Early digital presses suffered from low print quality output and many were not engineered for high volume output. One of the biggest marketing hurdles for digital printing has been image quality and getting over the perceived myths that still exist from the early days.
In the last week there have been a few articles that provide some insight into quality issues with digital print.
A recent article by Pete Basiliere at OutputLinks examines the build quality of a digital press:
There on the wall was a poster from GRAPH EXPO 1988 with a close-up view of a Miehle-Roland 36 oil bath gear train, with the heavy oil dripping through the gears and over their sides. The message is obvious: high quality offset printing at high speeds requires a rugged and robust design. Twenty years later Miehle-Roland is gone and the last thing you will find in a digital press is an oil bath gear train.
Yet from a capital investment perspective, the design and construction of a digital press is arguably more important in the long run than print quality. As a buyer, you will select the device that provides the level of quality you and your clients demand. You will also reasonably expect that the quality in the near term will be consistent with the press manufacturer’s claims. But for the long term a well-built digital press is required to provide consistent print quality throughout its life.
The last two articles in the Printing Industry Center at RIT Article Series at WhatTheyThink.com look at image quality issues. Last weeks Permanence of Toner on Paper looks at permanence issues, quality, and archivability of digitally printed material. This weeks article Digital and Offset Print Quality Issues.
As we get close to Graph Expo. What quality issues will you be asking the vendors?