PALO ALTO, Calif., November 10, 2008-HP today announced that Weber Marking Systems purchased an HP Indigo press ws4500 from the show floor at the recent Labelexpo Americas trade show, a decision that points to the 75-year-old company's decision to integrate industry leading HP Indigo digital technology into its flexographic label printing facility. With the new press, installed in September shortly after Labelexpo ended, the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based company is striving to improve overall profitable growth based on the evolving needs of its customer base.
"Converters like Weber Marking Systems, which owe their success and longevity to an ability to meet customer demand and provide excellent service, can improve profitability and do more for their clients with the production flexibility and true offset quality of the HP Indigo press ws4500," said Jan Riecher, vice president and general manager, Americas Graphics Solutions Business, HP.
The seven-color press, which was purchased along with a Digicon finishing system from AB Graphics, fits Weber's need for efficient ramp-up and cost-effective production on new work from its customers, a growing number of which are expressing interest in multiple-SKU work and versioning jobs that can incur significant prepress costs when produced on flexographic devices.
"Although we've purchased scores of presses in the last 20 years, never has the 'new press' excitement level approached that of our ws4500," said Thomas Michalsen, director of marketing, Weber Marking Systems. "The difference today is the ws4500's positive value proposition. It speaks to all of Weber's divisions: Sales, Marketing, Production, Quality, and Finance.
"It was great to see our press in action at HP's Labelexpo booth," Michalsen added. "We are now able to begin transitioning existing jobs to improve profitability and to start drawing new customers to our company with digital technology."
While Weber completed its purchase at Labelexpo Americas, the company had closely observed developments with HP Indigo label and packaging presses for several years. An analysis of Weber's work done through the HP Indigo Label Job Estimator, a tool that is part of the HP Graphic Arts Capture Business Success Program, provided insights into why installing the HP Indigo press ws4500 made sense.
"A lot of the new business label converters win comes with investments in prepress that are not always fully recouped," said Michalsen. "If it is a customer who is ordering 100 different SKUs on a four-, five-, or six-color job, the HP Indigo is the only solution we have seen where you can gain an immediate return."
Working with HP consultants to analyze jobs printed over a six-month period, Weber executives came to the determination that as much as 31 percent of the work the company does on its 39 flexo presses could profitably transition to digital with HP Indigo technology. The HP Indigo press ws4500 is generally more cost-effective than flexo on jobs up to 6,500 linear feet(1). In addition, by eliminating makeready time with the HP Indigo press ws4500, the company can save as much as 2,500 feet of scrap created with typical jobs, which can translate into significant savings on label media.
Weber also benefits from a nearly seamless workflow integration with the new HP Indigo press. The company currently uses EskoArtwork prepress systems for its flexo work. The digital front end sold with all new HP Indigo press ws4500s, the HP SmartStream Labels and Packaging Print Server, was created for HP through an original equipment manufacturer agreement with EskoArtwork, and is fully compatible with EskoArtwork's workflow products for the flexo industry.
Designed for continuous operation, the HP Indigo press ws4500 is a robust, reliable production device that offers a fully automated workflow as well as enhanced color capabilities. The HP Indigo press ws4500's six- and seven- color process-color matching capabilities, as well as its capability to print with and switch spot colors between jobs with virtually no downtime, give converters a distinct competitive advantage.
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