Sparking Growth for the Future

Nashville, TN—or Music City—was the host for this year’s annual Dscoop convention—Dscoop8—and it was probably one of the most successful as well. More than 2,000 attendees from all around the world were able to take part in the learning, educational, and networking sessions.

In addition to the specialized sessions for Indigo and Scitex/Designjet users, there was a new “marketing and creative” educational series also offered. This track was designed to further educate creatives and graphic designers that work with Dscoop’s member companies—both internally and externally. The sessions are showed how creative sales tools and digital printing can help in delivering higher ROI and impact.

Dscoop8 Spark Highlights

During the opening session on Thursday evening, Eric Hawkinson, Dscoop’s executive director unveiled two new specialized offers to Dscoop members: Dscoop University and the Dscoop Print Directory.

According to Hawkinson, Dscoop University—powered by HP—is a community-driven training program for PSPs. One of Dsccop’s main missions has been to educate its members and this program has a single objective: build printers’ knowledge to drive business growth. The curriculum will span multiple market segments and functional tracks that include marketing, sales, operations and technology-specific topics.

The course curriculum will largely be derived from the real-world knowledge and experiences of Dscoop members, supplemented by HP resources and best-in-class industry information providers.

“A unique attribute of the Dscoop community is its ‘members helping members’ platform of knowledge sharing,” said Hawkinson. “That same element of member-driven content will significantly factor in Dscoop University’s value for its attendees. It will also be a real differentiator against other business development and training programs offered elsewhere in the print industry.”

Currently Dscoop is looking to hire a Dean of the University to help to keep the curriculum continuously updated in order to maintain its relevance and value amid shifts in market behavior and technology advancements.

Dscoop University will offer dual-platform learning through both online and in-person venues. Through a secure web portal, attendees will have 24/7 access to course content. Additionally, interactive instructor-led classroom sessions, based on member needs, will be offered on a range of topic tracks in various locations.

Additionally, the Dscoop Print Directory will be launched as a web-based tool for brand owners and designers. This tool is designed to provide users with a quick way to research and connect with digital PSPs. The Directory will provide more than just contact information; it will also offer qualitative information about each participating PSP’s capabilities. Any brand owner or designer can now efficiently source services according to their specific requirements.

The Dscoop Print Directory will be publicly viewable by any site visitor. Visitors will be able to search or browse according to print service provider name, location, print technology or capability, and other selection criteria.

Hawkinson said he views this Directory becoming the “Trip Advisor” for the graphic communications industry.

 The Dscoop Print Directory will launch in the spring and will be translated into nine different languages. Dscoop members are now able to access the directory and populate their information prior to launch.

Highlights from Dscoop Solutions Showcase Partners

Dscoop hosted more than 90 Partners in its Solutions Showcase at Dscoop8, featuring a variety of pioneering new products that are designed to “Spark” creative ideas in attendees’ minds.

A few highlights on the show floor included:

Mohawk showcased its new Dimensional Portfolio—a new line of pre-scored and perforated products designed for digital presses—and its new Digital Swatchbook. The Mohawk Dimensional Portfolio is a new line of pre-scored and perforated products designed to run on digital presses and dry toner equipment. The Portfolio currently includes sheets of pre-scored and perforated shapes and formats. Templates include a cube box, gift box, table tent card, pocket folder, golf ball sleeve, wine bottle box, greeting card, and door hanger, with plans to expand later this year. These products are available on Mohawk Superfine Eggshell i-Tone, Mohawk Via Linen i-Tone and Mohawk Color Copy Ultra Gloss.

Mohawk has one the largest offering of papers and substrates for digital printing in the industry—with more than 450 skus— and each product is listed in the new Mohawk Digital Swatchbook. The new swatchbook is a 3x9-inch screw-posted sample deck that serves as a one-stop shop for Mohawk digital papers and substrates. Dscoop8 attendees were able to preorder a book at the conference for shipment as soon as it is available. A wide selection of fine papers, production papers and specialty digital substrates are sampled in this handy reference along with complete stock charts including the new HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press sheet sizes 28 x 20 (text) and 20 x 28 (cover) and Mohawk’s new Dimensional Portfolio. It’s also important to note that Mohawk’s Digital Portfolio offers matching envelopes for all papers within the portfolio. 

Through a new distribution agreement between Mondi and DotworksMedia, Mondi Fine Uncoated Papers are now available in North America.  The combination of DotworksMedia, RSI and Mondi wasn't by chance. Dani Herzka, the industry veteran who brought the companies together, said that he wanted to bring HP Indigo sites more choice and highest quality, through an established distributor with presence throughout North America. Two highlighted products:  Color Copy indigo, the extra smooth paper for full color printing; ideal for marketing communications, invitations, photo books and brochures; and DNS indigo, a high-white paper with a natural touch and feel, and ideal for high impact text, graphics and color printing such as books, promotional materials, catalogues, and transpromotional documents.

SmartSoft presented the latest features and enhancements for PressWise at Dscoop 8. The new items to be shown at Dscoop include:

1.Enhanced Estimator – The PressWise estimating feature has been rebuilt. Job entry is now faster and smoother than ever before with more control over costing, price locking, and many more details to create a fully-featured and flexible quoting system.

2. New Visual Editor – A new intuitive WYSIWYG document creator helps service providers create and edit for their customers and quickly get them online. The new editor offers many advanced features such as collapsible text and objects that can be grouped and edited together.

