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Sustainability of Printing Techniques: Potentials and Incomparable Aspects

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CEWE uses digital printing and photographic techniques to produce photos, CEWE PHOTOBOOKS and further highly valued photo products. Whereas advantages in quality, efficiency and minimum cost of ownership are well communicated, the full picture on the sustainability aspects of a printing technology is learned during operation. Only recently have sustainability aspects been addressed more prominently by printing technology providers, often for the purpose of gaining competitive advantage.

This paper concentrates on sustainability aspects of printing techniques from the point of view of a print service provider (PSP) and displays data measured by CEWE. Each printing technique we regard offers potentials to improve. The complexity of the evaluation is further increased by the product properties, which puts certain sustainability aspects into perspective. So for instance recyclability plays a more important role for an advertising mail than for a personalized photo book.

Thus, sustainability is not seen as an absolute measure but means to assume responsibility for the whole life cycle of products overcoming the boundaries of companies and the limitations to single aspects like carbon footprint or water footprint.

Open and transparent communication of sustainability aspects is the silver bullet for continuous improvement. Eager competitiveness and advertising of single advantages by ignoring the whole picture is obstructive and does not help to continuously improve sustainability of printed products.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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