Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Run lengths, litho and inkjet

Total Print is now intended as a show to cover litho as well as digital. The name change from Digital Print World may indicate a loss of focus on other aspects of digital technology. Web design as pre-media, for example. But for the show organisers the return of Heidelberg must be welcome.

However it is not making sense to me that the Heidelberg Anicolor machines can do 15,000 sheets an hour but are also claimed to be suitable to compete with digital for short runs. What is a short run? I can't see why litho would compete on five or ten.

Another new exhibitor is Fujifilm. I can't find a weblink for the Printweek Technology Report but here is a link to a comment by Barney Cox where some issues are raised about future inkjet. In the Technology Report, Barney Cox sums up the info from Drupa and quotes Fuji claims that the Jet Press 720 will be competitive with litho on runs up to 5000. This seems much more like the run length at which Heidelberg would be concerned. The 720 is not available till 2010. There may be a photograph or video at Total Print. So my guess is that Heidelberg are there to investigate and get ready.

Comments welcome on what is a short run.

By the way, will anyone from Haymarket turn up at the LCC Futures conference this year and explain the web strategy for magazines?


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