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The Digital Press Equation

(March 2008) posted on Thu Mar 06, 2008

How seven companies have successfully integrated digital presses.

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By Jake Widman

The decision to go digital was a response to customer demand. "We went not for digital per se, but for short-run capabilities," recounts chief financial officer Marc Hayes. To handle the demand, the company acquired a 6-color HP Indigo Press 5000. The Indigo is capable of producing 4000 four-color A4 impressions an hour, with a maximum resolution of 812 x 1624 dpi at a maximum size of 12.6 x 18.5 inches. "We added supporting equipment as well," says Hayes. "We now have a complete digital department with a UV coater, folder, cutter, scorer, and slitting machine."

The digital work is just an extension of the offset work the company was known for, but in smaller quantities. "About 500 impressions is the dividing line," says Hayes. "Less than that, we print on the Indigo; more than that, we print on offset."

Since the Indigo was installed last spring, Hayes says, it has opened a new market for Copy Craft in printing on vinyl and other synthetic materials. That market wasn’t in the plans, but Hayes and crew have been able to capture some new business in it.

"It was a smooth transition for us," Hayes says with satisfaction. "We were already set up for short-run color work. Our sales staff was already used to writing up short jobs."

Success through diversification

Founded in 1993 and located in Mississauga, Ontario, Excell Decor ( bills itself as the largest manufacturer of digitally printed wallcoverings in the world. In addition to digital printing, it offers specialized packaging, rotary die-cutting, and digital die-cutting of borders, murals, and wallpaper.