There are a variety of book printing presses that can be utilized by a book printer and the question as to which printing press is answered by the nature of the specifications you require for the printing of books. The main thing you will need to appreciate is that you pick the right printing press for book printing as that is paramount. What you also should know is that if you pick the incorrect one it may drive up your cost to print a book and even affect the quality of it.
Docutech Digital Press:
This press can be ideal for printing books up to 2,000 copies if your size is up to 5.25 x 8.25” or 1,000 copies if your size is larger and up to 8.25 x 10.75”. This press can collate as it outputs which helps keeping the cost to print down as it does not have to be collated after the fact. Be sure that the printing press utilized by the book printer is in fact a Docutech and not a copy machine as the quality will be less if it is a copier.
iGen or Canon imagePRESS:
When printing on a digital book printing press such as the Docutech for the text pages, the covers must be done on a color press, which the Docutech is not. This press is cost effective and fit right in with the printing quantities of the Docutech as well as offering advantages that older digital printing presses did not: They can print on gloss cover stock and up to 14 point thickness, where the Docucolor could only print to 10 point and not on coated stock. Another advantage with a book printer using the iGen or Canon is that these machines can allow you to either laminate or UV coat the covers as well. Needless to say the quality is far superior to the Docucolor and hard to tell from book printing on an ink press.
Sheet Fed Offset Printing:
It only pays to utilize sheet fed offset presses when the page count is low and the volume is more than efficient on a digital printing press. I would venture to say that it is a small volume gap between the digital and web press between maybe 2-5,000 with no more than about 64 pages plus cover. It further goes to point that your interests are best served with a 40” press as that allows the book printer to print 16 page signatures on one form.
Web Offset Printing:
Web printing can be cost effective starting at as little as 1,000 books depending on the page count and size of the book. Web offset printing offers you high speed and lower cost paper as the stock comes on large rolls. However the start up costs for a web printer is far more, upwards of 30% of the job than the smaller book printing presses. Covers would usually be produced on the sheet fed press as they generally would be too thick and possibly depending on quantity, too low a run for web printing.
These are your press choices for when you want to print a book and it is important to understand them based on your receiving the best price possible from your book printer.
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