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Santi Morera of HP on some trends in the wide and grand format area

Published on November 12, 2012

Santi Morera of HP discusses some of the trends he is seeing in the wide and grand format printing; including roll and flatbed.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink; and I’m here with Santi Morera, who is the Vice President and General Manager of HP Scitex’s large format business. Welcome.

Santi Morera: Good. Thank you.

Cary Sherburne: So, wide format and grand format have been – there’s been a lot of action in the market in that area recently and it’s a fascinating part – piece of the business. Maybe you could talk at a high level about some of the trends that you are seeing in that market.

Santi Morera: I think, I would choose the word, “innovation.” There’s a lot of innovation in large format and, as you said, it’s a term that is used in many applications. We see it from our small printer providers that have done signage looking at new technologies that it means more products for their customers for retail up to our big  packaging customer providers trying to move to digital. So, wide format I think is a world that there is a lot of innovation, we see many interest from the customers and the proof is what we have seen in drupa with many, many interests in our applications.

Cary Sherburne: And also there’s a – there’s a variety of roll fed workflows as well as the flatbed. And the flatbeds, you know, are really flexible. I mean, they can eliminate a lot of steps and do some really creative things.

Santi Morera: Right. Large Format is a constant that in the end accomplish many, many things from flexible materials to rigid, for small signage, big corp graphics up to printing displays on corrugated. That’s why it’s such a broad market that’s still a lot of the development is going on. And I think our view from HP is to play on all these trends to give digital solutions to customers in large format and that means, again, a lot of innovation going on in their markets.

Cary Sherburne: Right. Now, also, you know, in the commercial print market, we’ve had the displacement of certain amount of offset with digital printing processes. And how do you see that playing out in the wide format market in terms of in relation to screen printing. Do you think that we’re getting to crossover points that really threaten screen printing?

Santi Morera: Not really. I mean, screen printing is moving to digital and that’s already a fact. A lot of our flatbed 7600 installations are in screen printers and we see these taking very, very fast. And again, the next frontier is going to be offset and I think digital will get there at one point. And still digital is a very, very important market. You know, Large Format is maybe an application within the commercial printing world where digital has penetrated in the last eight years a lot. And that’s because the technology gave that advantage from the very beginning.

Next frontier is going to be offset, but screen printing is already there and who is behind is going to be behind for a long time.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah. And so the final thing is, you know, you just recently for your high end systems just recently introduced white ink. And white ink’s been in the market for some of these products for a while, maybe you can talk why now in terms of the release of that particular capability.

Santi Morera: White ink, we have had white ink in some of our pro lines, like in the entry flatbed products for a long time. And white ink, the way we think at HP about technology and innovation is to do it for the customer benefit. We could have white ink in different ways. Some competitors have had white ink for some time, but we don’t think that’s right for some customers. Ones we felt would have the good solution that gives the robustness of wide, the right capacity and the right productivity, we found a way to do it and we did it. So we think we had the best solution and it’s not about having white ink in the market, it about having the good solution for white ink, and I think we have a very good one.

Cary Sherburne: Terrific. Okay, thank you.

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Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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