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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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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