Driven by dynamic page growth as well as strong sales in the Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, the division experienced continued success as it extended the reach of digital printing and publishing platforms across a number of segments, including HP Indigo's core marketing collateral market and fast-growing segments such as photo merchandise printing, book publishing, labels and packaging and direct mail.
HP Indigo page growth worldwide increased 45 per cent overall from 2006 to 2007, with fourth-quarter page growth growing by 46 per cent year over year. HP also completed a successful launch of its flagship HP Indigo press 5500 in 2007 in addition to providing field upgrades of new productivity-enhancing technologies to many of its existing users.
"A significant part of HP's Print 2.0 strategy focuses on enhancing the print production solutions provided to our graphic arts customers," said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. "In 2007, many successful print service providers experienced how they could create a competitive advantage and drive profit using HP Indigo solutions in a number of dynamic, growing digital printing markets."
The Asia Pacific & Japan region has recorded the strongest page growth rates for HP Indigo. Fourth-quarter page growth in 2007 outpaced the market with a 70 percent increase over 2006, with the highest growth in pages attributed to Australia, Korea, China and India.
Commenting on the growth of the business in Asia Pacific and Japan, VS Hariharan, Vice President of HP's Graphic Arts Business in Asia Pacific and Japan said: "There is no doubt that our customers in the region are experiencing the enormous business opportunities promised by HP Indigo for the production of short-run collaterals, photo specialty printing, customized output and web-to-print applications."
In particular, he highlighted the creative use of HP Indigo solutions by China Postage Company who has been generating new revenue streams in personalized stamps-on-demand during festive occasions. He also noted the achievements of the Korean Studies Information who has been growing its on-demand publishing business for short-run school text books from its virtual warehouse.
Describing his experience with HP Indigo digital printing solutions, Chae Jong-joon, President of Korean Studies Information said: "The biggest advantage of digital printing is the on-demand model which allows businesses to produce the right number of collaterals when they need it. When you can effectively manage inventories and boost productivity, profits ultimately increase."
Leading firms install multiple presses for enhanced production
Globally, the majority of HP Indigo presses are used to produce personalized or short-run marketing collateral. Several leading print service providers worldwide use multiple presses connected through HP IT-enabled digital front end systems for highly productive, high-volume production of offset-quality marketing collateral. Tokyo-based Toppan Forms Co. Ltd., which is one of Japan's leaders in marketing collateral printing, and VistaPrint, the leading online supplier of high-quality graphic design services and customized printed products, both added multiple HP Indigo presses to their already substantial HP Indigo production floors in 2007.
A spokesman for Toppan Forms Co. Ltd., remarked, "As the commercial print market in Japan has been witnessing momentum in variable-data printing, Toppan Forms succeeded in doubling the page volume on the HP Indigo presses in 2007 and we expect further growth in 2008. To cater to this increasing demand, we expanded with additional HP Indigo digital presses."
In the photo merchandise market, HP recorded greater than 100 percent page growth, spurred by a proliferation of larger multi-press installations and competitive replacements. HP provides digital press technology to the world's leading producers of photobooks and other photo merchandise products, including companies such as CeWe Color Holding AG, Oldenburg, Germany, and Asukanet Co. Ltd., Hiroshima, Japan. As with leading marketing collateral providers, several leading photo industry firms installed multiple presses in 2007. U.S. firm Reischling Press Inc. (RPI), Tukwila, Wash., was among those photo industry leaders, and added the capacity of eight additional HP Indigo press 5000s in 2007, in addition to nine HP Designjet Z6100 large-format printers used to print dust jackets.
"Our revenues have doubled in each of the past three years, and HP has provided us the solutions we need to stay ahead of the growth," said John Perez, Chief Executive Officer, RPI. "HP technology offers superior image quality and greater flexibility in terms of the range of products their offerings can produce."
Internally, the HP Indigo division supported its increased demand by initiating two major operations: a new, highly efficient, Six Sigma-governed Digital Press Systems plant in Kiryat Gat, Israel, and a previously announced HP ElectroInk manufacturing process that both increases the rate of ink production and reduces the energy consumed in the inkmaking process.
With the new Digital Press Systems plant, HP is able to scale its operations to meet demand for specific press models. Each assembly line in the larger 5,600 sqm facility is able to produce any one of HP's current Indigo press models. In the original HP Indigo pressmaking plant, each press model has its own assembly line.