by Melissa Donovan
Cutsheet production inkjet devices offer application versatility. While direct mail is prominent, other applications like book production and even marketing collateral are run on these printers. The ability to cost-effectively print variable data and short runs, in addition to advancements in substrate compatibility influence the introduction of new applications.
Applications for Cutsheet Inkjet
Looking for cost savings compared to other production methods, Glenn Toole, VP sales and marketing, MCS, Inc., believes applications like direct mail letters, statements, and healthcare information are all popular for production cutsheet. “The ease of native 8.5×11-inch workflow. The ease and low cost of moving monochrome work to color—by adding four-color logos and variable color information. The benefit of replacing preprinted letter color shells with fully digital color—and reducing offset print and several production steps.”
“Any applications that demand offset quality but also have variable components are ideally suited for cutsheet inkjet. This includes applications like short-run perfect bound four-color books and folding cartons,” notes Jeffrey Nelson, national sales manager – J Press, Fujifilm – Graphic Systems Division.
High-quality output combined with the media flexibility allows for many applications from direct mail, statements, marketing materials, and postcards to be output on the Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000c. Fred Morrone, senior marketing manager for production inkjet, Kyocera Document Solutions, says this is in part because of the proprietary aqueous pigment inks delivering a strong color gamut and color consistency and stability that meet GRACoL 2013 uncoated standards and the rigid expectations of the production market.
According to Lisa Weese, director of product marketing, production print solutions, Canon Solutions America, key applications produced on cutsheet devices include “commercial print jobs such as marketing collateral, personalized calendars, business cards, magnet business cards, and save the dates. Another common application is book manufacturing, such as user manuals, books on demand, and arguably most prevalent, direct mail. This consists of letter campaigns and postcards, promotion, card inserts, and self mailers.”
“Variable data and short-run applications are most effective—combining the versatility and flexibility of digital technology with the productivity and reliability of an offset press.
Personalized pieces and versioned print runs can be produced profitably with zero makeready or waste,” suggests Bill Troxil, SVP, industrial and production print, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A, Inc.
With the AccurioJet KM-1e, commercial printers appreciate the flexibility to run litho-grade coated and uncoated stocks from lightweight bond to board stock for the production of statements, letters, brochures, direct mail, signage, posters, point of purchase displays, books, and packaging, all without applying a pretreatment in the printing process.
Troxil points out just how much direct mail benefits. “The direct mail market benefits from producing personalized letters, inserts, and postcards on one device in one pass, as opposed to printing shells on offset and later overprinting the variable. If a durable UV ink is used, it naturally resists scuffing by mailing equipment and does not require an additional protective coating.”
Digitally printed packaging is prevalent and continues to grow. The application represents a huge growth market in our industry. Cutsheet production inkjet presses are advancing to support specific nuances related to packaging-related substrates.
Packaging is considered a high growth market, especially as its importance in customer experience continues to rise. “This is driven through the Amazon effect, or the rise in home-based shopping and delivery, and companies recognizing that the packaging used for their products is key to driving the brand experience,” says Mike Herold, director, global marketing, Ricoh USA, Inc.
Inkjet is designed to support trends in packaging like short runs and variable data. Used to achieve more effective communications, “you can provide customers with more options while you achieve a better bottom line,” notes Morrone.
“As the packaging space continues to grow, many print providers see the need to expand in their offerings to increase profits. The KM-1e has the ability to print on heavier board stocks up to 24-point for lightweight packaging applications as well as label materials. This allows for easy entry into the packaging market without investing dollars and floor space for dedicated package printing equipment right away,” shares Troxil.
This goes for anyone—whether a folding carton shop or a commercial offset printer looking to expand or diversify their portfolio, explains Nelson. Especially in regards to folding carton production, the ability to create a profitable production cell that includes printing, coating, as well as finishing for short-run packaging is a powerful addition to a printer’s capabilities.”
Cutsheet inkjet devices are positioned to meet the needs of print environments looking for efficiency, and variable data capabilities. From transactional and direct mail to packaging, cutsheet production inkjet machines provide a solution.
Mar2022, DPS Magazine