April, 2025
Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China


29 OCT, 2020


As we already know that the basic theory of conventional printing consists of high print, flat print, deep print and special print (screen printing). All conventional printing techniques since its invented to date have been progressed until the use of printing techniques in each segment according to their needs. For example, rotogravure printing is widely used in flexible packaging segments, offset printing is often used for paper/carton printing, flexo printing is often applied to print all kinds of packaging with various substrates including

print labels. As well as digital printing techniques, along with the development of digital printing machine manufacturers ...

in creating and developing its printing presses has determined or targeted to segments that have been "entered" by conventional printing techniques. Therefore the type of machine also varies the specifications, be it the print quality, the type of ink or the speed.

In fact, digital printing techniques can only be used as a "companion" of conventional printing, so it can not yet be considered a "substitute" due to several factors and considerations, which include the speed or length of the printing process and the cost of printing per sheet because until now the price of ink is still expensive compared to conventional printing. There are several things that can be compared between conventional print and digital printing, including:

- Printing technology and process - Print Quality and Quantity - Printing, Delivery and Logistics costs

The reference of the print in conventional printing requires a fee and this cost is a "fix" fee that will be the total cost of a job order. Also, it will take time in the process of making the print reference so as to increase the time in the production process. Nevertheless, conventional printing will be more profitable when reprinting (repeat order), because it can use the previous print reference as long as the design does not change, and also print in large quantities because the machine is quite high speed compared to digital machines. Therefore, even if "burdened" costs for print reference, it will be hardly

impact the unit price per sheet because it gets the conpensation of a large number of prints and the relatively high speed of the machine. The conventional printing process always starts with the preparation and setup of the machine, this step will take a long time and require paper or materials to be printed to perform the adjustment, commonly called "waste" or "inschirt". Whether it's tuning in to search for "registers" or looking for colors. And in this case it will result in increased costs in addition to "unproductive" production time. While in the digital printing process, this stage "almost" does not exist, because the digital printing machine for the accuracy of the print (register) and the accuracy of the printing color has been done the installation time / installation of the machine. So both of these things are already the "property" and performance of the digital machine, during maintenance and keeping its parameters done following the SOP of the machine.

Digital Printing

which will be the cost burden of the production process. And because there is no cost of matris / reference printing, then in the digital printing process will be more profitable if printing for a small amount and changing the design. Another advantage is being able to print customized or personalized design and variable data (VDP).

Return to the "waste" of the paper or material to be printed, for initial adjustment

or damage during the conventional printing process, will be the cost of production, whereas in digital printing there is no waste or even if there is not as much on the conventional print, so the cost of "waste" paper and the time of adjustment of the machine can almost be non-existent (improved). Therefore, if the number of prints is small and many kinds, it will be more profitable to print using the digital machine process even though the cost of ink is more expensive than conventional printing.

Flexo Print Diagram Rotogravure Print Diagram

Print Offset Diagram Filter/Screen printing diagram

- Print Quality and Quantity

Conventional Printing

- Until now, the quality of conventional print "better" and stable color than digital printing (toner) when printing in large quantities or about 500-1,000 sheets and above. In general conventional printing (offset), it is necessary to set the color to be stable after 300-500 sheets, although now there are some conventional printing machines have implemented new technology can be less than that number. And this depends also on the type of work to be printed. In addition, to produce printing with a quality convention machine (offset) requires the role of human (operator) quite high contribution, in addition to other machines and helper materials. As mentioned above that conventional printing

always begins with the process of making a print reference, and in fact the quality of conventional printing is very determined at this pre-print stage. Because the "only" printing machine serves as a "multiplier", so if the print reference is good it will be able to produce good prints as well, and vice versa. Although sometimes the print reference is good, the print results are not good. This can be ascertained that the printing process is not correct.

Infer, the print of the Convention (Offset) will be profitable if:

• Large amount with relatively economical printing costs.

• The more printed, the cheaper the price per sheet.

• Print different types of paper with various finishings.

• Print quality is excellent, with more stable color details.


Digital Printing

- Digital printing is usually the best choice when printing fewer than 300 sheets; and for print quality depends heavily on the brand and type of machine used. Like

which has been mentioned above that conventional printing in addition to the printing machine, the role of the print operator operating the machine is very influential for the printing press, not so in digital printing. To produce good print quality depends heavily on the brand and type of digital machine used, As it is known that technologically,

Digital printing there are two systems namely toner and inkjet with each of its drawbacks and advantages. Clearly digital printing technology continues to develop rapidly and is still evolving to overcome its shortcomings, which include the quality, speed of the machine and the price of ink. For print quality the better it even leads to "very good". For the speed of the machine, it is not yet able to match conventional printing machines, but with time travel it will develop. For a fast printing process with a certain amount (slightly) and with acceptable quality, it will be faster or the same as conventional printing because from final design / artwork can be directly printed, while conventional printing is required the process of making printing reference and machine adjustment to register and look for colors. For example, it is conceivable that when printing 500 sheets, for digital printing can be printed directly and a few minutes is finished, while conventional printing is still looking for registers and colors, even if the quality is not as good as conventional printing.

So the advantages of Digital Printing are:

• Lower cost for printing small amounts to medium.

• Print only the required amount, when you need it

• Lower minimum amount (as low as 1, 20 or 50 pieces)

• Variable data capabilities (name, address, code, or numbering can be done easily)

• Improved technology has made digital quality alignable with conventional printing in certain cases.

Comparing the quality of conventional prints with digital prints in detail depends heavily on each, as each conventional print also differs between offset printing, flexo printing and rotogravure printing. Similarly for digital printing, it will depend heavily between the toner system and inkjet. And the toner system or inkjet is also very dependent on the brand and type of engine. As has been mentioned before that if conventional printing is dependent on the role of the operator is very high, while digital printing to produce good print is very dependent on the brand and type of the machine, in this case the role of the operator is limited to the operation of the machine only.


- Cost, Delivery & Logistics

Something that will have a direct or indirect impact between

conventional printing with digital is the delivery and logistics period. As outlined above, in conventional printing process, it will be more economical to do a large amount of production. But if the printed in such large quantities is much more than the need for the booker then there will be consequences of storage, be it in the manufacturer (printing) or in the booker. And we know that every storage will be a logical cost because there will be a place for storage. And in terms of finance, there will also be 'money'

'shut up'. If this is still in the amount of tolerance it is okay, but if this happens in large quantities it will have an impact on the cash-flow of the company's finances. The logistics room must also qualify according to what will be stored, if this is ignored there will be a risk of damage to the mold, which eventually has to bear the consequences, which may result in

Loss. As is the case with digital printing,

print only according to the needs/requests of the booker, so that after completion of the printing process and finishing process can be sent immediately, so there is no need for storage and if only the place to


In this case there are three factors that will influence each other and be considered whether to print with digital printing techniques or print

conventional, namely:

* Comprehensive or comprehensive production costs.

* Delivery time

* Storage or logistics.

Calculation of cost and print time, for digital printing with a "click charge" system will usually easily make comparisons between conventional print and digital printing, but not so when digital printing with a "non click charge" system, with the understanding that every printing production company, the cost should be calculated, especially the cost of ink and other consumables. Therefore, here's one example of a label print comparison simulation using flexo printing techniques with inkjet UV digital printing could be a reference.