Roll-fed production digital print devices are high-speed monochrome and color printers whose paper is supplied in rolls rather than sheets. (You may hear roll-fed devices described as 'continuous-feed'.) Roll-fed devices are often used for high-volume transaction, direct mail, book, manual, and other publishing and promotional applications. Knowing the capabilities of the roll-fed class of devices will help you to make the right choice for your needs.
Choosing a Roll-Fed Production Digital Device
In comparing roll-fed production digital devices InfoTrends looks at a range of factors including:
Print engine factors - These include speed, duty cycle (i.e., the maximum monthly A4/letter throughput capacity), the supported papers and other substrates, and the physical aspects of the device (its size and weight).
Format - Many roll-fed production devices support maximum formats of 20 inches in width but there is a trend toward expanding format size and this is increasing the range of format to 30 inches and beyond for some devices.
Resolution - The spatial and tonal resolution refer to a devices ability to make marks on the page. While these factors contribute to the perceived quality level, others such as gloss, halftoning, the ability to produce smooth solids ad tints and the type of substrate will ultimately contribute as much or more
Support for more than four colors - Some color devices have the ability to print a fifth, sixth, or even seventh color in addition to the typical cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Such capabilities include clear coats, dimensional, spot colors, Pantone matches, extended color gamut, and MICR.
Front end and feeding & finishing - The print engine does not operate in a vacuum and so the options offered by front end systems as well as feeding & finishing units are very important factors that determine a device's capability.
These factors, and many others, all play an important role in finding the most suitable device for the print applications produced by your site.