Johannesburg-based company Multiprint Litho has purchased an HP Indigo 5600 press, taking the bold step into the digital printing arena and adding value to the business.

‘After six long years of investigation we’ve finally crossed the threshold into a ‘brave new printing world’ and purchased a six-colour HP Indigo 5600 digital press from Kemtek sales director, Pierre Driver,’ said David Baker, MD and owner of Multiprint Litho. ‘Frankly, I was fairly skeptical about the true value of digital print for a long time, and convinced that I’d never find a viable platform that would match our exacting lithographic standards.’

‘However, I’m delighted with the HP Indigo 5600’s performance. It’s meeting all our expectations and the service support and technical training we’ve received from Pierre, Kemtek’s technicians and the HP Indigo international team has been tremendous,’ he said. ‘I’m mindful that the initial confrontation between digital and analogue printing is dissipating and evolving into a constructive co-existence. As a result, our entry into the digital print arena certainly doesn’t signal an exit from our core business, it’s rather Multiprint Litho’s inauguration into an exciting new print realm.

‘We’re working on exploiting our strengths in both areas to boost our market standing, offering our valued customers impartial advice on the best press for their needs at the most competitive price, as well as combining digital and lithographic print in the same job.’

Multiprint Litho’s six-colour HP Indigo 5600 delivers unmatched digital offset and photo quality with high versatility and productivity, seamlessly switching between jobs and media types from uncoated and coated papers to unique substrates such as dark, transparent, metallic, and recycled media and paperboard up to 400g/sqm for folding cartons. It also supports high-value speciality applications printed on synthetics using HP Indigo’s unique One Shot Colour printing mode.

When used in the Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), the 5600 can print colour jobs at a speed of 90 pages/min and monochrome at up to 272 pages/min. What’s more, multiple feed drawers enable continuous printing, minimising operator intervention and increasing production uptime.

‘The digital press has easily integrated with our workflow systems and, by using HP Indigo’s liquid ElectroInk technology, provides a 96% Pantone colour match in perfecting mode, plus quick job turnaround and precision finishing,’ remarks Baker. ‘It’s the only digital press in its class that prints with wet ink and produces a dot formation that simulates a litho-printed job. Just four months since installation, we’re producing exceptional quality results on par with our lithographic production; so much so that some customers can’t even tell the difference! That’s a true testament to the advanced HP Indigo technology.’   

Apart from handling various short-run full-colour printing jobs, Baker’s confident that the new digital platform can and will be used for a host of customised printing campaigns such as brand promotions, sample runs, product launches and even single book publishing.

‘According to recent studies, it’s estimated that between 2010 and 2015, data accumulation will increase by 800%,’ said Baker. ‘Printers of the future need to understand the importance of this fact and, most importantly, how data accumulation can positively influence the local market. Social networks today are creating a data explosion unprecedented in the history of mankind. With this information, printers have the ability to transfer variable data to individual consumers in an innovative and cost-effective manner. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate with print. When a new technology satisfies a major social need, a revolution is created. Therefore, we need to leverage existing offset technology with digital technology.’

‘It’s not a competition, it’s just about establishing which one offers the best application for the job,’ he added. ‘One thing’s for sure: digital print is here to stay and at Multiprint Litho we’ll continue to grow by investing in key growth areas, cutting-edge technology and equipment that enables us to offer a range of services with focus on customer satisfaction and efficiency, something that is often lacking in the marketplace. As our short-run and variable data projects begin to flourish I’m confident that further investment in a combination offset-digital press will be on the cards!’