A vision for HP Indigo

This article was first published in the July 2021 issue of Australian Printer

In August 2020, Arnon Goldman was promoted from business manager in HP’s Industrial Graphic Solutions Business in Asia-Pacific, to become the division’s APJ general manager. Together with his A/NZ counterpart, Craig Walmsley, the duo provided AP with insight into their vision for HP Indigo in 2021 and beyond post-drupa, and the role HP Indigo is playing in advancing printing innovations.

Q: Arnon, what was your career progression and how did you end up as the APJ general manager of HP’s Industrial Graphic Solutions Business?

Arnon Goldman (AG): I joined HP about 12 years ago, after changing my career path completely. It was a significant change, as I was initially managing R&D in the aerospace industry. When I pursued an education in business school in Singapore, I fell in love with the diversity in Asia and wanted to be in this region. Not long after, I was offered a job in HP. I worked in the company across different roles in my tenure and got exposure to the entire region. About ten months ago, I was given the opportunity to lead in the region with my appointment as APJ general manager for HP Industrial Graphic Solutions Business.

Q: Having been in the company for a number of years, what are some of the key trends that you’ve noticed in this space?

AG: It’s very apparent that we’re seeing more shorter runs in the market, along with other trends in the broader industry that influences the printing business – for example, e-Commerce. If you look at the last 10 years, they have been the biggest in the history of e-Commerce. We saw great models working for customers that innovated, and with those who did things differently compared to how they were done before.

Customers are also expecting shorter turnaround times, so print businesses need to adopt innovation. To me, the combination of the adoption of digital print, the increased expectations of print buyers, and the growth of e-Commerce and personalisation creates a space where digital printers can play well in, which also correlates to what we offer the market.   

Craig Walmsley (CW): From a local perspective, the clients that have pivoted and diversified have been able to navigate well through COVID-19. HP Indigo technology has always been a pillar for their success as it allows for both commodity work and high value applications.

Q: What is HP’s vision for its Indigo technology?

AG: We have very focused pillars for HP Indigo. The first of it is building on a base of high quality and productivity. The next is versatility. Our development direction is like a cube, and we try and stretch the envelope around it.

For example, our 100K model is more productive than the Series 4. Our future Series 6 will be significantly more productive than its predecessors. We aim to keep moving in this trajectory, extending the range of substrates and applications for the HP Indigo. This is especially the case as we are currently living in a world of change.

The new series machines are able to output more pages per minute at great speeds. This sets the base for productivity. On top of that, if you add newer technologies like inspection technologies, automation and photometers, the limits of what you can achieve are endless.

Presses are also a huge investment, and we want it to be able to last for our customers for a number of years. Creating machines that are resilient and versatile are very important for us at HP and that would enable us to serve a wider range of customers. One such example is our entry into the security space with a unique offering. That has given us, as a business, a significant edge over other players in the industry.

CW: The HP Indigo technology allows our customers to say ‘yes’ more often, whether it be a security application, data-driven application or a unique creative piece.

You can use the technology in a variety of different ways. When you add value-add to the printed piece, you’ve created something unique that your competitors or electronic communicators can’t match. This is where a lot of our clients are utilising the uniqueness of HP Indigo technology.

Q: What is a local example where a customer pivoted its business by using HP Indigo?   

CW: We have clients that did very traditional commercial work and were very strong in that space. When COVID hit, that work came to a grinding halt. In response, they had to maneuver and identify how to produce high value applications.

To match market changes, they utilised features like security to create different communications and applications. They created applications like face masks, security features, and moved to shorter runs with higher variability. This meant that there was more personalisation in the documentation.   

Q: What is HP Indigo’s role in advancing printing innovation?

AG: We always look at ourselves as a key player in broadening innovation for the entire industry, not just for our piece of it. The industry is going through a time of revolution, which we’re experiencing as an evolution. And we, at HP, always want to place ourselves at the front of it. We want to introduce more capabilities and possibilities.

But when it comes to production capabilities, the industry always has a dilemma if they should continually invest in the latest and greatest or buy something that can print and last for a good number of years. How we try and combine these two is by creating presses that are built to last and by enabling upgrades for previous generation presses.

We, as manufacturers, need to open up doors to create possibilities, and ones that are relevant to the needs of the market. Our role is to also work with our customers to develop applications that take advantage of technologies. For example, we have 32 inks, which is great, but we need to know what to use them for. There needs to be education around it – like security inks being used for specific applications and using other inks for heat transfers on fabric or on face masks.  

CW: Our local partner Currie Group has been leading the charge for HP Indigo in the region over our 20-years. We have a close relationship between the HP local team and our channel partner, Currie Group. Through Currie’s modernization program they are developing new educational sessions to develop and challenge the market on what can be achieved with the printed piece utilising HP Indigo platform.

In addition, the Dscoop community, which is a HP Indigo user group with over 25,000 members worldwide, provides education and support to its members through a variety of channels, recently the DSCOOP fusion event was held over four days.

The applications that the that HP Indigo can produce is extraordinarily wide – so each press is across a number of verticals. This means that any of our clients with a HP Indigo press can also enter other areas of the market that they have not traditionally been in to expand their business. An example is moving into security with invisible inks or into the packaging space by utilising the recently upgraded and released thick stock kit.

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