How to invest in digital printing in uncertain times

Rotomail expands Contiweb portfolio with non-stop winding systems re-order
18 November 2020
Rotomail expands Contiweb portfolio with non-stop winding systems re-order
18 November 2020

By Erik Andriessen, Marketing Manager at Contiweb

Uncertainty seems to be the defining feature of economies across the globe in 2020. If the current economic climate has taught us anything, it is that businesses cannot rush into significant expenditure without seriously weighing up the return on investment. A recent report from I.T Strategies, Digital Production Print Markets: Financial Models for the Coronavirus Recession, shows that high capital investment is expected to be hard hit across all areas of digital printing.

If print service providers do not feel confident in significant investment for the foreseeable future, what alternative means do they have in maintaining services or even boosting productivity and quality to ensure their business survives the tough times ahead? What is the alternative to a new high-end inkjet press for instance? The aforementioned I.T. Strategies report predicts that crises, such as the global pandemic we are in the midst of, will actually accelerate the adoption of automated cost saving technology. So rather than investing heavily with uncertain ROI or battening down the hatches and not spending at all, for most businesses the answer will lie somewhere in between, and steady investment may be the key.

Contiweb has a range of equipment for unwinding, rewinding and fluid application, all designed to improve productivity and quality for digital printers. Our Variable Coater (VC) in particular, a priming and over-print varnish applicator, has been developed to provide a boost in product quality as well as reducing costs for paper in digital web printing applications. The essential thing to note is that this solution is compatible with leading high-end web inkjet presses. It allows print service providers to drop the expensive inkjet treated papers designed for digital printers and use standard offset stock instead. Stock that customers are familiar and happy with, that is more cost effective than the alternative and boosts product quality when used with the Contiweb VC.

Alternatives to substantial investment

By offering a legitimate add-on solution for existing presses, Contiweb’s VC creates a discussion on alternatives to substantial investment in new presses during these uncertain times. Ongoing cost-reductions in paper and increased uptime provides an attractive option for print business owners and accountants. Monitoring running costs has always been important, but now more than ever, needs to be factored into tight budgetary requirements. The VC is intended to provide customers with the ability to use standard offset paper for all print jobs, even those with high ink coverage, which is much more cost effective. Paper costs are reduced by 30% with customers experiencing 15% less priming or coating usage, leading to significant cost savings. Ink costs are similarly reduced. Stocking a reduced number of paper variants also means less storage costs. There is also no additional cost for consumables such as sleeves or anilox rollers – at this time, every cost-saving helps.

The increased print quality and durability achievable with a Variable Coater allows web inkjet companies to win print jobs from offset printers. The resulting growth in print volume can further reduce production costs per run and so increase profits.

Our entire way of life has been altered due to the Covid19 pandemic. The way we evaluate and make decisions feels like it matters even more now so than ever. The digital print market will bounce back but unfortunately not every print service provider will follow. Businesses have been hit hard and resilience is needed to recuperate and move forward. Now is the time for prudent investment.


Contiweb Variable Coater


The Variable Coater can prime the paper before printing, or post coat after printing. It brings excellent print quality to high-volume web inkjet printing – without expensive treated paper. Click for more information.