“We have two Konica Minolta 6500s with CREOs still in service,” says Scott Cappel of Sorrento Mesa Printing in San Diego. “We just added a Konica Minolta 8000 with CREO to enhance capabilities and increase production capacity. We intend to keep all three running and in service for the foreseeable future. All of our commercial offset capabilities and prepress will remain in service as well.”
Albert Maldonado of Express Printing in Salinas, CA, installed a Konica Minolta 8000 about a year ago. “It has not replaced our offset press, but has taken the smaller print run workload,” he says.
“We recently replaced an iGen3 with Xerox 1000s,” says Hugh Griffin of Markitect in the Los Angeles area. “We are a 56 press operation, but digital represents only seven of these.”
While not a print-for-pay operation, Charles Gerlach’s graphics department at Somerville High School in Boston has an interesting mix of digital and offset. “Our graphics department has a two-color AB Dick 9985 twin-tower offset press, Konica Minolta monochrome digital copiers (bizhub Pro 920 and bizhub Pro 950), and a Canon 500,” he says. “We are going to add a Canon C7000 and a Riso Com Color 7050 for cheaper high-speed inkjet color. The Com Color will allow us to do full-color books with covers for a lot less.”
Dana Wilson of Landmark Impressions in the greater Boston area says his company has replaced a Konica Minolta 6500 with a Canon 7010VP. “We were already doing a significant amount of work on the 6500 and more and more work is moving from the press (DI) to the Canon. We’re not ready to get rid of the DI yet, but getting close.”
“We recently acquired a Konica Minolta bizhub 8000c digital press to add to our digital printing because of the short/quick-run demand we have,” says Giovanni Jaramillo at Marsid-M&M Group in the New York City area. “But at the same time we acquired an original Heidelberg windmill letterpress where we foil-stamp, die-cut, and emboss, augmenting the digital and offset printing we do. Now we are equipped to offer custom die-cut, variable data driven, foil-stamped printed materials at affordable prices.
“Of course, we still run our offset presses for larger runs since digital is still not there click-wise for large runs.”
Ryan Testa, global sales manager at Techkon, a manufacturer of color management equipment, points out, “I’ve found that digital presses help grow offset business. You are able to provide a one-stop shop for your customers. It’s even better if you are a full service marketing provider. Why not offer direct mail off digital and longer run work off a 40-inch press?”
Obviously, digital color presses have evolved and we can expect more advances from household names such as Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, Konica Minolta, HP Indigo, MGI Meteor, etc. There may even be some new players and improvements in the not so distant future.
“I think that inkjet printers will continue to improve in quality, and become a more competitive technology, compared to the toner based units we are using now,” says Holscher. “Also, there are several new technologies that will probably loom larger over the next few years. One is the nanography process that was introduced by Benny Landa at the drupa show this year. The Memjet process is another technology that is beginning to come to market after a long period of development. There have been some successful Memjet-powered products in the mailing and wide-format areas, and I would predict that others will follow.”
In any case, you can be certain the world of the digital color press will continue to change and evolve.