TOPPAN PRINTING COMPANY AMERICA -- New World Order for Print
Having a controlled environment with real color expertise in place is key to getting the most from digital printing, but the characteristics of the device itself also are important, Jordan-Smith says. He points out that Toppan America has been carefully evaluating digital color for the past five years, but it wasn't until last year that the company decided to invest in a press.
"We chose the iGen3, and that wasn't a small feat," Jordan-Smith remarks. "The organization already had some 20 HP Indigo presses installed in Japan, which it continues to operate, and owns approximately 25 percent of Toyo Ink, which manufactures ink for the presses. In addition, globally it has a strong relationship with Heidelberg that spans more than 100 web and sheetfed offset presses.
"Our choice was based on the machine's production characteristics, which we feel outweigh some of the characteristics of competitors in the marketplace." He says that one key differentiating feature is the greater color gamut of the iGen3 compared to the standard four-color printing of other presses.
"We can now manage corporate identity through a variable data print stream and repeat it week after week," he explains. "If you can combine color management with variable data printing, you've got yourself a solution that no other digital printer is providing."
Jordan-Smith considers Pantone Inc. to be a partner in Toppan America's digital efforts. He believes the digital chip book that company is now producing is a very important tool for commercial printers in communicating more effectively with customers about color expectations.
"Our commercial printing clients expect the highest quality, including hitting their PMS colors for corporate branding," reports the digital specialist. "The iGen3 can produce a color product that is acceptable to our traditional customers."
In terms of the broader question of getting into digital printing, Jordan-Smith says the company had no choice but to make the move. "We are seeing volumes drastically reducing and having to rapidly increase the number of jobs we produce in order to maintain revenue levels," he observes.