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  • Offset Digital why so different

    So there is something that I have wondered about and I am sure the answer is simple I just don't know it. Why do offset presses have so many third party avenues and digital presses do not? For example it seems almost everyone who owns a offset machine will get all of there service and consumables thru a third party instead of the supplier of the machine. Now I understand why they do this because consumables and service for say a heidelberg are considerably cheaper thru a third party. But that is why I don't understand why there is not more of that for the digital market.

  • #2
    Originally posted by DannyB View Post
    So there is something that I have wondered about and I am sure the answer is simple I just don't know it. Why do offset presses have so many third party avenues and digital presses do not? For example it seems almost everyone who owns a offset machine will get all of there service and consumables thru a third party instead of the supplier of the machine. Now I understand why they do this because consumables and service for say a heidelberg are considerably cheaper thru a third party. But that is why I don't understand why there is not more of that for the digital market.
    This is just a guess. I think it might be related to the complexity of the technology. With an offset press, almost any machine shop could make parts and there are many sources for covering rollers, etc. Even the control system could be done by some other supplier if one wanted to.

    The thing about say an inkjet technology is that it you ruin the nozzle heads with someone else's ink, then you probably have to pay for new heads. Or at least the suppliers of those heads will scare people into thinking that way. How many want to take the chance? So it might be related to fear. Fear keeps people from going to other suppliers. How nice.


    Last edited by Erik Nikkanen; 02-27-2017, 04:06 PM.

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    • #3
      There is a 3rd party market for service of the machines that have been out there a while but for machines that are less than a year or two old very few 3rd parties have the access to the parts and diagnostic software for the newer presses . . you might want to take a look at this thread

      https://printplanet.com/forum/digita...rvice-contract

      there are many posts that may help you understand the reasoning
      "If you think you are too small to be effective
      you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dabob View Post
        There is a 3rd party market for service of the machines that have been out there a while but for machines that are less than a year or two old very few 3rd parties have the access to the parts and diagnostic software for the newer presses . . you might want to take a look at this thread

        https://printplanet.com/forum/digita...rvice-contract

        there are many posts that may help you understand the reasoning
        LOL that thread is actually what caused me to create this one because they talk a lot about why you need a service contract with a digital press but no one really says why there are not more suppliers. and actually you replied to the comment I left. I figure it is just because Offset has been around so long and digital has not. I guess the question is why are there not more companies like Rotadyne , J.M.Frye and DIY for digital. You can probably guess those are the suppliers that we use for our offset machine.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dabob View Post
          There is a 3rd party market for service of the machines that have been out there a while but for machines that are less than a year or two old very few 3rd parties have the access to the parts and diagnostic software for the newer presses . . you might want to take a look at this thread

          https://printplanet.com/forum/digita...rvice-contract

          there are many posts that may help you understand the reasoning
          We've been working with Oce (Canon) continuous forms printers for almost 15 years now. The models we currently have are open to 3rd party service. The next generation... no.

          https://repair.org/

          While the site above doesn't go heavily into printing industry specific equipment, the concept is on display there.

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          • #6
            Two Reasons: First, it's a totally different technology than offset. The toner particles are manufactured to a specific particle size, shape, electrical charge, and heat temperature that is specific to your model of digital press. In offset, ink is ink. You can use a variety of inks from different manufacturers. But, the same is not true for toner. Using toner in your digital press that was not specifically formulated for that press will trash your engine.

            Secondly, "Follow The Money". Unlike offset presses that can cost millions of dollars, digital press manufacturers run on a totally different business model. The machines themselves are relatively inexpensive (as compared to offset presses). They really don't make that much money selling or leasing equipment. The majority of their income comes from the toner and consumables. Not from the equipment itself. It's kind of like the small personal printer you have at home, only on a much larger scale. The printer itself may only cost $75, but, the ink cartridges that you need to buy to keep it running are usually anywhere from $35 to $50 each. That's where they make their money.

            Case in point: (without getting in to exact specifics that may jeopardize our relationship with Xerox) - We're running (2) Xerox Versant 2100's. The price space of the V2100 is around $120,000 to $150,000. Our click charges are about average at around $0.05 per page. On the two machines, we average around 300,000 pages per month. Do the math, and, you will see we pay about $15,000 per month in click charges ($0.05 x 300,000 = $15,000). So, in one year, we will pay around $180,000 in clicks. The machines are on a 5-year lease, so, for the life of the lease, we will pay around $900,000 in clicks. That's close to One Million Dollars! As you can see, the original cost of the equipment pales in comparison to the amount of revenue they can generate from the click charges. They are not about to make it easy for a third party competitive entity to eat in to their profits.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MailGuru View Post
              Two Reasons: First, it's a totally different technology than offset. The toner particles are manufactured to a specific particle size, shape, electrical charge, and heat temperature that is specific to your model of digital press. In offset, ink is ink. You can use a variety of inks from different manufacturers. But, the same is not true for toner. Using toner in your digital press that was not specifically formulated for that press will trash your engine.

