15 years of VaryPress
Long before digital color printing made its mark, several competing non-impact monochrome and spot color technologies were establishing the print-on-demand concept. Loosely termed “laser printing”, it included the magnetographic process. Developed in France by Bull Computer during the early 1980s, it recorded an electronic magnetic image onto a hard metal drum and transferred the variable data under pressure to a wide range of substrates.
Eventually the patents passed to Nipson Digital Printing Systems, based in Belfort, near the Swiss border. This year the French company celebrates the 15th anniversary of the VaryPress. Users of this high speed electronic press include printers of direct mail, business forms and security items, as well as roll, sheeted or folded electronic data labels for industry and commerce.
The first model was installed by Wallace in 1991. Since then Moore Wallace and R.R. Donnelley have added more than 20 Nipson units in their plants across the US. The VaryPress with serial No. 1 is still in operation, producing forms and labels. Transcontinental Inc., said to be the seventh largest printer in the North American market, recently installed six VaryPress 200s at its direct mail plant in Philadelphia.