HP Indigo 5500

Describe your business

Originally it was a newspaper printing business. Then we became a commercial offset printer. From there, we started to dabble in digital printing. We’re now the only A1 printer in the Northern Territory.

What have you bought?

Two HP Indigo 5500s.

What do they do?

It does everything in the digital world from variable data to short runs.

Why did you choose this product?

The thing that impressed us the most was the quality of the print that comes off it. It was just awesome. The speed was fantastic as well.

Did you consider any other products?

Definitely. We looked at the Xerox 1000 and the Kodak NexPress. We’ve always been with Xerox. I guess there were a couple of factors why we didn’t go with them. We felt the quality wasn’t as good as the Indigos and also uncertainty about the dealership in Darwin at the moment. I think with the Kodak the biggest concern with us was always what’s happening with Kodak at the moment. It’s pretty hard to commit to, especially being so remote in Darwin, and having so much uncertainty around Kodak.

What features do you like most?

The white ink was quite interesting for us. We also liked the richness of the colours to the tones and the shades. It seemed to have that little bit extra over anything else. Although they don’t have a service agent in Darwin, if you have a problem on the machine, they can log into the machine and you have a camera you can use to point out what the issues are. Touch wood it won’t happen for a long time, but when we do have that issue, hopefully we have a much better chance of fixing it there and then without having an engineer come in. That was a feature we loved.

Is there anything you wish they had?

We all loved the raised imaging of the Kodak NexPress [Dimensional Coating]. It would have been great to have that on the Indigo as well.

How fast are they?

The speed on the Indigos compared with what we had [Heidelberg SM 52] is no comparison. It’s at least twice as fast. It enables us to be a lot more productive.

How reliable are they?

We haven’t had an issue yet, so it’s been fantastic. But everything breaks down eventually.

How easy are they to use?

It’s certainly not a ‘push a green button and walk away’ machine. I think there’s a skill to running them. That’s what I do like about them. They’re more technical than some of the other machines that are on the market.

Have they saved time and money?

I think so. We wouldn’t be game to put short runs through our digital machines before – that world has definitely changed for us. Some jobs could take up to a week, but once the files are ready, we can almost get it to the customer next day.

Have they won you any new business?

I think we’ve won a little bit. We haven’t really gone out to market yet. We’ve wanted to bed it in. We’ve had many agencies tell us they don’t use us because we don’t have an Indigo. I don’t know why they only use Indigos, but I guess they know about the quality of the machine.

Were there any difficulties surrounding the install?

Not really. It all went very smoothly. They came out from Singapore, which was fairly close for us, being in Darwin.

How has the pre- and after-sales service been?

The guys at Currie Group and HP, on both sides of the fence, have been fantastic. We’ve had an engineer here just about every two weeks. We’ve had their business development people probably three or four times. So it’s been fantastic.

Who do you think these products are right for?

A lot of offset printers have these Indigos and I understand why. It’s everything from the mechanics of the machine to the quality of the press. It makes sense to printers and you can understand how it works. Indigos seem to attract offset printers more than copy bureaus.

Would you buy another one?

We’re only two months into the machine, but we’re loving them, so absolutely.

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