TMCnet Feature
September 10, 2020

Emerging tech in the printing industry

Technology is advancing many industries at an incredible rate, the world’s tech capabilities are evolving exponentially and the printing industry is no different. The emergence and rise of 3D printing is a prime example of just how much things have moved forward in recent years. What was confined to specialist labs just a few years ago, can now be purchased and enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.

It's an exciting era in the world of printing and tech, with new innovations launching more frequently every year. With so much going on and being released we've decided to put together a collection of some of the most impressive emerging tech and trends affecting the industry.

Cybersecurity for printing

Ensuring connected devices are set up with robust cybersecurity measures is not a new concept. However, there have recently been real advancements in this field for printing. Many new printers come fully equipped with the latest security features, encryption software and authentication capabilities to ensure your files and the materials you're printing are safe.

Tech in relation to scanning is also another feature of ensuring devices are cyber secure. Scanners are on their way to being able to store sensitive data and ensure that information is secure. This is vital for business, as cyber crime rates continue to rise year on year, therefore cyber security in every area needs to be of an optimal standard.

Erasable printing technology

Toshiba launched the first ever printer to use erasable toner. With this kind of technology, if users spot a mistake, they simply have to feed the paper back into the printer, the copy will be deleted and the paper can be reused. This technology has the ability to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of any business using printers.

AI for printing

Multi-function printers (MFPs) have artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that are being enhanced all the time. If yours is a printing business, or a company that regularly needs to use an MFP, the advancements in AI for printing will mean you can automatically schedule print jobs.

AI is also being used to automatically catch and correct potential defects that occur during large print jobs. This helps save time and resources for businesses and was once a task that could only be caught by the human eye – often after a printing error had caused hundreds of incorrect versions of a document.

Whilst a human touch may still be needed now and again, AI is making the printing industry more and more automated as the years go by.

Voice activation

Voice technology has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, with several major tech companies investing in their own personal voice assistants, many of which you will be more than aware of either because they exist on your phone or via a home assistant.

While home assistants can control the volume of your television and connect to your lighting system and this tech is prevalent in mobile devices, other tech sectors are playing catch up. However, voice activation is emerging in printing with MFPs for commercial use almost ready to utilise this tech and smaller printers for home use not much further behind.

Whilst this could first appear as a passing fad or unnecessary addition, voice activation in an office environment can save valuable time by allowing you to multi-task and get to work on supplementary documents whilst simply speaking out loud about your printing requirements.

Advanced inkjet capabilities

While inkjet printing is clearly not an emerging trend, there are tech enhancements in the pipeline to cater for specialist documentation requirements. So, advanced customisation options and an increase in printing speeds are on the horizon.

For example, complex pieces of documentation or artwork which require several different types of ink to complete a desired finish, would have caused many in the industry a real headache a few years ago. This technology once reserved for the very elite printing companies is now becoming a mainstream placeholder, and is enabling smaller businesses to carry out a whole host of new printing services.

The option to integrate

Of course, you're capable of integrating your printer with your computer, but there have historically been limitations in this area. Being able to integrate your printer with more technologies and devices other than your computer is soon to be commonplace.

The printing industry is undergoing a transformation with modernisation at the forefront. Tech is at the centre of this shift, and there are a number of inspiring changes set to capture the imagination of the printing world. Ensure your ink cartridge is full, check your paper supply and keep your finger on the pulse of tech changes and you'll be set to embrace all the technologies that will soon become industry standard.

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