Many organizations have office-class print devices, but outsource high-volume or premium print jobs to third-party printers. For some, this continues to be the best solution—by far. But for other organizations, it’s worth considering the possibility of bringing these jobs in house.
Light production technology has evolved over the years to become more attractive for businesses reliant on high-volume and/or high-quality printing. This analysis piece will discuss several of the ways these devices and compatible software are growing in appeal.
Similar to office-class print devices, light production printers have seen their price drop as more manufacturers enter the market. While these devices may have previously been out of reach for many organizations, they can now be purchased for not much more than a high-end office print device.
The figure below shows Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends’ forecast for the average selling price of 70 to 90 page per minute color print devices used in office environments. During the 2015 to 2020 forecast period, the cost of these devices is expected to drop at a 2.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This helps explain why the installed base of these devices is projected to grow at a 43% CAGR during this period.
Figure 1: Average selling price of 70-90 ppm color print devices used in offices
Source: North America Single Function Printer & MFP Market Forecast: 2015-2020
Light production devices now integrate more functionality, including advanced software for configuring the raster image processor (RIP) controller (which converts print into images to be mapped on the page) and workflow software for controlling job characteristics and submission.
Another common tool is imposition software that sets the layout of multiple smaller pages imposed on a larger print page. This capability is particularly helpful for booklet printing. Other typical features include finishing support, long-lasting supplies, and options for scanner and/or copier integration.
Furthermore, the touchscreens on these devices are continually enhanced for ease of use. This is a key improvement, as bringing light production devices in house requires organizations to take on the operation of the machines.
In recent years, organizations have typically taken greater steps to protect their proprietary and confidential information. This is driven by industry regulations as well as new approaches for handling competition. Keeping important internal information out of the wrong hands can minimize risk and ensure the organization is operating in a strategically intelligent way.
In-house light production technology aids with this goal. Confidential printed materials are only seen by employees—not by third parties that could potentially misuse the information.
In addition, turnaround times are faster—a key requirement given greater customer expectations around responsiveness. This has largely been driven by digital technology that’s sped up communication, processes, and transactions.
In addition to being more financially accessible, light production devices are now available in more outlets. There is a greater likelihood, for instance, that your local office technology provider has started offering light production machines and software.
Ask us about light production technology. We can show you demonstration of the devices. It’s important that you communicate the types of output as well as the amount of output you’d need to print with this kind of machine.