How exactly does digital printing actually work?

Digital printing has become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason: it offers a number of advantages over traditional printing methods and is particularly suitable for short runs and fast delivery times. The machines are getting better and more precise, the print runs for print products such as books are getting smaller, which is attracting more and more attention to digital printing. Here you can find out exactly how this works, what advantages this printing technology offers and how we implement it at Beltz Grafische Betriebe in Bad Langensalza.

What is digital printing?

There are various digital printing processes, such as inkjet printing, laser printing and thermal printing. In each case, the print data is read by a printing press or computer and transferred to the print medium to create the final print image. Digital printing is a fast and precise printing process.

Inkjet printing

In inkjet printing, small nozzles are used to spray ink onto the print medium. These nozzles move over the print medium and spray ink in different colors onto the paper to create the printed image.

Laser printing

Laser printing uses a laser beam to transfer toner to the print medium. The toner is sprayed onto the paper and then fixed with heat to create the printed image.

Thermal printing

Thermal printing uses heat to transfer the printed image to the print medium. A special thermal transfer foil is placed on the paper and then printed with heat to create the printed image.

Which is better digital or offset printing?

Digital printing offers a number of advantages over offset printing:

  1. Faster printing times: Digital printing can be printed directly from digital data, meaning no plates need to be made and machine set-up is faster. This significantly reduces project time and enables faster delivery times compared to offset printing.
  2. Better suited for small print runs: Digital printing is usually better suited for smaller print runs, as no printing plates need to be produced, which extends the project duration and increases costs.
  3. Personalized prints: Digital printing makes it easier to customize printed pieces by changing various elements such as images, fonts and colors. This is not quite so easy in offset printing, as the printing plates would have to be made anew for each change.
  4. Tighter color tolerances: Digital printing makes it possible to achieve tighter tolerances for colors because the colors are printed directly onto the paper. In offset printing, on the other hand, the colors are produced by first placing the individual components (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) on the printing plate, from there onto the blanket cylinder and then onto the paper.
  5. Less paper consumption: With digital printing, only as much paper is used as is actually needed, as no overprints are required for quality control.
  6. Different print result: If you like it glossy, you’ve come to the right place: as the ink lies on the paper in digital printing and is not absorbed into the paper as much, the print result for images and colors is glossier compared to offset printing.


How does digital printing work at Beltz Grafische Betriebe?

At Beltz Grafische Betriebe, we use our modern, large digital printing machines with laser printing technology for the production of books, catalogs, brochures, magazines, loose-leaf publications and supplements. It’s not just the printing that is digital with us, but also the process behind it. Industry 4.0 is the keyword, which entails a high degree of automation in printing processes. This enables us to successfully process production orders for our customers smartly, quickly and without large recurring orders.

After a product, such as Once a book has been printed and the individual pages have been folded, we can bind it into a cover in our bookbindery according to a wide range of customer requirements. Finally, the books are cut, possibly glued and occasionally stamped.

As a sustainable print shop, we rely on modern digital printing technology to save paper and make processes more efficient. In addition, all our machines run on 100% green electricity and we offset our unavoidable CO₂ emissions with ClimatePartner. We also focus on sustainability when it comes to paper: we are FSC-certified, which means we only use raw materials that meet FSC standards, such as paper that has been certified by the FSC. compliance with forestry laws, good working conditions, the preservation of forests and much more.

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