Digital commercial print

Research opportunities and challenges

Digital Commercial Print describes the transformation from inflexible, manual mass production printing processes to flexible, customized, on-demand printing processes which are enabled by new digital technologies that enable lower cost, higher quality commercial printing.

Over the past decade, the commercial print industry has been consolidating and evolving from a manufacturing industry to a services industry. Print shops are demanding increased speed, lower cost and ease of customization for print runs, which digital commercial print technology has the potential to deliver. Yet today, only about 10% of commercial print pages are printed digitally.

Several key factors will influence the broader adoption of digital technologies:
  • Quality and cost-effectiveness of digital printing must be equal to, or better than, traditional printing.
  • There is a need for greater automation, improved error handing and reduced costs with respect to color printing.
  • Commercial printers and their customers are also looking for more flexible and less wasteful print solutions that offer increased business and consumer value.

Our Digital Commercial Print research has two primary topics:

Printing Processes for Digital Commercial Print

Our vision is a breakthrough print engine technology platform which accelerates the analog to digital transformation for high value commercial pages. We seek to create a unique combination of low-cost, high-quality attributes not found in any single press process today. Specifically, our goal is breakthrough technology to achieve throughput at more than 1,000 ppm with a consumables manufacturing cost per page lower than the current cost, while achieving the same high ink coverage, image quality, and media gamut as the best current digital Indigo presses – and also reduce the carbon footprint.

Commercial Print Automation

The goal of Commercial Print Automation is to greatly accelerate the ongoing analog-to-digital, and long-to-short-run transformations in the commercial/industrial print industry. By putting the workflow technologies in place to enable efficient, automated, and re-engineered print workflows, we aim to reduce the end-to-end Total Cost of Ownership of a commercial print publishing system and create new pages that did not exist before. For example, by re-engineering workflows, our MagCloud service addressed an unmet need for short run magazines. We are making it simple for more people to buy and produce commercial print.

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