Digital print in industry

New innovations in digital print are opening up new and exciting opportunities industrial firms and the businesses that support them.

Digital print can open up a new world of opportunity for industrial firms and the businesses that support them. Whether they are manufacturers or product designers in sectors as diverse as textile, aeronautical, automotive, or pharmaceutical, they are increasingly finding a wide variety of uses for emerging digital print technology.

Equally, for the firms delivering these digital print solutions, the industrial sector offers a significant opportunity for growth. Conditions are tough for many print firms; being squeezed by the trend towards online communications, ever more demanding clients and a slowly recovering economy. In this environment, such promise cannot be ignored.

It’s a really exciting time as technological developments in materials and printheads are producing quality products and bringing efficiencies to the sector. Print service providers should guide industrial firms and help them to understand how digital print can fit into their workflows and benefit their businesses.

Starting the conversation

These conversations must start by explaining the potential business benefits of digital print. The clearest benefit for digital print in industry is the ability to create one-off prints at low-cost and at speed. What would have been prohibitively costly in terms of time and money with analogue or screen printing, is now accessible with digital print.

Convenience, for both the print firm and its customers, is also a compelling factor. Digital print allows them to order online at a time and place of their choosing, to select some very detailed options, and have it printed, finished and even delivered, all within a timeframe that would have been impossible in the days of order forms and offset job queues.

Personalisation and bespoke printing is as relevant and appealing to industrial customers as it is to those in marketing, retail, and other sectors. Delivering printed materials that are directly relevant to an individual, using a range of data from purchase history to demographic and even location information, is incredibly valuable.

Furthermore this degree of personalisation can be allied to the sort of high quality finish once only associated with offset alternatives. This, together with the range of interesting papers that the most cutting-edge digital print firms are now using, means that the end product is often one that delights consumers. It’s hard to argue against.

How can industrial firms use digital print?

The benefits of digital print can be far-reaching for innovative firms. Some are using it for marketing: we have seen car manufacturers use digital print to produce pencil pots in the shape of their cars for example.

Graphic arts specialist Screentec diversified the company with an investment in digital. The move paid off, with increased turnover and ability to meet customer demands. It also delivered extreme flexibility, as Managing Director Darren James describes; “In one morning we may need to print ring binders, membrane switch overlays and Correx signs one after the other to meet tight customer deadlines. With the Océ Arizona, this is no problem.”

German print firm Falquon, wanted to give clients - whether home owners or corporations - the option to create floors featuring individual images or logos to achieve something utterly unique. This shifting from high-volume production of a generic product, towards the fulfilment of small, high-value individual orders.

Two years after installing an Océ Arizona, Falquon was printing 2,000 square metres a week at peak times and its workforce had expanded by 20% to meet the growing demand. It is a hugely successful story with a clear return on its investment in digital.

Falquon is just one of many firms across Europe that are turning to digital print to control costs, grow sales, and ultimately increasing profits. Its decision to go digital helped transform the business. Is joining the digital print revolution part of your business strategy?

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