DIGITAL digestApril 2011
Dscoop6: Full of Energy and Sense Of Community
ORLANDO, FL—It happened again. Dscoop6 was again the rush of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that makes up this amazing user community meeting. It stems from the level of content spanning every type of printing that can be done on HP printing systems, and the ready access to experts with the hands-on knowledge and an infinite willingness to share that knowledge with all comers.
One printer with both HP Indigo and wide-format equipment in his shop said to me, "We might have been going at it tooth and nail with another member—competing for the same business last week, and we'll be at it again next week—but, at Dscoop, we'll share ideas and information that can make us both better."
The neutral zone Dscoop creates is borne of the awareness that, as another printer put it, "There's more business to be had than any one of us can possibly handle. But, helping each other get more business helps all of us."
For four years now, I've had the opportunity to sit in Dscoop sessions and talk with business owners, press operators and execs from partner companies, all of whom agree that Dscoop is the not-to-be-missed conference of the year. Many member companies bring multiple employees, each charged with learning all they can about a specific area, which they can then share back at the plant. That's not an inexpensive tactic, but business owners say it returns big dividends as knowledge is shared and new practices are put into place.
The secret is, while HP makes a substantial investment in Dscoop, it is really a grassroots, member-driven organization. The topic and content of nearly every session comes out of member-run committees made up of people with the first-hand knowledge of the challenges that other members face every day. Then, because the community is so tightly knit, the people with the best knowledge and experience to share on a given topic wind up in front of a room filled with folks who want to hear what they have to say.
Likewise, partners—the 90-odd vendors that support Dscoop—are carefully vetted before they become sponsors and see the conference as an opportunity to better understand customer needs, not just to generate sales leads.
Some highlights from Dscoop6 included:
• Management consultant Stan Slap opened the conference with a keynote speech about branding and the power of being a good manager. He said that if your product or service doesn't inspire loyalty with your employees, it won't work with your customers either.
• Dscoop launched a new Website (www.dscoop.org) with added functionality, including networking capabilities; communities with customized content; easy-to-find, relevant educational materials; and a mobile app.
• The Dscoop board of directors presented the 2011 Jack Glacken Award for outstanding contributions to the Dscoop community to Eric Hawkinson, Dscoop executive director, and to Leta Wood, HP customer forums manager and Dscoop liaison. Both were cited as key to the successful growth of the organization.
• Another keynote session featured Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, HP Imaging and Printing Group, who brought customers from the photo, grand-format, publishing, commercial and label/packaging segments to the stage to explain some of the secrets behind their success.
With more than 2,000 digital printing professionals in attendance this year (up from about 1,800 in 2010), it's amazing to think how Dscoop will continue to expand. The organization has some 5,500 members in all, and is growing, not just in North America, but in Latin America, China, India and Japan where other Dscoop events are already taking place.
In a world that technology is making smaller, the sense of community that Dscoop embodies is a wonderful thing. And, the energy is something that seems like it could be packaged and sold. I can't wait for Dscoop7 planned for March 22-24, 2012, in Washington, DC.
O'Neil Hosts HP Inkjet Web Press Launch
LOS ANGELES—From the first technology demonstration on, HP has said it is developing an inkjet web press platform. The company recently teamed up with O'Neil Data Systems (ODS) to once again deliver on that promise, this time by introducing the 42˝-wide HP T400 Inkjet Web press. With a maximum 600 feet per minute speed, this model can produce up to 5,200 letter-size pages per minute.
O'Neil is now running all four machines currently in the product family—the HP T200 (22˝ wide), T300/T350 (both 30˝ wide) and the T400.
"The HP T400 truly is converging on offset speeds while providing the benefits of a digital printing environment," said James Lucanish, president of the data-driven marketing communications firm.
In his blog report after attending the event ("Wider, Faster, Better…HP Rolls Out New Inkjet Domination Tool" on PIworld.com), analyst Noel Ward noted that Lucanish believes inkjet technology is the key to his company's future, and the chief exec considers this new machine to be almost tailor-made for ODS' volume of print work.
The firm publishes a wide range of financial information and produces member support materials for health insurers and other organizations.
Lucanish sees a day when inkjet printing will be how most of the documents his company produces are printed, Ward reported. To that end, ODS is opening a new digital facility in Plano, TX, where the flagship presses will be HP T400s.
Scheduled to be available later this year, new features of the T400 include the HP A50 process-color inks and HP A10 print heads combination, and enhanced web tension controls and dryer systems—all of which are said to contribute to the T400's reliable and consistent printing. An optional slitter can be installed at the end of the press to split the web into two streams to match the format of other digital web presses and enable two jobs to be produced simultaneously.
HP also used the event to launch its new MICR HP Inkjet Web press solution, which is available for order now with HP T300 and T350 purchases, and scheduled to be available with T200 and T400 models sold later this year. PI