Ink-jet printing does not require stencils; it achieves cost-effective printing for a much smaller print run than does conventional screen printing. Table 7.5 compares costs of ink-jet printing to conventional screen printing. Figure 7.18 shows the production cost (variable cost) per square meter depending on the production volume. As shown below, 1200 m2 or less is a rough standard below which ink-jet printing is more economic.
Actually, extinguishing of facilities, cost of washing stencils, number of production staff, etc., also affect the curve chart of cost and favour ink-jet over screen printing. As the cost of ink accounts for a high proportion of ink-jet printing cost, to reduce this ink cost is the key to wider adoption of ink-jet printing.
Cost of inks and color pastes: €150–222 per kg €1.48–2.22 per kg
Volume of inks and color pastes: 20g/m2 100 g/m2
Cost of pre-treatment: Required
< €100 per m2: Not required
Stencil Not required: Required