What to Consider Before Purchasing a Sheet-Fed Digital Press

In today’s world, brands and businesses are looking for direct mail, invitations, packaging and other elements that earn maximum impact for their marketing endeavors. When you, as a print provider, bring added value capabilities to the table, you’ll benefit plentifully.

To really grow and prosper, you need a press that clearly stands out in areas like actual uptime, running at rated speed, extra-long sheets, specialty inks and more. Check out the following points that need close attention in order to make the best choice of a sheet-fed digital press.

Productivity and speed

Some systems actually run faster when running four, five or even six colors. Look for a six-station press that maintains its rated speed whether you’re running 4,5 or 6 colors to get the most profitable output on the other end. You’ll get less waste, less labor intervention, and less re-work.

You need to get into the specifics of press productivity with questions like: Will the number of colors affect the press’s rated speed, or will it slow down the more stations in use? How do additional colors affect running speed?

Also, some six-color systems deliver uptimes of 85% which can total to 2.5 times the productivity. Remember to look for capabilities that minimize human intervention needed to run the press. This will add up to more uptime and more revenue, because the bottom line is – if you’re not printing, you’re not making money.

Specialty inks

Look for a press that can give you a competitive advantage through metallic and other specialty inks.

Systems that use white dry ink and extra-long sheets would give you more options for the work you can take on. Now, there are sheet-fed digital platforms that offer single pass, six-colors, and mixed metallic embellishments. Another advantage is that the output comes off the press dry and ready to be finished. Neither offset nor traditional cut-sheet presses can do this.

The sparkle of silver and gold inks delivers real value. Marketers and print buyers will happily pay for digital print enhancements that deliver great results.

Digital press automation

Don’t get stuck with a system that needs an expensive operator to catch mistakes and keep things running when you can get a more consistent uptime with an automated and easy to use operation.

Your next sheet-fed press should give you bandwidth, better automation, speed and better color, all with just a click of a button.

Compare print samples

You shouldn’t purchase a press without looking at samples first. Ask potential vendors for samples of specialty inks and different page sizes. Not every press can handle metallic inks, much less mixed metallics and other specialty inks, so it’s important to see for yourself.

Don’t settle for just any dry white ink either. It’s always best to compare output samples to see the real difference. Ask how many passes of white it takes to achieve good quality; if it’s more than one, it’s too many.

The right press for your business

Use these points and questions to find the right sheet-fed digital press for your print business. Look for a model with strong fundamentals and various applications and strengths. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll easily narrow down the choices.


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