What do these sentences have in common?
• If the job is under 20,000 impressions, it should never go on a web press.
• Always allow for at least 5000 waste copies on a web press.
• Web presses are complicated to run.
• Print quality is much lower on a web press as compared to sheetfed.
• The automobile will never replace the horse and buggy for transportation.
What do they have in common? They are all FALSE!
Web presses today are in my opinion the most efficient printing press you can run (ok, I’ll admit it; I’m a web guy and slightly biased). It’s true that when it comes to highly specialized printing, sheetfed still rules, but when short run production is needed; it’s hard to beat a web. Old school, old presses and old technology were the reasons that webs had the reputation of being only for longer runs. But with today’s technology, printers are profitable printing a job with web presses at well below 5,000 impressions. Further, start up waste is much closer to 1,000 impressions (usually below) each and every day.
So why is a web that efficient at short runs? First, if you’re running into the folder, you skip at least 1 post press step–folding. In many cases the product coming off the folder is finished with the addition of some simple finishing equipment. How much time and money does that save you? Looking at it from the other side, you have a very long run sheetfed job that runs at 15,000 iph. Now imagine running your web at 50,000 iph into a sheeter. That’s real productivity! I’m not saying a web press is the perfect choice for any run, but the versatility and efficiency of today’s webs will certainly give sheetfed a run for their money.
What else makes a web so efficient? Excellent pre-sets, closed loop color systems, fully automatic plate loading and the advantages of running web stock verses sheeted.
Next time you’re thinking about a new printing press; don’t rule web presses out just because you think your runs are too short. Give us a call and we can work together to prepare an analysis to examine just what press is best to maximize your productivity.