Hybrid Variable Offset Printing
Have you heard about hybrid printing? If you’re a commercial printer, it probably means that you combine two different printing processes to create documents, brochures and direct mail pieces. Why would a printer do this? Usually, to merge static high quality offset printing with variable data for personalization or versioning. Printers use two separate steps to accomplish this, such as printing a “shell” on an offset web press then adding variable data offline via a laser printer, but many printers are making the switch to inline inkjet hybrid printing. Why? Here are three smart reasons:
- Streamlined Production : Hybrid printing eliminates an entire printing process by combining offset printing and digital printing all on one pass. This inline process reduces make-ready, inventory, and production hours by combining two steps into one.
- Flexibility : Continuous inkjet printheads ranging from 1” to 9” and printing up to 1,000 fpm can be mounted directly onto a press or printhead tower and imprint variable data as the web passes under the printhead.
Bridge to Digital : Hybrid printing offers an alternative to a conventional printer that wants to offer digital printing, but isn’t quite ready to invest in a new digital press. Because printheads can mount directly onto to an existing offset press, the investment to add digital print capabilities is minimal.
• Print Quality Inspection
• Color Accuracy
• Variable Data Integrity
Axode has partnered with Kodak, GSS and Adphos to create the only closed loop registration and visualization control system for the Kodak Prosper S10 and Prosper S20 Imprinting Systems.
Axode’s closed loop registration control system enables printers to incorporate in-line variable process color into preprinted materials and ensures the highest quality output. Customers avoid lengthy set up times and can have the confidence that registration is accurately maintained throughout the entire production run.
The system is capable of running at speeds of up to 2,000 fpm. The cameras also allow press operators to “zoom in” in order to visually inspect a specific area, or “zoom out” to view an entire 8 ½” X11” document during production without interrupting the control capability
The same system can also be used to monitor print quality to detect Image Quality defects, as well as monitor sequence control and the tracking individual customer information via unique barcodes or OCR.
Today, many printers are already enjoying the flexibility of Hybrid Variable Offset Printing and are able to offer more valuable services to their customers who want the competitive edge of customizing their customer communications. This inline inkjet hybrid technique allows traditional printers a more comfortable entry to variable data printing while leveraging their current equipment investments. Hybrid printing blends web offset and personalization (at 600 dpi) with amazing registration. You won’t be able to tell the difference between what was universally printed and what was uniquely imaged. Add inline finishing and our press becomes a “one-stop shop!”