From the perspective of digital printing market development, digital printing has entered the second phase of development, namely the "vigorous development" stage. In summary, the first phase of the development of digital printing can be defined as the "running-in" stage, while the reason why digital printing is able to enter the second phase of development is mainly based on changes in market demand and a certain degree of technical accumulation.
With the popularization and promotion of the internet economy, market demand has shifted from early-stage auxiliary needs that could only satisfy "personalization and customization" to the main needs of "guiding market trends and leading development direction".
It can be seen that with the further development of the internet economy, digital printing is likely to accelerate to the third phase of development, namely the "leading trend" stage.
From the perspective of the evolution of digital printing technology, digital printing is currently in the "technical accumulation" stage. With the technological breakthrough in basic materials, both EP imaging and Inkjet imaging methods are exploring the correct direction for technological breakthrough.
As far as digital printing itself is concerned, the key breakthrough directions are the improvement of data processing speed (reasonable and efficient) and printing accuracy, while the key breakthrough direction in the whole printing process is the integration ability with upstream and downstream processes.
In the future, the ultimate development direction of printing will be the integration of the whole printing process of the printing machine, to meet the market demand for print quality and perfect on-demand printing process.
To solve the technical bottleneck of digital printing, breakthroughs should be made in fundamental sciences such as higher precision and higher frequency nozzles, materials with greater adaptability, ink with lower cost, optimized RIP software and servers, etc.
We believe that only by making breakthroughs in these fundamental sciences can digital printing achieve fundamental breakthroughs, and before that, digital printing can only be in the "technical accumulation" stage.
With the change of market demand and the continuous accumulation of digital printing technology, digital printing linking technology has also made substantial progress. Currently, there are two common digital printing linking processes on the market: one is to add a digital printing unit to traditional printing machine equipment to achieve partial digital printing functions; the other is to add traditional printing units to digital printing equipment to supplement the shortcomings of digital printing and the integrity of the process.
In response to these two digital printing linking processes, the second method is relatively more promising, because it can not only maintain the integrity of digital printing, but also cover the compatibility of the entire printing process. The implementation can be digital printing plus traditional printing after or digital printing followed by digital printing. Of course, objectively speaking, the two linking processes have their own characteristics based on different market demands, and if managed properly, both can achieve flexible and versatile process flows.
Currently, many people in the market are advocating the digital printing followed by digital printing linking process, and even compare digital printing and digital printing after as the "two wings" of an airplane. In our view, if digital printing and digital printing after are the "two wings" of an airplane, then this airplane must be a "short-haul" one.
We believe that in order to fully unleash the capabilities of digital printing, firstly, it is possible not to use a linking approach in order to ensure that each can release the best production capacity; secondly, print after linking can be either digital or traditional, after all, there are many irreplaceable aspects of traditional post-printing process maturity and stability. Only in this way can this airplane become a "medium-haul" or "long-haul" airplane.