After Three Long Years, HP Indigo Holds Its Global VIP Event
It's been three long years since HP Indigo last held its Global VIP Event. As attendees filtered into the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv for the first night of the 2022 event, with the words "Better Together" emblazoned on the big screen, the energy was palpable.
On May 23, Noam Zilbershtain, GM, HP Indigo, welcomed everyone to Israel and set the stage for the next two-and-a-half days of education, innovation, and new technology. He explained that, despite the difficulty of the past two years, including supply chain challenges, labor shortages, and increasing material prices, HP Indigo experienced double-digit growth in 2021, marking its best year to date.
While reviewing HP Indigo's portfolio of devices, including the new HP Indigo V12 digital narrow web label press, he said the company is selling everything that it can produce. Ending on that high note, Zilbershtain introduced Keren Yakolev, head of product, strategy and business development, HP Indigo, to discuss global market trends and what is new in the HP Indigo portfolio.
One of the biggest themes throughout the entire event was the power of brands and their relationship to print and digital media. One growing trend Yakolev cited was that digitally native brands are growing at a rate three times faster than the average e-commerce retailer.
"If we were talking in the past about e-commerce, we see that what took 10 years to grow 10%, when COVID-19 hit, it took eight weeks to grow another 10%," she said.
One of the byproducts of this exponential growth is a rise in direct mail, an ideal application for digital printing technology. Yakolev shared that direct mail is shown to be nine times more effective than digital marketing. In fact, 80% of direct mail is opened, versus only 20% of emails.
"Many of our customers are doing direct mail," she said. "People are looking for new ways to engage and how they can do direct mail in a different way to give the brand something different ... I believe HP Indigo customers of today are really enabling the brands to change the way they engage with customers and innovate."
Yakolev then paved the way for the upcoming facility visits that took place on May 24, highlighting some of the innovation that attendees would be able to see, including the HP Indigo V12.
Innovation Live and In Action
One of the most anticipated segments during the event was the HP Indigo facility tours in Ness Ziona and Kiryat Gat. Bright and early on May 24, attendees filed onto the buses headed toward the two campuses, eager to see live demos of the HP Indigo V12, and HP Indigo 6K and HP Indigo 8K digital presses, as well as the opportunity to see real-time press assembly and plentiful print samples.
When attendees reached the HP Indigo V12, Eli Mahal, head of global L&P product, HP Indigo, spoke over the whirring of the press, giving a detailed look at the new device.
"The shift from conventional into digital in job run lengths of about two kilometers to seven kilometers is probably the sweet spot of the V12," Mahal explained. "The goal is not to replace the existing digital presses." The V12, he noted, would be a complement to existing digital printing workflows. The device, which is capable of 400 linear feet per minute with 12 on-press ink stations and 1,600 dpi at max. speed, will be going to beta in Q4 of this year.
Another innovation explored during the event was the Automatic Pallet Replacement (APR) option for the HP Indigo 100K. The technology, which can be a retrofit, allows for continuous printing with non-stop stacking and auto-ejection of finished stacks. Nimrod Cohen, head of product, commercial print, HP Indigo, explained that the technology could potentially add two shifts per month of efficient time, meaning 14 hours saved.
Cohen further explored some of the most recent innovations, including the new scratch-off ink capabilities on the HP Indigo 7K. HP Indigo ElectroInk is the only digital scratch-off solution on the market, eliminating the need for an additional embellishment process in production.
Following a day of facility visits, attendees got to look forward to another day of innovation, education, and lively discussion. But it was evident after the first full day of HP Indigo programming that attendees were eager to learn about the technology and have in-depth conversations about its capabilities. In a conversation with Yakolev, she explained that although it's been a long three years that have been full of changes, innovation, and new people, the enthusiasm for HP Indigo technology hasn't waned.
"The enthusiasm and the Indigo culture and spirit is so strong and energetic that we really managed to grow," she said. "It wasn't easy. We are based on events and being face-to-face with our customers and suddenly everything was on Zoom, which is much less inspiring. I think we only grow from this experience and I'm optimistic."