Bringing Book Manufacturing ‘On-Demand’
Moderated by Matt Baehr, executive director, Book Manufacturers Institute, PRINTING United's “Book Industry Update: Digital Printing, Finishing Options, and More” featured Rick Lindemann, president, Total Printing Systems; Andy Fetherman, VP of sales and technology, Muller Martini; and Mark Levin, director, executive accounts, HP Inc. The panel discussed the current state of the book industry.
While demand has risen, and new technology has led to improved quality, the industry faces many challenges. One of these challenges is the new normal of on-demand production, and manufacturers are investing in new equipment.
The ability to print products on-demand has presented a challenge to print shops. Lindemann explained that getting printing and bindery technology to become more intelligent, user-friendly, and automated decreases the time dedicated to labor. Featherman explained that while there are limits to what can be done, capabilities have expanded. Improving folding technology and improving efficiencies, correcting bugs in workflow software, can simplify the process and eliminate that challenge.
More and more manufacturers are transitioning from offset to inkjet production, which has proven to be beneficial for the industry. Digital inkjet printing, and overall hybrid printing, have grown to meet the demand and high speeds of the changing market.
According to Levin, quality has improved dramatically, especially with digital printing. Inkjet opened up new markets, with improved quality and speed. Inkjet adds higher value to the paper, which brings higher value to the production.