              Secondly, "Follow The Money". Unlike offset presses that can cost millions of dollars, digital press manufacturers run on a totally different business model. The machines themselves are relatively inexpensive (as compared to offset presses). They really don't make that much money selling or leasing equipment. The majority of their income comes from the toner and consumables. Not from the equipment itself. It's kind of like the small personal printer you have at home, only on a much larger scale. The printer itself may only cost $75, but, the ink cartridges that you need to buy to keep it running are usually anywhere from $35 to $50 each. That's where they make their money.

              Case in point: (without getting in to exact specifics that may jeopardize our relationship with Xerox) - We're running (2) Xerox Versant 2100's. The price space of the V2100 is around $120,000 to $150,000. Our click charges are about average at around $0.05 per page. On the two machines, we average around 300,000 pages per month. Do the math, and, you will see we pay about $15,000 per month in click charges ($0.05 x 300,000 = $15,000). So, in one year, we will pay around $180,000 in clicks. The machines are on a 5-year lease, so, for the life of the lease, we will pay around $900,000 in clicks. That's close to One Million Dollars! As you can see, the original cost of the equipment pales in comparison to the amount of revenue they can generate from the click charges. They are not about to make it easy for a third party competitive entity to eat in to their profits.
              Hmmm... Our Versant 2100 is on a 6 year lease, and the machine cost would be over $250,000 during that time. Our click rate is about the same, but as we only run about half the clicks you do, that would come out to $540,000.

              By comparison, you can get a decent used 4-color 19x25" offset press, for $250,000 and it will last you for years, with minimal maintenance, assuming you have an operator who is mechanically inclined and takes care of his equipment. We have always done the majority of repairs on our presses. We may see a repairmen every year or two, but on our digital machines we see them every couple weeks.

              What gets me is that you pay the lease price on the machine, and then at the end you have nothing. You pay that on a press, and at the end of the payments you still have a machine that turns out beautiful work for years to come.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kdw75 View Post

                Hmmm... Our Versant 2100 is on a 6 year lease, and the machine cost would be over $250,000 during that time. Our click rate is about the same, but as we only run about half the clicks you do, that would come out to $540,000.

                By comparison, you can get a decent used 4-color 19x25" offset press, for $250,000 and it will last you for years, with minimal maintenance, assuming you have an operator who is mechanically inclined and takes care of his equipment. We have always done the majority of repairs on our presses. We may see a repairmen every year or two, but on our digital machines we see them every couple weeks.

                What gets me is that you pay the lease price on the machine, and then at the end you have nothing. You pay that on a press, and at the end of the payments you still have a machine that turns out beautiful work for years to come.

                As I re-did my math, I stand corrected on the price space of the V2100. It is closer to the $210k-$250k price space as you indicated above, on a lease, but, the point is still valid:

                Offset Press Manufacturer Business Model: 90% of their total revenue is realized at point of sale.
                10% of their total revenue is after the sale in parts & service

                Digital Press Manufacturer Business Model: 20% of their total revenue is realized at point of sale.
                80% of their revenue is realized after the sale in consumables & service

                Which is why most digital press manufacturers are always keeping a watchful eye on how much toner and supplies you are using.

                To the OP's initial question on why there are not more 3rd party service & supply companies in the digital press industry: Their business model is not conducive to such. In fact, it would destroy their businesses.

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                • #9
                  Thank You guys for all your replies you basically confirmed what i was assuming.

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                  • #10
                    By comparison, you can get a decent used 4-color 19x25" offset press, for $250,000 and it will last you for years, with minimal maintenance, assuming you have an operator who is mechanically inclined and takes care of his equipment. We have always done the majority of repairs on our presses. We may see a repairmen every year or two, but on our digital machines we see them every couple weeks.

                    What you say is true .. . but if you have a mix of full color business cards 500-1000 a pop, or full color seminar books at 15 - 150 copies of a 88 page book or more of those jobs the 4/color 25 inch press will cost you more in plates than in click charges and your turnaround time will suck. We routinely get jobs like this that are 10 - 15 different pieces in quantites of 50-200 files in on thursday job boxed and shipped overnight on Saturday.

