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HP's Aurelio Maruggi on emerging trends in inkjet

Published on October 30, 2012

HP GM of Production Inkjet Aurelio Maruggi speaks with Cary Sherburne about the current state of inkjet as well as future trends and HP's developments in the segment.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink and I'm here with Aurelio Maruggi from HP. You’re the General Manager of the production inkjet business for HP.

Aurelio Maruggi: Hello Cary.

Cary Sherburne: It’s a great place to be, huh?

Aurelio Maruggi: Thank you for having me.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah. A lot of exciting things happening in the Inkjet business, and you know recently we were all in Germany at drupa, and lots of announcements from HP and from others. What’s that really saying about the offset market and the commercial print business?

Aurelio Maruggi: Indeed the drupa that is just behind us has marked another important milestone in an industry that is still forming quite rapidly, that is the printing industry. We saw already these signs at drupa 2008, and in 2008 remember there was a lot of interest. There was more curiosity more than interest around new and emerging technology, inkjet technology. And that with the past drupa has proven very broadly not only that inkjet technology is a technology that is helping this printing industry to transform, but it is a technology that is ready for primetime. Primetime means being able to deliver the promise that some of the vendors like HP made at drupa 2008 in bringing inkjet technology and digital into mainstream production.

Cary Sherburne: You know, and obviously it sort of began with transactional and book publishing or book printing as another big area, direct mail transactional. So what are some of the, as the quality and the price performance has improved over the last four years, right? What are some of the new applications that you’re seeing?

Aurelio Maruggi: Yeah, and definitely even within segments that are being segment addressed from the beginning like books, we have seen significant broadening over time of the kind of books that our customers and owner of inkjet word press are able to print on large scale in terms of volume, but with a shorter run and flexibility offered to their customers. So as you probably remember, we started with one color books on uncoated paper, then shortly after in late 2009 we were able to bring coated media capability that really opened up the educational market in North America. Now, this has been opened up in Europe and in Asia as well. And besides individual applications that have been already addressed, we are now seeing the next phase is how to bring the capabilities that are continue to grow in inkjet into near segment. And in that respect, general commercial printing is the new segment.

Cary Sherburne: Sort of the next frontier.

Aurelio Maruggi: Yeah, that as you know is a very broad segment that is definitely opening up now one step after the other for inkjet.

Cary Sherburne: Now, you have a book in your hand. Was that perchance printed on an inkjet web?

Aurelio Maruggi: It is indeed printed on an inkjet. And this is something that we wanted to do probably I believe as the first time in the story of tradeshows, in bringing not only an inkjet word press as we did at past drupa, but having that inkjet word press on the floor demonstrating what customers and the 70 more customers that we have that are using every day our inkjet word press what do they do with the inkjet word press. And also we’ve also said what do they do, as they do not produce sample? We like to call these presses money-making machines. They like to produce things that are generating business for them. And what we did is that we had an agreement with Mueller Martini that is one of our customers in Italy. Then primarily with one of the publishers that gave confidence to Italy in HP and gave us, I think, ten titles that were printed throughout the 14 days of the tradeshow. And so every day we had a few hours set aside for producing these books as live books that were bound during the evening in a Mueller Martini booth. And then they are shipped to Italy for being introduced in the market.

Cary Sherburne: So that’s really great, because you were actually demonstrating a live application, but better yet it wasn’t just paper being printed that was going to go into the landfill. This is real production that was being sold, product.

Aurelio Maruggi: Yes exactly. Very good point.

Cary Sherburne: Congratulations, yeah.

Aurelio Maruggi: From one side demonstrating that these machine are not for demo or for just showcasing a quality that is not necessarily proven to be quality that can be delivered to customer, but primarily how you demonstrate on the problem that is printing at 800 feet per minute, 440 minutes, and you are pretending that these units are working 24 hours, and then you have these units on the show that are most of the time not idle. Because you can not be running for the whole time of the show and then waste a large amount of paper.

Cary Sherburne: Waste all that paper, yeah. I don’t think anyone else is doing that, so congratulations on that level of innovation. Thank you very much.

Aurelio Maruggi: Thank you.

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