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What are the strengths of digital printing?
A digital printing press can take the digital files from your computer and go right to print. In the case of book text type, it's hard to tell the difference between the different types of equipment. The main difference comes in the reproduction of halftones (pictures).
- The Xerox product looks like a "Xerox" copy (because it is). While many people are getting used to the "toner" look, most still consider it an inferior product compared to offset printing.
- The Océ Professional System offers "Copy-Press Technology" (which is a cross between the offset printing process and the copying process). Although this relatively new process utilizes toner rather than ink, the toner does not sit on top of the paper as it does in the copying process. The toner is "pressed" or absorbed into the paper much like the offset printing press does with ink. The end result of this process is a black image quality similar to offset. When halftones and screen tints are reproduced, the quality is generally closer to that of offset although the line screens should not exceed 120 lines per inch.
- The Scitex process is different in another way. While it is a digital press printer, it uses ink and not toner in manufacturing books. There is a distinct difference in appearance of halftones printed on the Scitex vs. those done on the Xerox or Océ, it's debatable whether it's any closer to offset halftone reproduction.
*Océ does cost a little bit more than other digital book printer processes.