HP: Adventures in Digital Print

Ronen Zioni, HP

Ronen Zioni, HP

I recently talked with Ronen Zioni of HP at LabelExpo about their booth concept and technology showcase. HP exhibit in the 'patio' area of the show affording them a circular room and they use it to great effect to educate, inform and inspire visitors with the array of potential that HP technologies have to offer.

So what is the booth concept?

“The concept is to provide a an entry point into a conversation our stand by exposing existing and potential new customers with new market opportunities, new technology features and the versatility of applications. 

Having an area showcasing a large amount of applications top brands been producing using HP technology is a powerful experience. Then we will take them though the new developments we recently announced such as: HP Indigo fluorescent ink and new white ink applications and a whole set of ideas which were not possible to produce digitally before. 

We develop products by listening to the industry. And the industry has been asking for this, they ask, we design and what we do is coming from the market. White ink is such an example. Another example is light fastness inks and outdoor exposure capabilities of the inks. This is needed for labels that may be close to windows and therefore must absorb bright sunshine for long periods of time.

Indigo has 20 years of development behind it and it keeps on improving. The HP Indigo WS6000 had sold 500 units from intro at 2008 to 2013 and doubled the number of units only in the last two years crossing the  1000 units bar for the global installed-base, with over 600 customers in 67 countries. This proves the fact that HP Indigo technology has accelerated transformed in its market adoption by PSP’s and brands mind set moving from niche technology into becoming mainstream.

These new customers represent a mix of new customers and people who are in the market already. However the technologies are complimentary still. Brands are asking about digital now directly and bypassing their analogue converting line because they don’t always get this from their traditional supply chains."

Why has the growth been so sudden? Doubling sales in two years is very strong?

“I have to say that I think it had a lot to do, but not only due to the Coke campaign which has been an important milestone on the labels market transformation journey. At HP we even “adopted” a new industry term we refer to as: “‘Before and after Coke”. Such was the power and significance of this campaign to other brands and to our customer’s growth by serving those brands. 

This initial campaign started in Australia then it was echoed in Europe with a huge variety of languages using versioning and customisation to the max with 50 top names per country and 20 different alphabets and it really made an impact. This was in 2013 with the ‘share a coke’.

In 2014 was an extraordinary campaign with diet coke in Israel which showcased all of the colour potential HP smart stream mosaic could bring to the brand, generating endless numbers of unique designs from a relatively low number of designs, creative team feed into it. 

Our philosophy is at it always has been to help our customers to generate new business.  Dscoop is another example of a business development platform for educating our customers on new opportunities. On June 2015 in Dublin Dscoop gathered 1250 people from the industry and the next milestone is Dscoop V combing hp pre drupa, this time in Israel expecting 800 attendees from around Europe. HP is a committed partner of Dscoop as we believe in the community combined with the content are great for our customers. It's exciting to be involved in it."

So is your strategy into the future about reducing the number of trade shows that HP is present at?

"HP’s activity remains high within the market, but yes we see a future with fewer trade shows but the continued value of niche events such as InPrint which will enable us to show our focused portfolio of industrial products. InPrint is a good example of a new show that is providing new value for exhibitors and visitors and we like the level of focus and the unique profile it has in the market.

HP’s philosophy is to grow our customers businesses - yes we want to increase our install base but in a sustainable way that grows the market as opposed to saturating the market with numerous competitors who then commoditise it. So it develops at the right pace.
So how is HP responding to the growth of short run offset and hybrid technologies?

Offset is getting quicker turnaround because they simply need to react to the market demand trends and for some print volumes with analogue nature this still might be enough. However you still cannot respond to the mass customization, versioning and big data handling and printing with the analogue available technologies, like HP Smart stream mosaic for instance offers."

For Labels obviously the Indigo is a big technology – what kind of importance does HP place on inkjet?

“At HP we listen to what our customers say and what their needs are and recommend the right technology for the right job and application requirements. For labels and flexible packaging Indigo achieves outstanding quality on a huge variety of materials, which inkjet currently at least is not able to provide for these applications. Speed and quality is even with no trade-off due to the inherent technology features. Regarding inkjet  we have the speed and quality with the page wide technology that is spreading across different segments, and will be further empowered with the arrival of HP PageWide Web Presses powered by High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) in the near future.  HP indigo is a great technology flexible packaging and labels, as it allows users to get a universal quality level and colour consistency, which as a standard is required by brands across the globe."

So what can we expect to see at InPrint from HP?

"We are very enthusiastic to participate to InPrint this year! HP will showcase a variety of digitally printed case studies and applications for labels, flexible packaging, folding carton, as well as wall decoration and POS posters, enabling visitors to see recent real-life examples of how brands have used digital printing to achieve their business goals of brand loyalty, brand engagement and differentiation for fuelling growth.

At the show, HP will also be showcasing the HP Latex 360 Printer and the recently launched HP PageWide XL 8000 Printer, along with a wide range of respective applications. In addition, HP will be demonstrating Sprout, a revolutionary all-in-one computer and 3D scanner, and zVR 3D Blended Reality computing devices, along with a unique set of 3D printed samples produced using Multi Jet Fusion™ technology."