Quality is the key for German book printer Hubert&Co

Recent Fujifilm Jet Press 750S installation enables Hubert&Co to expand into new market sectors

Ramona Weiß-Weber, chief executive officer and Jutta Reimann, technical director, Hubert&Co

Based in Göttingen, central Germany, Hubert&Co is a book printing firm with a heritage dating back more than a century. Offering a complete range of services, from short to long run; from monochromatic print to full colour, and a range of different binding options, the company invested in a Fujifilm Jet Press 750S in February 2020. This was its first-ever investment in Fujifilm inkjet technology.

Hubert&Co chief executive officer, Ramona Weiß-Weber, explains the reasons for the investment. “For us, quality really is the key,” she says. “We were looking for a machine that could consistently deliver excellent quality – that was the crucial requirement. Though, of course, we also took other factors into account, such as reliability, cost and time savings, production speed, reduced waste, and levels of service and support.

“Like all book printers, we’re also increasingly being asked by our customers to print shorter runs and to turn them around more quickly. Publishers and booksellers are less and less inclined to want to hold on to large inventories. So high-quality digital print solutions are proving ever-more important.

“The Jet Press 750S ticked all the boxes and was the clear and obvious choice. Having the quality of the Jet Press to hand has opened up new markets for us – such as short-run art books – where we weren’t active before. And as well as the spectacular colours we can achieve on the Jet Press for our illustrated books and for book jackets and covers – the fine detail that it can deliver has also proved its value when printing in black and white – particularly scientific texts where precision is of paramount importance.

“Our customers are really enthusiastic about the range and the brilliance of the colours we can now offer. Many of them have told us that the quality we’re now achieving with the jet press is of a standard above and beyond anything we’ve been able to deliver before. One such customer is Dirk Allgaier of Arnoldsche Art Publishers in Stuttgart. As an international publisher of fine art books – quality is absolutely central to their requirements from a print partner. With the Jet Press, we can meet that standard.”

Hubert&CoDirk Mussenbrock, sales manager, Digital Press Solutions, Fujifilm Graphic Systems, EMEA, says, “Having high-quality digital print solutions on hand is becoming more and more important for book printers around the world, and an ever-increasing number of them are seeing the value the Jet Press can offer for short-run book jackets and covers, for high-quality art and photographic books, and for very fine text and diagram detail. We’re delighted that a book printer with the heritage and reputation of Hubert&Co has been able to use the Jet Press to expand its product offering and deliver even better quality to its customers.”

Fujifilm Corporation is one of the major operating companies of Fujifilm Holdings. Since its founding in 1934, the company has built up a wealth of advanced technologies in the field of photo imaging, and in line with its efforts to become a comprehensive healthcare company, Fujifilm is now applying these technologies to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases in the medical and life science fields. Fujifilm is also expanding growth in the highly functional materials business, including flat panel display materials, and the graphic systems and optical devices businesses.

Fujifilm Graphic Systems is a stable, long term partner focussed on delivering high quality, technically advanced print solutions that help printers develop competitive advantage and grow their businesses. The company’s financial stability and investment in R&D enable it to develop proprietary technologies for best-in-class printing. These include pre-press and pressroom solutions for offset, wide-format, and digital print, as well as workflow software for print production management. Fujifilm is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of its products and operations, proactively working to preserve the environment, and strives to educate printers about environmental best practices.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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