Not all that long ago, digital printing capability could be an item on a wish list. Now, it’s a must-have.
Reviewing data from NAPL, xpedx (Booth 1646) found that commercial printers rely much less than they used to on offset lithography as a source of revenue. In 1998, offset supplied nearly 90% of their total business, but today it represents about half. Making up the difference in most cases are production digital and wide-format printing, the industry’s new stars of print-for-pay in the commercial segment.
The message to xpedx was plain: be prepared to offer more solutions and support to customers who want to expand in these areas. Through partnerships with technology vendors and the breadth of its national service footprint, xpedx can provide everything a shop needs to complement the offset side of its business with high-value digital print capability.
It’s a well timed opportunity because better than half the customers surveyed by xpedx about their near-term spending plans said that they would invest $100,000 to $250,000 in digital production equipment. That is exactly the price range in which to find Konica Minolta’s bizhub PRESS C8000, a color digital production press available through xpedx and on display at its exhibit.
The bizhub PRESS C8000—awarded an “Exceptional 5-Star Rating” for performance and value by BERTL—combines offset-quality color reproduction with high productivity in a system that can give every commercial shop a pathway to profitable digital output.
A synergy program between xpedx and Konica Minolta lets xpedx customers obtain the bizhub PRESS C8000 and its service from the manufacturer while xpedx provides consumables, digital front ends, color management assistance, and equipment for in-line and near-line digital finishing. This arrangement makes it easy for customers to acquire everything they need for digital production, with expert guidance from xpedx every step of the way.
Because digital postpress routines are different from those of signature-based offset production, the availability of digital finishing equipment is a particular advantage for xpedx customers who are new to digital output. The Bourg Sheet Feeder, for example, serves as a high-efficiency link from a digital press to the near-line finishing machines in which its printed sheets are to be processed.
No matter what kind of digital print engine is used, the need for a broad range of finishing remains constant. xpedx meets the requirements by selling a full line of digital print finishing solutions from Morgana Systems, including its DigiFold combination creaser/folder and its digital bookletmaking systems. xpedx also provides spot- and flood-UV coating units from Kompac for plants that want to enhance their digital printing with the help of this value-adding process.
As print markets continue to evolve, printers are stepping up to new opportunities. xpedx stands ready to help its customers prosper from change with the ideal mix of equipment, supplies, and support for success in digital production.