Comprehensive comparison between digital printing technology and traditional printing technology

This article compares the advantages and disadvantages of digital printing technology and analog printing technology. Introduced a variety of inkjet technology and their respective advantages and disadvantages. The application of digital printing technology in the printing industry is on the rise. Digital printing has become an effective compensation for analog printing. Digital and analog separately deal with two different types of data, using completely different methods of copying. Digital signals are converted from continuous voltage or pressure signals. The computer-processable digital signals are discrete electronic signals or optical signals.

Analog printing methods and digital printing are different ways of copying. Such as screen printing, is an analog printing method, which uses positive and negative images similar to the original manuscript film to make prints; the same, offset printing is the use of analog images on the plate to transfer ink to the printing material; In addition, flexographic, gravure, and other types of analog printing methods are also in the form of various analog image transfers. These methods are a master image to complete the copy process.

Analog printing usually requires the use of screen or plate to complete the copy of the printing, the plate contains the complete copy of the graphic information, unlike this, digital printing is completed by a complex set of numbers and mathematical formulas for each Print copy. In the process of copying, it is a process of restoring a matrix consisting of dots or pixels. Each dot or pixel in the matrix controls the size of the ink and the amount of exposure to reproduce the image.

The rise of digital printing has a great relationship with market demand. With the ever-increasing competition in the market, all industries and industries are hoping to achieve zero-stock operations. Short-term operations and personalized printing of variable data and information are rapidly increasing. The traditional printing methods of large-scale and mass production have been unable to meet the needs of the industry. development of. Despite the high quality of traditional printing methods, digital printing accommodates the advantages of variable information printing, personalized printing, custom printing, quick response to the market, quick delivery, and quick completion of short-run jobs, making digital printing fast Become a powerful complement to traditional printing methods. At the same time, with the continuous improvement of digital printing technology, product quality has also been significantly improved. For this reason, digital printing technology has become one of the major printing methods that cannot be ignored.

The advantages of digital printing:

1. Short time for job preparation, rapid response to the market, short production cycle;
2. Can complete variable information printing, personalized printing and custom printing;
3. Because most digital printing technologies are non-contact printing, they can be copied on a variety of substrates. There is no direct contact with the printing material, and image distortion that occurs in the traditional printing, such as screen printing, is also avoided.
4. Digital technology can produce digital proofs and short-run jobs with very high time efficiency and cost efficiency.
5. At present, the development of color digital printing technology is very fast, such as 3-color (CYM) printing, four-color (YMCK) printing, five-color, six-color, seven-color, and 8-color large-scale color gamut printing, and can also realize the printing of some spot colors. Greatly meets the industry's need for full-color reproduction.
6. Digital printing does not require high levels of color overprinting and trapping.
7. Digital printing does not require the use of film, screen plates, or printing plates as conversion media. And compared with the analog printing method, the required graphics storage space is much smaller.
8. Compared with the traditional process, digital printing uses a lot less harmful chemical agents, so it is an environmentally friendly production process.
9. Digital printing uses sophisticated color matching and correction techniques, so color matching is more accurate.
10. Digital web printing equipment is limited only by the width of the image when it is copied, and is independent of the length of the print. Therefore, large-format, panoramic works can be reproduced.
11. Electronic files required for digital printing are easy to make and easy to edit.
12. There are more and more applications for electronic files, and the same electronic file can be used for a variety of purposes, such as Internet, CD-ROM, video, TV, print and multimedia applications.
13. Electronic files facilitate transmission and communication. Electronic documents can be sent to digital printing (printers) in seconds, enabling rapid production response in multiple locations.

The disadvantages of digital printing:

1. Compared with traditional printing, digital printing technology has a slower output speed.
2. Compared with traditional printing, digital printing is used in long-lived production, and the cost of copying single sheets is higher.
3. Some digital printing requires specially coated substrates, which are expensive.
4. Most digitally-printed inks are thin and the tone is not sufficiently saturated. This shortcoming limits its application.
5. Digital inks and toners need to have sufficiently small particles, which are complicated to process and therefore expensive.
6. Some digital printing equipment prints transparent ink and has poor coverage.
7. The color matching stability of some digital prints is far from enough.
8. The application of digital printing technology requires operators with higher quality.

The advantages of analog printing:

1. When printing multicolor long-run jobs, the cost is low and the speed is fast;
2. Offset and gravure printing with high resolution and good quality;
3. Analog printing has no excessive requirements for printing materials, but it can obtain the same printing quality as digital printing.
4. Traditional printing inks do not need to be highly refined, nor do they need to have very small particles like digital printing. Traditional inks cost less than digital printing inks.
5. The ink layer is thicker than the digitally printed ink layer.
6. Screen printing can print opaque ink that can cover the surface of black print materials.
7. Analog prints can be printed in four colors or spot colors, with a wide range of color matching.
8. The analog printing process is more mature and easy to master.

Disadvantages of analog printing:

1. Analog printing is not suitable for variable data printing;
2. Analog printing requires a long period of prepress setup and preparation;
3. For short-run printing and proofing, the cost of analog printing is higher;
4. Simulated printing will generate large amounts of ink and chemical by-products, causing greater pollution to the environment;
5. Traditional printing will use film for plate making, which is costly and requires more space to store films and plates.
6. In traditional printing, the print is limited by the size of the printing plate.

It is not difficult for us to find that more and more printing companies adopt digital printing and analog printing methods at the same time to meet the needs of customers and form a very good complementary production mode. For example, some companies use flexo or offset printing technology for the production of company logos, product logos, and logo designs and product packaging. Digital printing methods, such as thermal transfer printing, are used to print bar codes, product specifications, and other variable information. . For another example, some companies use screen printing to print large quantities of clothing patterns, and digital printing is used to print personal names, numbers, and addresses. Regardless of whether the company adopts digital printing or traditional printing, or uses both printing methods simultaneously, it is necessary to consider the following specific parameters, such as image quality and resolution, printing production and processing speed, and indoor and outdoor applications. Color durability, environmental factors, cost, color, and image stability.

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