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HP Announces First-ever GRACoL Certification for Digital Production Presses at Dscoop Conference
Strong attendance as industry’s largest users’ group conference features new HP Indigo and large-format solutions, plus more than 65 partnersORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 19, 2009
HP today announced its HP Indigo 5000, 5500 and 7000 digital press models have become the first digital color production systems to earn General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography (GRACoL) certification, a graphic arts standard for quality color printing.
The announcement was made at the opening of the Digital Solutions Cooperative (Dscoop) Conference, an HP Indigo users’ group event where more than 1,000 HP representatives, customers and partners, as well as industry experts, have gathered to focus on ways print service providers (PSPs) are achieving profitable growth in challenging times.
The new GRACoL certification enables customers to economically produce certified proofs on their HP Indigo digital presses as well as use their presses for complete production runs. HP will offer a GRACoL implementation service – a two-day, on-site consultation to establish certified proof production on an HP Indigo press using CGS ORIS PearlDIGITAL 170 proofing paper, CGS ORIS PRESS MATCHER PRO color management software and the X-Rite iSis XL spectrophotometer.
To gain the certification, the combined proofing system passed exacting testing criteria in an evaluation from IDEAlliance, the organization that manages GRACoL.
“The GRACoL certification allows designers and customers to have the utmost confidence that an HP Indigo print can be the virtual twin of sheet-fed offset output, which is an outstanding indication of HP Indigo being the true digital alternative to analog print,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. “We are excited to share this news with our customers gathered here at the Dscoop conference, which, as always, stands as a key event for HP to learn and collaborate about the best practices for success in today’s graphic arts industry.”
Committing to customers’ successes with business development offerings
Held at the Gaylord Palms Resort from Feb. 19 to 21, the Dscoop Conference showcases tools PSPs need to grow and strengthen their businesses. The overarching theme at this year’s conference – Survive and Thrive – was based on resounding feedback from business owners and industry leaders for a focus on efficiency and competitiveness in the current economy. HP is exhibiting a full portfolio of digital press and large-format printing solutions at the conference, as well as launching the variable-data printing workflow solution HP SmartStream Designer 2.5.
HP is the executive sponsor of Dscoop, which is an independent users’ group. HP’s sponsorship is funded through the HP Graphic Arts “Capture Business Success” program. This program provides tools, training and communities to help PSPs grow their businesses through the productivity advantages and high image quality of HP graphic arts solutions.
Dscoop embodies the community aspect of “Capture Business Success” for HP, and it has grown since its founding in 2005 to include more than 1,800 members. The conference, recently cited as “largest user group conference in the industry,”(1) offers value in industry community and connections that can drive success. This year’s conference includes a Dscoop solutions showcase that features HP Indigo presses and HP Scitex and Designjet large-format printers, as well as solutions from more than 65 HP partners.
“At a time when many industry events have been cancelled and unstable economic times are impacting the digital marketplace, we are pleased that our strong relationship with HP has resulted in a vital users’ group meeting that offers the best in training, education and networking for digital PSPs,” said Christopher Petro, chairman of Dscoop and president and chief executive officer of GlobalSoft Digital Solutions, an international HP Indigo customer firm.
HP Indigo Smart Planner 3.0, a new Capture component being introduced at Dscoop, is an advanced job estimator and business planning tool that can calculate the breakeven point between offset and digital jobs. The planner, an upgrade to the former HP Indigo Commercial Job and Label Job estimators, offers estimating tools for complex multistep applications, such as direct-mail jobs that require postage discount calculations in addition to overprint, warehousing, postage discount and advanced finishing costs.
HP Indigo Smart Planner 3.0 also offers support for offset and digital continuous-feed presses and has an available option for importing actual job data from PSPs’ management information systems.
Progressive, profitable printing with enhanced workflow offering
HP SmartStream Director, which is being shown at Dscoop, is a complete suite of tools designed to automate, manage, customize and optimize PSPs’ business and production processes. The solution enables jobs to be efficiently managed at virtually every step from creation through fulfillment, including online job submission, placement of variable data and integration with partner solutions.
Making its debut in the Dscoop solutions showcase, HP SmartStream Designer 2.5 is designed to foster digital growth by simplifying designer adoption of variable-data content creation as well as by powering higher-volume, variable-data document processing. It also supports HP Indigo’s extended color capabilities, including PANTONE®-licensed spot colors and four-, six- and seven-color emulations.
HP SmartStream Designer 2.5 is available as either an Adobe® InDesign plug-in or as a new server edition package, and it provides automated impositioning for HP Indigo presses to help users create high-value, effective, personalized communications.
The plug-in version of HP SmartStream Designer makes it easier for designers to create personalized print jobs within Adobe InDesign. The new server edition enables efficient, automated production of large variable-data print jobs, reducing the need to spend resources in collating and collaborating data to templates.
“HP Smartstream Designer 2.5’s ability to incorporate complex data logic rules and its robust imposition features have expanded our one-to-one marketing capabilities,” said Drew Swankie, web-to-print manager, R and R Images. “Using it in conjunction with HP SmartStream Director allows us to set up web-to-print templates for our customers much faster, and with more robust variable-data options than before.”
The HP Indigo 7000, on display in the Dscoop solutions showcase, produces high-volume, high-quality, variable-data and photo specialty printing while also serving as a potential replacement device for static-run, small-format offset and DI offset devices. Because of this high level of versatility, the 7000 model has had significant success since its June 2008 introduction, with more than 150 presses sold to date.
The new HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press is now available and being shown in the solutions showcase. Designed for high-productivity label, shrink sleeve and flexible packaging converting, the press offers increased speeds and a larger repeat length(2) that make it suitable for cost-effective digital production on as much as 80 percent of a converter’s typical label jobs.
End-to-end solutions shown at Dscoop include an HP Indigo press 5500 with a thick substrate feeder option that enables users to perform new applications such as folding carton production.
HP also is showcasing at the conference the wide variety of media available for use with HP Indigo presses. The number of media certified to run on HP Indigo presses grew by 30 percent in 2008, with more than 1,800 different papers, synthetic papers, films, foils, folding carton materials and label stocks available. More than 600 of the media certified for use with HP Indigo presses have a third-party sustainability-related certification, such as Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council and Chain of Custody, and are manufactured with alternative energy sources or contain recycled content.
Continuing a trend for the conference in introducing digital press users to the additional value and opportunities available with large-format printing, the Dscoop solutions showcase also will feature products such as the HP Designjet L65500 Printer with HP Latex Inks, the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer and the HP Scitex FB950 Printer.
Leadership from the gridiron to the graphic arts
The Dscoop Conference begins Thursday with an opening keynote presentation from famed National Football League quarterback Joe Theismann. The conference also will include HP executive presentations, including a Feb. 21 keynote from Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. Additional HP speakers include Alon Bar-Shany and Francis McMahon, director of marketing, Americas Graphics Solutions Business.
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
(1) Cary Sherburne, “Users Groups: The Value Proposition,” WhatTheyThink.com, Jan. 22, 2009.
Adobe InDesign is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated. PANTONE and other Pantone, Inc. trademarks are the property of Pantone, Inc.
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