The subject of digital label printing drew about 200 graphic arts professionals to the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, NV, USA, for several days in May. The sponsor was Hewlett-Packard (HP), and the event was the HP Label & Packaging Summit. HP is the manufacturer of the Indigo digital label press.
Participants, both Indigo customers and prospects, were welcomed to the event with the opening general session where they were given a history of digital printing and some facts about both Indigo and HP. Audience members learned that the digital press market is growing. In 2005, more than 10 percent of all new narrow web label press installations were digital.
Attendees were divided into groups to sit in on a number of sessions about digital printing, and the HP Indigo presses in particular. In the session entitled “Not for Display Only”, attendees saw demonstrations with the HP Indigo ws4050 along with the Rotoflex Vericut System from Rotoflex International and the AB Graphic International Omega Digicon, both finishing machines.
In the session “How Many? How Much? How Long?” HP introduced its Label Job Estimator Tool, which is a computer application that allows users to input job specifications. The program then estimates the monetary cost and length of time the job would take on both a flexo press and a digital press. It is meant to aid converters in deciding if digital printing makes sense for them. It also can help them decide when to use the digital press most effectively.
HP introduced Esko color management for its Indigo presses in “Can I Achieve Exact Color Matching?” The color management system lets users match colors to the existing color book in the system.
During “Brand Protection & Security Printing” attendees heard about security printing issues and opportunities to increase security for label converters with digital presses. Sample counterfeits of HP products were distributed showing those in attendance how difficult it can be to distinguish genuine products from counterfeits. Attendees discussed numerous steps to take to prevent counterfeits.
In “Building the Right Foundation” attendees learned about utilizing optimized substrates and in-house coating effectively.
Lisa Contini, Synergy Sales, offered advice on how to sell digital printing to customers. In one session she asked them to look at sample products from the consumer perspective rather than as label printers. She reasoned that the different perspective would allow them to think more about how to sell business ideas rather than strictly print quality and price.
The event also included two panel discussions. The first consisted of five converters who own and operate HP Indigo digital presses. They answered audience members’ questions about their experiences with the equipment. Panel members were Maui Chai, Flexible Technologies; Randy Duhaime, Dion Label; Mike Keegan, AC Label; Elisha Tropper, Prestige Label; and Mike Young, Royal Label.
The second panel was a brand manager and consultant panel discussion where audience questions were again addressed. Panelists were Scott