PRESSIdeas talks with Yoav Lotan – Labels Business Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan, HP Indigo, who shares with our readers the latest HP Indigo technology and the vast application and business avenues it opens for its users.
We met Mr. Yoav Lotan – Labels Business Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan, HP Indigo, at the recent Label Expo South East Asia 2018 held at BITEC, Bangkok. The great Asian event featured about 200 exhibitors with direct representation or by their agents and representatives in the region. We had a chat with Mr. Yoav. They recently installed an HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press at Hutamaki-PPL at Mumbai in India. Yoav considers it a corner stone installation for the Digital Printing industry in the country. “The recent installation of the HP 20000 at Huhtamaki-PPL in India shall be a game changer for the industry in the entire region and especially for India and we note a different positive tone when to talk to brands in the South East Asian Region with this amazing step by HP,” says Yoav.
Yoav has a keen eye and you can well observe it when he speaks about the printing industry, its future and technologies shaping this industry.
HP Indigo personalisation project with Coca Cola
“Indigo (HP) started working with Coca Cola for personalisation way back in Israel and Australia in 2011 and then proceeded to many countries across the globe including Europe in 2013 followed by the USA wherein it took mammoth proportions and now, you are seeing the same in the Indian Subcontinent too,” says Yoav in his typical style.
According to him, the Coca Cola personalisation project in itself is a milestone for the Digital Printing industry with the enormity of the population, multilinguality and the enormous proportions of the country itself. “We had to sit with Coca Cola people along with the supply chain executives in Delhi for two full days to look tactically into needs of the project and various other permutations and combinations to arrive at a sustainable road map,” he shares.
The exercise in other countries has made Coke reap many benefits, like more brand visibility, loyalty and new customer addition etc. and so the experiment is being escalated into other markets as well.
The India campaign, according to Yoav, in itself is a game changer in terms of sophistication because the team had to segmentise the data according to language (about 12 to start with) and regions. In addition to this, the complex VDP process and the multiple fonts involved did give its own challenges to the team and HP team in fact had to do quite a bit of programming to pull the challenges of automation through.
With an experience of seven and a half years with HP Indigo, Yoav moved to Singapore a year back and presently looks after the Label division business of HP in South East Asia including India. One of his important responsibilities is to support and grow Digital Printing in this area and bring in more awareness about the capabilities of HP Indigo machines, at the same time ensuring that their customers and associates get value for themselves as well as their customers.
Digital Printing answers MoQ and more
In Digital Printing, ‘Time’ is of utmost importance and that is the reason for its success too. “The lead time for a Shrink Sleeve Label in the Gravure process would take a minimum of three weeks at the fastest and in Flexo it may take a week. But, in Digital, it is a matter of hours,” says he.
“Digital is a platform which needs to be adopted by every printer considering the fact that it is complementary process to a printer who is already in the business of making packaging for their customers,” he emphasizes.
“MoQ (Minimum Order Quantity) is not of any consideration when it comes to Digital – whether it is a printer or it is a customer who is in need of packaging, this is a boon,” he adds.
Yoav finds Variable Data, Personalisation, fast turnaround, efficiency of production, lower MoQ, availability of different types of inks including silver metallic inks, amazing security features, different coatings available (including inline sealing, digital foiling etc.) and more to drive the growth of the Digital Industry. The latest machine which does all the above and much more is the HP Indigo 6900 machine which was on display at the show.
“The 6000 series of HP Indigo machines is our flagship machine with over 1400 machines installed all across the globe and with the pace at which we are giving solutions, which were thought not possible on the Digital platform, will make it one of the most successful Digital machines ever produced by HP Indigo,” says Yoav.
HP Production Pro for Indigo Labels & Packaging
The HP Indigo 6900 has a new Digital Front End (DFE) featuring a new HP RIP which is five times faster than the earlier ones; which in turn helps the machine to run more jobs on it than what is possible on others. Users can optimize and control production, increase press utilization with cutting edge RIP capabilities, and expand fleet connectivity by utilizing this new, powerful, scalable and cloud-connected DFE – HP Production Pro for Indigo Labels & Packaging.
In addition to this, the DFE has the complete know-how of Esko colour automating engine integrated thus making a printer’s life more comfortable. “There indeed is no need to actually invent the wheel again. Since we have the subject experts like Esko joining hands with us and we are doing what we do the best – building even more improved and innovative product like the HP Indigo 6900,” continues Yoav.
He believes that the DFE was the need of the hour since the market is certainly going to be more complex with the customer going to get even more demanding, there would be more SKUs for the clients and that increases the number of jobs in the market and they are going to be more and more complex with more security demands and additional embellishments. All this will certainly put the load on the RIP which can be well taken care of by products equipped with matching efficient technologies including the new DFE.
No one can delete a ‘packaging’ digitally
The world is changing rather rapidly and our communications too are changing, be it between the customer and a brand or a printer and its customer. People are in fact getting more busy online with a barrage of information in mails, SMS’s, social media etc. and online shopping too is getting higher and higher. However, there is not a way that one can delete a ‘packaging’ digitally. Every product bought by us needs to be packaged. There may be different styles and looks, but packaging has to be there, either bought from a local retail store or bought online. The local supermarket or street side stores very much need the eye catching packaging so that the customer gets initiated towards his buying decisions by our nicely displayed store shelves. Packaging has a long, long life indeed!
Yoav sees the South East Asian market as one of those markets which will leapfrog to a status which we never imagined. They learn from the mistakes of the west and take steps to get things in order much faster and in a robust way. The challenges that the Chinese market faces are different from what the market in Philippines faces. Similar is the case with markets of Indonesia and Malaysia. Singapore is a very innovative market; Bangladesh and Vietnam are immensely competitive in the textile business and HP sees growth potential in the TAG, Heat Transfer and RFID businesses. All of them are growing and every growth, whether in retail or in real estate, results in growth in Packaging and that is where the future lies. “Just get to visit a few Seven Eleven stores in Thailand, which you find in every street corner across the country and you would agree what I intend to say,” contends Yoav.
Yoav has a very convincing view that a printer should not be waiting for the time to come to invest in a technology but he should take the technology beforehand and reap the benefits as they arrive. “Don’t wait for the market to come to you, my friend; go and find the market,” he proclaims. “And if you are able to find the market, you will be the first one to discover. And, discovery normally gives you an opportunity to price your solutions comfortably. This is how innovation brings profitability,” he further eloborates. Well, Yoav has many success stories to share with the readers of PRESSIdeas and we promise to our esteemed readers that it will all reach in the coming issues of your favourite magazine.