Technology has moved at a rapid pace over the last few years, and today’s presses are more like powerful computers. Previously high-end features have percolated down to entry‑level presses, and automation has changed everything – simplifying complex processes, reducing waste and pushing up productivity as it eliminates manual labor.
Combine that with a powerful suite of software tools, and you have a winning combination that’s helping print shops meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Let’s take a look some of the highlights.
1. Take image quality to the next level
In a world of rising customer expectations, advanced print technology delivers excellence every time. The latest generation of presses now includes Ultra HD Resolution image quality for the first time ever.
1200 x 1200 dpi at 10-bit resolution processing delivers crystal-clear output. You get smoother, crisper resolution of objects and hugely improved graphic fill sweeps. Four times the pixels on a page makes for a better page, with no slowdown or degradation. Compact belt fusers deliver excellent image quality up to 350gsm, allowing you to run all kinds of stocks, including envelopes.
This is quality as your clients have never seen it before, and will help you stand apart from the competition.
2. Stay connected
With next-generation print technology, you’re never alone. Your press is connected to the manufacturer, who analyzes real-time performance and proactively maximizes your uptime.
Smart technology automatically makes adjustments when issues come up, so they can be resolved remotely without having to put in a service call. Meter readings are submitted automatically, and supplies outages can be eliminated thanks to automatic smart alerts.
With that kind of support and replaceable/repairable items, downtime becomes a thing of the past.
3. Automate complex workflows
Workflow automation is one of the biggest advances in new presses. Intuitive tools give you powerful pre-press automation upstream, combined with press automation downstream.
As you create a workflow, decision-making is automated, guiding you through available paths. You can pre-flight and impose a job quickly and easily – often going from electronic file to print-ready format in seconds.
Complex workflows can then be saved and turned into simple, repeatable, profitable processes. You can also automate your color management processes so you hit the right color the first time, every time.
Fewer touch points and less intervention mean faster throughput, greater productivity and increased turnover.
4. Simplify paper registration
Paper registration has always been a time-consuming challenge for operators, however skilled they are. But with today’s new presses, it’s easier than ever.
Mechanical and optical sensors make sure you get stable, accurate registration all the way along the paper path, from the tray to the finisher. So you can print on different stock weights and finishes (even synthetics such as linen or felt) while ensuring the highest levels of image quality and amazing registration.
5. Integrate print with multichannel marketing
We talked earlier about the connected printer, but really just scratched the surface of what’s possible. New tools now let you connect your print technology to a world of opportunity, helping you differentiate yourself from the competition.
Web-to-print functionality lets you offer new products and services, simplify print-ordering processes, increase productivity and expand the capabilities you offer your customer. You can integrate print campaigns with email, web, mobile and video, creating solutions with targeted cross-media marketing.
6. Print on any media
If you’re still using older technology, you know all about the challenges of printing on different media.
It hurts to turn away work on media your press can’t handle, and it’s an ongoing struggle in a world of rising standards and increasing customer expectations, where unique papers are now a requirement. Even if you can take on the job, it means running your press at slower speeds so it doesn’t jam and you get the desired print results.
Enter the new range of presses, which can handle coated or uncoated papers, envelopes, labels, business cards, glossy brochures, window decals, durable or synthetic papers, tabs, embossed papers and more. You name it, they can handle it.
You can even create stock profiles to automate the process, helping you save time and achieve consistent quality on every print run.
7. Get up close and personal
Gone are the days when a print run meant turning out the same thing a hundred or a thousand times. We’re living in an era of ‘mass personalization’, where targeted communication delivers better results. And today’s advanced presses are ready to meet the challenge.
Variable data printing is now a reality, allowing print shops to produce customized output. Using delimited or XML promotional data, you can include variable text, images, layers and barcodes using conditional logic. You can even assemble a variable document on the fly.
8. Stay flexible and scale up with ease
Today’s presses are highly flexible, so you can work the way you want to and do more every day. You can print jobs from anywhere: from your desktop, through web submission and even from a USB drive. Removable carts give you unload-while-run capability, maximizing press uptime.
These next-generation presses are infinitely scalable, and can grow as your business does. Their modular design means that if you want to add capability, you simply add a module. So you can start small and affordably, and grow your press as your business does.
And it’s not just the hardware that scales. Web-hosted color management helps you take things to next level, seamlessly integrating color devices across multiple processes or even multiple locations.
If you haven’t upgraded your print technology in the last few years, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
As you can see, today’s advanced presses have taken a big leap forward – and they’re opening up opportunities for print shops of all sizes.
Why not seize those opportunities today?
Want to learn more?
See how the Xerox Versant 80 helped Cortland Press improve print quality and profitability.
Great Article on understanding what presses can accomplish now…
Technology Program Manager for IGEN and Production Color Solutions
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