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Printing-On-Demand



John Holusha, writing in the New York Times (December 5, 1993), describes
existing technology that is revolutionizing the printing field..  "A new
generation of presses," he reports, "is emerging that eliminates the metal
plates, creating flexibility that should allow shorter press runs and even let
the publisher make on-the-fly changes.  A full-color advertising circular, for
example, could carry a message tailored to each individual customer."

The two systems described in the article are summarized below (keep in mind
that this information is from 1993):

Name: E-Print 100
Manufacturer: Indigo Inc. (Rehovot, Israel)
Technology: The paper stays on the impression roller for four passes to get
full-color.  A buffer allows the paper to be turned over and printed on the
second side.
Ink: Liquid ink (finer, more precise images)
Resolution: 800 DPI
Paper: Sheets
Output: 500 pages/hour
Cost: $200,000 (stripped down) to $400,000

Name: Chromapress
Manufacturer: Agfa Gevaert (Belgium)
Technology: Eight separate printing heads print two sides of page
simultaneously
Ink: Dry toner (neater, because instantly fused to paper)
Resolution: 600 DPI
Paper: Web
Output: 1,050 pages/hour
Cost: $250,000 to $300,000

The article concludes:

The digital printing press portends all sorts of changes in the way business
is conducted.  Eric O. Edelman, a consultant in New York with the Finnish
paper- products consulting firm Jaakko Poyry, said he expects digital
operations to spring up near airports, so that salesmen and marketing
specialists will not have to drag heavy bags of brochures and other sales
material from city to city.

"They will carry a three-and-a-half inch disk," Mr. Edelman said, "and print
what they need for each presentation."


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