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World Bank looks to the future of digital

Published on July 29, 2011

Jane Bloodworth Manager of Printing Graphics and Map Design with The World Bank shares her views on the future transition to digital and the battle of toner versus inkjet.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I’m here with Jane Bloodworth who is Manager of Printing, Graphics and Map Design at The World Bank.  You’ve had quite a bit of experience over the 15 years, I guess, you’ve been at the World Bank in terms of bringing new technology into the operation.  Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about what you seen happening in the future, particularly as it relates to the transition from offset to digital.  

Jane Bloodworth:  It’s interesting because that’s one of the things that actually sort of led me to the show.  We’ve historically run both offset and digital and had a pretty blended operation.  We use them to mix short runs with long runs and offset covers or digital output.  So it’s been a real blend of things.  And one of the things that’s still sitting outside that we send outside to be printed are a lot of the publications.  And what we know about those today is that the printers that do those externally are doing them on 40 inch offset presses typically, and folding them down and binding them.  So as we started to look at it, the other thing we know about those publications is the run lengths are coming down.  So we’re actually looking at a digital solution to try to print those publications rather than offset.  We’ll still run offset.  I have a Press Tech DI, which is a new technology, but we find that for many of the things that we do as those run lengths get shorter and shorter is that the digital is really a good solution, and it allows us to do some variations and some variability within those print runs as well.  

Cary:  So, you have the digital offset in the form of the Press Tech DI for static short runs, high quality.  

Jane:  Correct.  

Cary:  And in terms of toner versus inkjet, how do you see that sort of playing out?  

Jane:  Well, that’s an interesting question and I think that the inkjet technology is really taking off.  We do a lot of work of the book work that we do is on matt coated stock, so I’m really interested in seeing how the different technology operate in conjunction with matt coated papers and what the pricing of those papers becomes.  Because it’s… you don’t just go out and buy your off the shelf matt coated stocks.  There has to be some work done in that area yet.  So, I’m really interested to see how that’s gonna fall out as they move forward.  

Cary:  And what about the ink pricing.  So ink versus toner kind of thing, is there a differentiating there?  

Jane:  Well, I’m not so familiar with that.  I am seeing what they’re telling me is the inkjet will be less expensive, but when you offset that against the paper costs, I’m not really sure how that’s gonna wash out yet.  

Cary:  Maybe it’ll be a wash.  So we have to… so we had the inkjet **** in 2008 and the story’s not done yet.  

Jane:  It’s not done yet.  

Cary:  Okay, thanks.  

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Discussion

By HENRY HUNT on Jul 29, 2011

World Bank, like the United Nations, are trying to find their way in the digital world of printing. Examples: UNHQ is in transition, like many UN bodies, to elimate all together static black and white official document printing in favor of PDF and as such, UNHQ and several UN bodies are saving on printing and distribution costs. United Nations regional HQ in Nairobi (UNON) embraced Di technology in 2004 with Heidelberg Di and has since moved on to HP Indigo to cope with short run publications. If the Press Tech shoe fits for WB good to hear as it's a great way to have CTP on the press. UN in Geneva and Vienna have been either all digital or mostly digital for more than a decade running Oce and Xeikon devices while ILO, also in Geneva, has been full digital printing using Oce and iGens for some years now. At a recent annual meeting in Rome, (IAMLADP), where both UN bodies and World Bank attended, focus groups concentrated on paper-lite, and paperless meetings while in the plenary sessions there were presentations on the need to migrate to Tablet Computers and the production of purely digital publications using products such as WoodWing Enterprise and its Digital Magazine in conjunction with Adobe CS5 and XML. World Bank, like the UN in-house publishing sections, are all heading towards the realities of the day, less print, digital print where it applies, and embracing tablet devices. Several of us managers of such in-house operations, like ours in Kenya, have moved with the trends due to trade shows like Graph Expo, DRUPA, IPEX and On-Demand, to name a few, and as well as viewing great dedicated sites like What They Think. Thanks Cary and Jane for the story and keep up the migration to effective print and digital embracement.

 

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