One year of digital print solutions from hubergroup

The special feature of the hubergroup solution is the complete integration into the company's own color management system HDCC.

About a year ago, ink manufacturer hubergroup Print Solutions launched the digital print folder for its offset portfolio, which is intended to enable customers to benefit from faster and more efficient production, among other things.

A year later, the international ink specialist is taking stock. According to hubergroup, the reaction of its customers to the digital solution was consistently positive, and they were impressed by the high color accuracy, which is possible due to the integration in the company’s own color management system HDCC. The ink manufacturer has already connected four hubergroup sites in Europe and North America to the production of digital print folders and switched a large number of customers to the digital solution.

Heinz Aumüller, who is responsible for prepress and process standardization at hubergroup, says, “At the beginning, we expected that we would have to convince our customers to test the digital print folders – but the opposite has been the case: almost all the customers we have approached so far were immediately willing to test our digital print folder and switched to it after a short time. Some have even approached us proactively. The quality and color accuracy of the digital print folders, combined with the more efficient and flexible production process, are simply convincing.”

The special feature of the hubergroup solution is the complete integration into the company’s own color management system HDCC. This means the digital print folders go through the same quality control processes as analog print folders and are also verified against their analog reference. In addition, customers benefit from a faster and more efficient production process, which is particularly noticeable in the creation of multiple copies and multi-site productions.

One of hubergroup’s biggest customers in Northern Germany that has already switched to digital print folders is the printing company H.O. Persiehl, which specializes in printing high-quality packaging. Marco Erdmann and Soehnke Schildt, managers in the Sheet Printing Department at H.O.Persiehl Norderstedt, explain, “The digital print folders did not only convince us with their very high color accuracy but also with their long durability without physical changes. Furthermore, the quick availability, even in larger quantities, and the fast response time is a great advantage for us in everyday life.”

To meet the demand for digital print folders, hubergroup is setting up a global network of locations. Currently, the inks manufacturer produces digital print folders at four sites — Celle in Germany), Nottingham in the UK, Arlington Heights in the US and Mississauga in Canada.

Heinz Aumüller adds, “Our global network of production sites and their centralized access to our HDCC opens up completely new possibilities for flexibility and resource availability. Especially in global color projects, we benefit from location independence and digital print folder output at the destination. The next site integration are already being planned so that our customers can benefit even more from our flexibility and efficiency.”

hubergroup is an international printing inks and chemicals specialist based in Germany with a history stretching back more than 255 years. In its two divisions, the company develops innovative, sustainable products and services to enable its customers to achieve first-class results. The Print Solutions Divisio produces inks, coatings and printing auxiliaries for packaging, commercial and newspaper printing. In addition, the associated subsidiary Gleitsmann Security Inks produces security printing inks. Th Chemicals Division produces specialty chemicals such as resins, laminating adhesives, pigments and additives at its plants in India.

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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