At the end of the shift, it comes down to best meeting customer needs given all the variables. Continuous-feed toner can be ideally suited for transpromo, short- to medium-length runs for books, newspapers and newsletters, but inkjet has carved its own niche in full-speed variable data/variable imaging for one-to-one direct mail and transpromo work. “The ‘sweet spot’ run length for sheetfed inkjet presses starts at about 200 sheets and extends up to about 2,500,” said Atkinson. “Web inkjets can go over 100,000.” But to prevent inkjet pitfalls, “your people will need to acquire a few new skills,” he advised. “Regular maintenance and cleaning of printheads is crucial,” he noted, adding that many products automate this task.
Ask yourself, Freedman concluded, “What is [the] appropriate technology for the work being reproduced? It’s not about ink or toner. It’s a function of run length, the type of work and paper requirements.” We warned you this wasn’t going to be easy. Nobody ever said printing was easy. As Tom Hanks’ character says in “A League of Their Own,” “ It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”