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Press Print unveils HP Indigo 12000

Friday, 22 September 2017
By Robyn Frampton

(L-R) Spencer Haste, Phillip Rennell (Currie Group), Kevin Stevens, Allain Pool.

Press Print’s Port Melbourne premises were buzzing last night as close to 200 people gathered at a special Open House event to celebrate the company’s latest investment, Australia’s first HP Indigo 12000 digital press, installed in June by Currie Group.

The Open House event introduced the company’s creative and corporate clients to HP’s new flagship B2 press in action and, for some, was also the first opportunity to witness the mix of production technologies Press Print employs to create its unique, high-end print solutions.

Founded in 2010 by Kevin Stevens, Press Print has already built an enviable reputation for the kind of creative and highly customised print and finishing which most printers would put firmly in the ‘too hard’ basket. Now in its fourth up-sized premises, and with some 16 staff and two additional partners – Allain Pool joined Kevin in March 2011 and Spencer Hast followed in September 2013 – the company achieves these results by utilising a range of contemporary and traditional technologies, all on show last night.

Phillip Rennell, Director of Sales & Marketing at Currie Group, said Press Print’s dramatic growth rate came as no surprise, given their dedication to innovative printed solutions.

“We’re really impressed with Press Print’s ability to make use of all the colours available on the HP Indigo 12000, especially combining the use of White Ink to make absolutely stand-out printed material for their clients,” he commented, looking at the print samples on show. “Tonight’s turnout is a testament to how much their customers benefit from the innovation and attention they get from Press Print – they really demonstrate their commitment to create with heart and craft by hand.”

The new HP Indigo 12000 was undoubtedly the star of last night’s show, demonstrating in action the kind of flexibility and performance rarely seen in the digital print space. With a sheet size of 750 x 530mm and the ability to handle a wide range of substrates, it’s capable of a huge variety of work, from posters and folders, to oversized books and catalogues, and even canvas wall art, all with digital’s ability to customise and personalise. Moreover, the quality is remarkable, thanks to HP’s IndiChrome Plus which combines CMYK with orange, violet and green for exceptional colour accuracy, and output resolution of up to the HDI equivalent of 2438 x 2438dpi.

While that quality is important for Press Print, Kevin says it’s the flexibility of the Indigo 12000 which really sold them on the investment. “With a lot of digital presses, the stock selection is very limited, and for a business like ours that specialises in unique and creative work, that can be a real problem,” he acknowledges.

“Fortunately, HP is leading the market in this regard, with in-line priming on the Indigo 12000 allowing us to still print on virtually anything we want, and do it up to the B2 size. We’re so delighted with the results that we’re retro-fitting the new in-line priming to the HP Indigo 7800 as well.”

After a short welcome last night from Spencer, HP’s BDM Jason Beckley, invited guests to ‘feel the heartbeat of the industry’ – and that’s exactly what they did.

The Indigo 12000 was run in full production mode alongside its smaller brother, an HP Indigo 7800, and the latest Mimaki JFX 200-2513 flatbed digital wide-format press (it’s stablemate, the roll-to-roll JV 400-160 LX model, wasn’t required for the Open House jobs).

Just metres away, visitors were able to see the jobs progress through various finishing and embellishment stages – trimming, folding, foiling and forme cutting – giving many the opportunity to see processes they’d never before witnessed, thanks to the company’s unique blend of technologies which span well over a century. Alongside guillotines, a saddle stitcher and PUR binding line, three original Heidelberg platens – each marked with the year of manufacture and the proud ‘Original Heidelberg’ plate – and a newer YAWA machine, all used for foil stamping and embossing, sit alongside the mammoth jaws of a Lyon Platen ‘clam shell’ forme cutting press and, nearby, a Singer sewing machine for hand-sewn finishing.

While only the platens and the clam shell were in operation last night, Press Print’s top-class crafts people – rare commodities themselves, these days – regularly employ all these classics to add embellishments and finishing touches which are almost extinct in today’s push-button age.

“We’ve always tried to be ‘more than just a printer,” Allainexplains. “Our point of difference is to do what other printers can’t – the unusual and remarkable jobs which challenge us, showcase the tactile, personal and physical impact that print can provide, and provide real cut-through and effectiveness for our clients.”

Those clients – largely creatives like agencies, design houses and high-end corporates – have grown into the company’s most enthusiastic advocates; so much so that the company has never needed to employ sales reps, as it is constantly flat out keeping up with ‘word of mouth’ demand.

That enthusiasm was evident from the reactions in the crowd last night, as they closely followed the ‘real time’ production, with many commenting on its advantages for their businesses.

Matt Osborne and Bonnie Eichelberger, both Designers and Printers from The Hungry Workshop, impressed with the versatility of the new machine, said the new HP Indigo 12000 had allowed them to explore more crative possibilities and offer more choice to their clients, while Heather-Rain O’Neill, Production Manager at Melcorp Real Estate said the ability to produce top quality and accurate colour for the company’s quick-turnaround, short run brochures, was ‘perfect’.

Tom Shanahan, Director at Confetti, said the quality was impressive while the larger sheet capacity means his jobs are more cost-effective, without sacrificing quality. “The ability to print white is a nice surprise, too,” he added.

For the directors, it was a welcome opportunity to show off the expanded capabilities to their most important audience – their clients.

“Many of the people here tonight are long-term clients, so they’re already familiar with what we do, but it was great to be able to show them how it’s done and to introduce them to the new Indigo,” Kevin said as the crowds began to thin out later in the evening.

“We’re very keen for our clients to ‘think big’ and really push the boundaries. Even before tonight, the reaction has been pretty phenomenal and we have been starting to see jobs come in that have been designed specifically with the new digital press in mind.

“I think this Open House really helped people to get their heads around how they can use the expanded potential it offers and, if the level of excitement we’ve seen tonight is anything to go by, I’d expect to see many more clients making the most of that opportunity in future.”

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