                    Your just cant do that conventionally . . . so there is a place for both technologies . . if you are in the LARGE point of sale where runs generally exceed 400,000 pieces conventional is the only way to go but if you want to play in the short run market or variable market . . . you will need digital . . .
                    "If you think you are too small to be effective
                    you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dabob View Post
                      By comparison, you can get a decent used 4-color 19x25" offset press, for $250,000 and it will last you for years, with minimal maintenance, assuming you have an operator who is mechanically inclined and takes care of his equipment. We have always done the majority of repairs on our presses. We may see a repairmen every year or two, but on our digital machines we see them every couple weeks.

                      What you say is true .. . but if you have a mix of full color business cards 500-1000 a pop, or full color seminar books at 15 - 150 copies of a 88 page book or more of those jobs the 4/color 25 inch press will cost you more in plates than in click charges and your turnaround time will suck. We routinely get jobs like this that are 10 - 15 different pieces in quantites of 50-200 files in on thursday job boxed and shipped overnight on Saturday.

                      Your just cant do that conventionally . . . so there is a place for both technologies . . if you are in the LARGE point of sale where runs generally exceed 400,000 pieces conventional is the only way to go but if you want to play in the short run market or variable market . . . you will need digital . . .
                      When I started at the company I am working for now we had around 400 yearbook accounts. We ran all of our books on 2 80s model heidelberg mo 4 color presses. The average book size was 32-48pgs 250-500 copies. Our pressman were expected to hang100 plates a day on each machine manually and registration was adjusted manually. Now we have over 1000 accounts and we run about 70% of them on our 1 indigo 7500.

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                      • #12
                        Offset is mature technology that is open architecture. Digital is proprietary.

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                        • #13
                          MailGuru bring up an interesting question that is appropriate regarding Landa printers and their [still] new, proprietary Nano ink. Yes it's probably better, but if changes could be made to enable dual use, i.e. optional use of regular ink, that might permit more rapid acceptance by traditional offset printers. Of course that is probably the last thing Dr. Landa would want to admit, since he is a chemist, the chemist in fact who invented Landa ink, which has significant advantages if claims are true. It might be seen as an admission of some type about Nano ink. On the business model level, such a option for use of "Normal", free market process ink changes everything. No more (or different) per-click charges via built in to consumables. It's not clear how much the quality would be different. My personal (and perhaps biased as rip engineer) opinion is that quality can be improved with better screening. Perhaps the selection of a digital and wide format DFE vendor had some unintended ramifications. There is no one in the offset world that uses dither based screening. Digital world uses a lot of "optimized" dither. Those few in the offset world doing FM use special stochastic screening methods. Are people aware of how inappropriate use of "optimized dither" would be for any high speed press that prints separations sequentially? It has to do with physical shifts and differences in dot-on-dot and dot-off-dot ratios. Serious instabilities would result. Anyway, for whatever reason, ship dates have shifted from Q1 2017 (now) to late 2017. Reasons are unknown. Curious - Any comments, info, or opinions about this?


                          [QUOTE=MailGuru;n262975]Two Reasons: First, it's a totally different technology than offset. The toner particles are manufactured to a specific particle size, shape, electrical charge, and heat temperature that is specific to your model of digital press. In offset, ink is ink. You can use a variety of inks from different manufacturers. But, the same is not true for toner. Using toner in your digital press that was not specifically formulated for that press will trash your engine.

                          Secondly, "Follow The Money". ... totally different business model. The machines themselves are relatively inexpensive ....consumables..... That's where they make their money"
                          ...


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                          • #14
                            Hopefully this will always be true - in my lifetime and the next;

                            Offset > Digital

                            It's in the veins

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                            • #15
                              Disclosure: I'm a Landa employee.

                              Originally posted by MitchB View Post
                              Of course that is probably the last thing Dr. Landa would want to admit, since he is a chemist, the chemist in fact who invented Landa ink.
                              Benny Landa is not a chemist, and not a Dr.

                              There is no one in the offset world that uses dither based screening. Digital world uses a lot of "optimized" dither. Those few in the offset world doing FM use special stochastic screening methods. Are people aware of how inappropriate use of "optimized dither" would be for any high speed press that prints separations sequentially? It has to do with physical shifts and differences in dot-on-dot and dot-off-dot ratios. Serious instabilities would result.
                              Sorry, I don't follow. Every halftone screening is considered a dithering process - even AM screening. What is "optimized" dither?
                              Also, I wouldn't consider offset FM screening as "special" - it's simply a different algorithm than that used in inkjet (green-noise vs. blue-noise, respectively). Each one has its strengths and limitations.

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