Rastar Inc., a subsidiary of North American printing giant Transcontinental Inc., is using the increased productivity of two HP Indigo 7500 digital presses and HP’s focus on client service to win new business and adjust to changing market needs.
The Salt Lake City-based company is one of Utah’s largest producers of printed marketing collateral, and its digital color printing operation is one of the nation’s leading providers of photo merchandise books and calendars. Rastar installed the new presses in time for last year’s October-through-December peak season, when digital color production jumps to about nine times the average volume.
High uptime for new business opportunities
As photo merchandise production spikes during these months, press downtime can have a disastrous effect. HP helps Rastar and other customers maximize uptime with digital press engineers who spend the entire season providing an extra layer of support.
HP’s on-site, peak season support services, combined with the HP Indigo 7500s’ 120 pages per minute (ppm) full-color speed, allowed Rastar to successfully add photo cards to its product mix during this exceptionally busy time.
“We were able to go into peak season with the new presses printing more than 50,000 cards a day, which is remarkable for our first time offering that product,” said Nicky Milner, vice president, On Demand Solutions, Rastar Inc. “It really speaks to the quality of support HP provides. HP has proven that it is in it for the long term when it comes to helping customers, and we believe the company is one of the few technology vendors capable of building the market for digital printing.”
Capturing an emerging, high-volume niche
During the rest of the year, much of the company’s digital color operation is dedicated to print-on-demand marketing collateral, especially personalized manuals, catalogs and brochures. The new HP Indigo 7500s replaced multiple 68-ppm HP Indigo press 5000s, delivering the higher throughput needed to address changing market dynamics.
“The growth opportunity in print-on-demand, custom content production is shifting from client-acquisition marketing to client-retention, ‘member communications’ programs that require higher volumes,” said Milner. “Our HP Indigo 7500 presses allow us to meet the larger quantity demands while providing the type of high-end, high-response personalized printing that boosts our customers’ return on investment.”
Primed for profit with a full range of HP solutions
Rastar is a long-time HP graphic arts customer and the flagship digital color printing operation within Transcontinental. In addition to its fleet of HP Indigo 3000-, 5000- and 7000-series presses, Rastar has several HP large-format printing solutions.
• Last year, the company purchased an HP Scitex LX800 Industrial Printer, a latex ink solution that addresses a new client segment in its custom-content business: enterprise and retail operations needing high-quality architectural textiles and decor for display.
• Rastar’s HP Designjet Z6100 and Z6200 photo printers produce decor prints and help Rastar round out its photo merchandise offerings with large-format photo output.
• The company’s HP Scitex TJ8600 Industrial Press meets growing demand for outdoor banners and displays, as well as for indoor signage used in franchise restaurant operations.
“HP’s commitment to its customers means we look to go the extra mile to help graphic arts businesses thrive,” said Jan Riecher, vice president and general manager, Graphics Solutions Business – Americas, HP. “Rastar’s decision to install a pair of HP Indigo 7500s, like all of its HP graphic arts investments, demonstrates support for our approach to technology and customer service.”