The worldwide and regional heads of HP Indigo are in Sydney for PrintEx19 and are relishing the opportunity to meet with Australian customers who they have commended for being up front about saying what they think when it comes to technology and what they want from it.
Customer feedback forms a huge part of how HP Indigo builds the framework for its future technology and innovation plans and is used by its team of over 1,000 research and development specialists in Israel to keep the new ideas coming with the latest result of that being the release of the HP Indigo 12000HD Digital Press which was launched last year but is having its first public showing in Australia at PrintEx.
Alon Bar-Shany, general manager at HP Indigo Worldwide, said the loudest piece of feedback that has come from Australian customers is the high price of labour in this country which in turn drives the need for increased automation.
“Labour costs are killing them so automation is top of mind,” Bar-Shany told Sprinter.
“Offset commodity printing is going down 10 per cent a year with massive over capacity so (they are also saying) help us come out with new ideas beyond just competing at the bottom of the pool. Environmental considerations are becoming important and security is another big one with counterfeiting in China they want to make sure they are buying the real thing and not a fake off the website.
“Packaging is a big growth area which unlike offset is having very good growth.”
Oran Sokal, director and general manager, HP Indigo APJ said the direct approach of Australian customers, who also love to be early adopters of technology, is appreciated.
“We love Printex and PacPrint. If we focus on our Australian customers they are always quite direct and open and not afraid to share their thoughts,” Sokal told Sprinter.
“But you appreciate that because they are not afraid to say where they want the product to go, what’s working well and what’s not working well.”
The HP Indigo 12000HD Digital Press, which is being demonstrated on the Currie Group stand at PrintEx, takes its predecessor the HP Indigo 12000 Digital Press one step further by adding the high definition component which has doubled resolution further enhancing the high quality photographic imagery that can be produced on the press. It also means further enhanced security anti-counterfeiting printing can be made to ensure customers are getting the real deal.
The high definition feature can also be retrofitted to the Indigo 12000 model. The ability to personalise print and segment offerings into more broader groupings is also a big advantage of the digital technology. It also supports the growing need for on-demand products and lower run lengths in book publishing.
“There is a perfect storm because our technology continues to evolve and the break even point goes from 500, 1000 to 2000 and then on the other side you have the other direction happening where the consumers and their demands are changing and publishing is a good example because today there are more books then ever, not less books, it’s just that the run length of those books is much shorter so you don’t have 100,000 copies of that book so you are having 10,000 or 5,000 and this brings it closer to the sweet spot where digital can provide the added value,” Sokal said.
“We are not out there to replace conventional printing but it could be at some time that it will reach a tipping point where that will naturally happen.”
So what’s next for HP Indigo?
Bar-Shany was not giving much away on that front but did say more news will come as drupa 2020 approaches.
“We never talk about things that aren’t real and whatever we talk about is real,” Bar-Shany said.
“If you go back to drupa 2016 and 2012 you look at the product announcements, all the hypes, many companies big and small we are still waiting for the product to come and for us every single thing you saw on our booth in 2016 has been sold in large quantities and we have a lot of new capabilities that weren’t even at drupa 2016.
“We don’t have the need to say this is the latest and greatest and then it only takes four years but by drupa we will give a little bit more clarity.”
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