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printech, August, 2000
Energy use of printing processes


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From:GaryJGATF (gjonesprinting@aol.com)
Date:Tuesday, August 22, 2000 12:57 PM


Unfortunately, there is not an answer to your question regarding energy use by a traditional Vs digital press. I am not aware of any studies that have made any direct comparisons between the two types of presses. I have some data on energy consumption in general by the printing industry, which is based in part on the type of press and equipment located in a facility. In reviewing this data, it became apparent that any comparison would require that the two types of presses in question be specified. For example, is the traditional press a sheetfed offset lithographic press, heatset or nonheatset web offset, or some other type of press such as screen, flexo, or gravure? How many units or colors are on the press and does the digital press have the same number of corresponding units. In addition, what type of digital press is being used for comparison purposes? Is it a true digital press where the "plate area" is imaged with every impression or is just the plate being imaged digitally? According to the data I have, energy costs for the average printer run between 1-3% of the total cost of annual sales. This explains the overall lack of definitive data on the subject. However, of the electricity usage, press operations accounted for about 33% of total facility use with HVAC accounting for about 20%, followed by postpress, lighting, and prepress operations. Motor drives accounted for about 70% of all electricity consumed. While I know the above data does not answer your question, I hope it provides some insight. If you are able to find out the information you are seeking, I would certainly appreciate receiving a copy of it. Gary Jones Graphic Arts Technical Foundation 200 Deer Run Road Sewickley, PA 15143 412/741-6860 x608 - Phone 412/741-2311 - Fax



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