Press Release: 23. March 2010
Topics: Graphic Arts

CPI, Europe's Leading Book Printer, Completes HP T300 Web Press Purchase

Breakthrough economics of high-speed digital press create opportunities in analogue-dominated book publishing market

BARCELONA, Spain, 23 March 2010 - HP today announced that it completed its first HP T300 Inkjet Web Press sale in Europe to leading book printer CPI, a company that is taking advantage of the press's breakthrough productivity to gain a competitive advantage in mass-market publishing.


CPI installed the press at its Firmin-Didot subsidiary in late 2009, operating the press for a trial period that began last November. The company also installed finishing solutions for the press from HP partners, as well as a sheetfed HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press that can be used to print covers, creating an integrated system that manages the complete production process from blank paper to printed, bound books.


CPI executives selected the HP T300 to meet a broader range of publishers' run-length needs. The press's high productivity, high reliability and low operating costs, as well as its ability to print on virtually any standard uncoated publishing media, easily justified the investment, according to CPI.


Today, the press is the centrepiece of CPI's new "Quantum" solution for medium-run paperback book production.


"The HP T300 offers unmatched advantages in today's market as the way to re-write the economics of book publishing," said Aurelio Maruggi, vice president and general manager, Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions, HP. "CPI's work with the HP T300 addresses a dynamic new market where supply meets exact demand without the high fixed costs and high waste that are common with offset presses in the publishing industry."


Filling the gap between print-on-demand digital and offset


With its unprecedented 762 mm (30 inch) size and 122 m/min. (400 f/min.) speed, the HP T300 is one of the fastest and most productive digital presses available today. In the publishing industry, the press fills the substantial gap between low-volume digital print-on-demand solutions that have higher costs per book and analogue offset book presses that require longer run lengths to accommodate significant make-ready and setup costs.


"The Quantum solution is particularly well adapted for short- and medium-run printing - first prints as well as re-prints - which is an ever-growing area of demand from publishers," said Pierre-François Catté, chairman of CPI's executive board. "The purchase of the HP T300 press helps us be the most complete book publishing resource with the flexibility to serve our clients with print runs from one to one million copies."


In November 2009, CPI produced its first mass-market paperback book printed entirely with digital presses - a 2,000-copy run of Nancy Farmer's "Au Pays des Pommes d'Argent," printed using the HP T300.


HP's technology makes a book run of this length affordable, enabling publishers to launch more new titles and to adjust more precisely their reprints. With its combination of digital, offset and Cameron presses, CPI offers virtually any run length of book on more a wide variety of uncoated papers - a point of differentiation that the company now markets to the more than 2,000 publishers it serves.


Streamlined production, lower costs and more revenue opportunities


CPI's HP T300 Inkjet Web Press delivers high productivity at a breakthrough cost. It helps print service providers (PSPs) streamline business operations, lower production costs and boost revenue opportunities on a range of applications, including book publishing, direct mail, transactional printing(1) and newspapers. The press's economic benefits include the ability to purchase consumables as needed without click charges.


With the HP T300, print service providers can drive profitable growth by offering addressable 1,200 x 600 dots per inch imaging in a speed and size combination that can produce 2,400 A4-size pages per minute. In addition, the press delivers image quality and durability on any low-cost, uncoated paper, as well as on a range of coated media.


The HP T300 Inkjet Web Press also bolsters HP's efforts to target a $3 billion digital print market opportunity for publishing, and a $13 billion market opportunity for direct mail, transactional and transpromotional printing, for 2010.(2)


Since its first commercial customer installation in December 2008, the HP T300 Inkjet Web Press has proven itself as a leading-edge solution for transforming business processes. The press is developing profitable growth opportunities for a number of progressive firms, including:

  • O'Neil Data Systems, Los Angeles, which bought the press and gained the capabilities to complete a successful, intensive run of approximately 3.2 million personalised insurance booklets during a four-month open enrolment peak production season in 2009.
  • Consolidated Graphics, Houston, one of North America's largest commercial printing firms, which is using the HP T300 to produce full-colour publications other products requiring customization, quick turnaround and high throughput rates
  • Pioltello, Italy-based Rotolito Lombarda, one of Europe's leading print providers, which installed the press early this year and is using it for medium-run-length production of children's books, atlases and educational and scientific publications.
  • Courier Corp., North America's third-largest book printer, which is expanding its services to include digital printing with a newly installed HP T300.
  • Communisis, a leading UK-based marketing services provider, which purchased and installed the press at its Leeds facility, and will begin using it to produce targeted, highly personalised data-driven campaigns next month.

Low-waste printing that meets true quantity demand


Digital presses like the HP T300 and the HP Indigo 7000 have a number of intrinsic environmental benefits in publishing work. With digital, PSPs avoid the waste associated with make-ready and change over between jobs. In addition, the ability to print exact quantities of jobs - as opposed to overruns needed to meet analogue printing economies of scale - reduce the number of printed pages that are never used.


Without the HP T300 Inkjet Web Press platform and partner finishing solutions, book manufacturers attempting to print medium-run-length titles would typically print them in excess quantities - with a high percentage of waste to meet offset printing's economies of scale. In fact, in the analogue print-dominated book manufacturing industry, waste is often very significant: up to 30 percent of book stock in the industry never sells and is eventually repulped.(3)


Publishing's leading-edge technology in an historic printing venue


CPI and HP are hosting international press and analysts for a 23 March open house tour of HP T300 book printing operations at CPI Firmin-Didot in Mesnil Sur L'Estrée, France. Acquired by CPI in 1999, the 120-employee, 297-year-old Firmin-Didot subsidiary is the historic printing home to the Didots, France's most revered family of printers and typographers.


Founded in 1996, CPI is a major supplier to the publishing industry. The company has grown from a turnover of €18.5 million in its first year to more than €420 million today. CPI works with more than 2,000 publishers and produces 600 million books per year representing 250,000 unique titles. Its services range from print-on-demand single-copy printing up to mass-market book production in monochrome and two-colour, as well as colour expertise in cover and jacket production.


More information about the HP T300 Inkjet Web Press is available at and through the HP Graphic Arts Twitter feed. The data sheet and fact sheet for the HP T300 Inkjet Web Press can be downloaded via the following link:^215155_4041_0.


PSPs can find local printers offering similar innovative applications by visiting


(1) In some cases, solutions based on the HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press platform will be available through an HP authorised reseller or systems integrator.

(2) HP internal estimates.

(3) "Developments in book production," by Sean Smyth, Pira, 2007.


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