3. Redesigned User Interface – A fresh, new, more intuitive UI design is easier to learn, encouraging more rapid employee adoption.

4. Mail Tracking – Print service providers can now offer Mail Tracking services on every mailing job they run for their customers. Customers no longer need to ask if their mail has dropped – they’ll be able to see the progress of their direct mail campaigns as they progress through the postal system, generating real-time charts and graphs which are shared with customers through an online portal. Additionally the service lets you generate unique QR codes for each mailpiece, with real-time scan alerts for your customers every time a recipient scans a code on their Smartphone.

Duplo USA Corporation unveiled the new Ultra 300Ai UV Coater fully integrated in-line with the HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press. The Ultra 300Ai adds richness to its colors and protects them from scratches and scuffs at higher speeds up to 148 feet (45 meters) per minute. A high quality gloss or satin finish can be applied to a wide range of digitally-printed applications up to 350 gsm, and paper sizes up to 13x19-inches can be processed in-line with the HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press. The electronic interface provides bi-directional communication that will alert the press to stop in the event a paper jam occurs in the UV coater. The Ultra 300Ai can also be used near-line or off-line using an optional high capacity, air suction feeder.

Neenah Paper launched new digital paper selections at Dscoop8. The new digital paper selections are available in several of Neenah’s most popular brands, including CLASSIC CREST, CLASSIC Linen, ESSE, and ROYAL SUNDANCE Papers, and in 20.9x29.5-inch sheets, which can be printed on the new HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press. This adds to Neenah’s existing digital portfolio, which includes a wide range of versatile, high-performing choices with more than 20 colors and several finishes including smooth, eggshell, stipple, linen, felt and many more.

HP Indigo, Esko Artwork, ABG International and Label Traxx teamed up at Dscoop8 for a live workflow demo. The “Unleash the power of digital workflow” presentation showed a label print job progress from artwork, to order, to prepress and then on to the digital press and digital finishing equipment. Label Traxx MIS processed the order and passed the job details via JDF to Esko Artwork’s Automation Engine 12 software. AE12 processed the art files and create the step and repeat according to Label Traxx’s instructions. Once the job was approved, the finished files were passed on to the HP Indigo’s DFE. The job was then printed and finished in real time.

At Dscoop8, Esko and PriscoDigital created, printed, and finished 3D POP/POS displays as well as 2D samples. The digital inkjet workflow featured an Esko i-cut Suite front-end workflow, preparing files for print while creating cutting instructions for the finishing system. PDF print files traveled to a Caldera RIP before rigid materials were printed on a hybrid UV HP Scitex FB 700 Printer. Printed sheets were cut on an Esko Kongsberg XP 24 finishing system.

GPA, Specialty Substrate Solutions had several new products on display during this year’s Dscoop: Ultra Digital Heat Transfer Paper for HP Indigo Presses, DigiMag PLUS Flexible Magnet Material by Magnum Magnetics, and Print Trial Process 3.0 Express. Designed for application to white and light-colored fabrics, Ultra Digital Heat Transfer Paper offers superb ink adhesion, vivid image reproduction, and guaranteed press performance. Its enhanced liner removes easily once applied to fabric for total image transfer and vibrant results. DigiMag PLUS Flexible Magnet Material allows users to create custom magnets in-house for short runs without outsourcing, long delays, or large minimums. The magnet material is guaranteed for HP Indigo presses and magnetized post-press.

The Print Trial Process 3.0 Express is a new marketing tool designed to help users test drive and showcase substrates on the HP Indigo press. It lets users produce printed pieces for their sales team to present to new and prospective customers. It was designed to keep press time at a minimum and help keep you running at maximum efficiency.

MindFireInc is working with HP to enable printers to create marketing automation workflows that seamlessly incorporate digital channels and direct mail print pieces. The new integration between MindFire Studio marketing automation platform and HP SmartStream software allows PSPs to leverage their customers’ spend on digital channels like email, mobile and social media marketing, while harnessing the power of digital printing. 

The integration between MindFire Studio marketing automation platform and HP SmartStream Composer helps users to create and customize a direct mail piece within MindFire Studio. It is then sent directly to print through HP SmartStream Composer for rendering followed by either HP SmartStream Production Center or HP SmartStream Production Pro for print production. This integration eliminates the need to export data files, QR code images and other required assets and increases print production efficiencies. 

Scodix unveiled Scodix Metallic along with its S75 press at Dscoop 8. The Scodix Metallic look and feel can only be created by using Scodix S digital enhancement presses with the Scodix RSP Technology (Rotate, Scale and Position). By utilizing two CCD cameras and Scodix IP image algorithm, every image can be manipulated (scaling the image on X and Y axes, shifting and rotating it when required), ensuring perfect quality and precise print registration and the delivery of perfect metallic colors. The S75’s new sheet and image size also supports the HP Indigo and Screen Trupress SX digital B2 size presses, with the ability to accept materials up to 20.8x29.5 inch providing a new, cost effective way for PSP’s to augment their prints with metallic coloring by utilizing the CMYK color process and enhancing it with the Scodix SENSE in a digital 1-pass print process.

Mark Your Calendars

Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s event. Dscoop9 will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando, FL March 6-8. Stay turned to for more information as the date draws closer.