Digital Paper Pitfalls
Berryville keeps its two Xerox DocuTech 6180 digital presses running three shifts a day, printing and binding 1,200 to 1,500 books daily.
"If you have to keep changing the material, you can't make enough books to make enough money," McClurken says.
For publishers who need a better grade of paper, a minimum order of 200 units or so will do it. Stick with the standard paper, and publishers can produce one book at a time.
Vendors of digital presses aren't sitting still. Like PCs, telephones, and other digital techs, each new digital press is faster, cheaper, and better than the previous generation.
The next round of digital presses will let publishers do more with two-up and four-up printing, according to officials at Canon Inc., in Lake Success, N.Y. Xerox officials are promising "significant product expansion" in the company's coated paper used in specialty media for color printing.
And IBM executives say they anticipate more use of color among their customers, as well as press technology upgrades to "improve efficiency and drive down the cost of book production."
Industry analysts say it will soon become commonplace for binding machines to be integrated with digital presses, providing an all-in-one solution for the entire book production process. But at the center of it all will remain the paper.
- Charlotte Dunlap