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Is digital printing replacing gravure printing?

How new technologies and services are conquering the decor market

E-mail vs. letter. Uber vs. taxi. Airbnb vs. hotels. Digital printing vs. gravure printing. Whenever new digital innovations enter the market, one question arises: does this make the tried and tested a thing of the past? Most of the time the answer is: no. The new expands the possibilities and complements the existing - if it is used in a sensible manner. With its new Digital Services & Solutions, Interprint proves how digital printing opens up attractive perspectives for many customers. Everyone of them can benefit from the advantages of digital printing without any effort on their part.

Whether gravure or digital printing - both processes are about putting colour onto paper. Digital printing complements gravure printing, especially in terms of printing speed and thus volume business. On the other hand, digital printing scores with more flexibility - and will become more and more widespread, especially for smaller quantities. But getting started means passing over hurdles. Interprint can tell you a thing or two about that!

A lot of experience through trial and error

As one of the world's leading decor printers and as part of the Japanese Toppan Group, Interprint has been deeply involved in digital printing for the last 10 years. And as a pioneer, it has gathered numerous experiences - both positive and negative. It has to be said that digital printing is complex and the technology needs to be mastered safely in order to inspire quality in the long term. The perfect interplay of colour management, standardization, ink and primer selection, impregnation, print heads and, last but not least, reliable data handling requires a lot of skills, a lot of time and many tests. The decor printers in Arnsberg have perfected industrial digital printing - and know how to get the best results from their machines.

Digital printing as an attractive service model

Interprint has developed a business model from digital printing, so that customers do not have to go the tedious and costly route: DaaS - Digital Printing as a Service. Using leased in-house proofing equipment on site at the customer's, a decor design can be directly evaluated - with an identical colour system and on the original decor paper. The data is then uploaded to a virtual design library in the cloud. Printing orders are placed in the web-based planning tool in real time, where all deadlines can be viewed. Further services such as advice regarding materials or patents are also part of the service portfolio.

"Our customers receive an unparalleled service, from faster development of new products and designs through to unprecedented transparency, to a unique print quality," explained Robert Bierfreund, Interprint Technical Officer/COO, at the Surface in Motion conference in November 2021. So digital printing is not pushing gravure printing aside. However, as a technology, integrated in the very much promising Interprint service model, it does offers exciting opportunities. We will certainly hear - and see - a lot more about digital printing from Arnsberg. 

  • Robert Bierfreund and Lukasz Witjes at the Surface in Motion conference in November 2021.