and I actually expect a lot of people to voice their opinion and I look forward to reading it and seeing why you feel differently than I do. We all have had different experiences and have different opinions because of it so feel free to express your experience and your thoughts because the most important thing is that we educate people as much as possible so everyone can be more productive and do what ever it takes to strengthen our industry that supports us and our families so its important that we discuss with each other the ways we can improve the printing industry any way we can.
Davey Teague, President
Web Press Parts LLC