HP has announced that school portrait company 36Pix installed an HP Indigo 5600 Digital Press with C.P. Bourg finishing solution to replace its silver halide devices. The new end-to-end solution will help the company address increased demand for high-quality portrait books and photo merchandise.
“We are moving our production to the HP Indigo press, which is the best digital solution on the market in terms of speed and quality,” said Robert Ste-Marie, president, 36Pix. “As we approach our busiest season, we need a solution that can cost-effectively keep up with demand.”
Montreal-based 36Pix installed the press in late July before the busy back-to-school period from September to November when the company provides printing services for photographers across Canada and U.S. The company also operates its own photography studio, Green Apple Studios, serving 650 preschools, elementary and high schools across Canada.
This fall, 36Pix anticipates producing more than 150,000 portrait books and story books. Printing at a speed of 4,080 color pages per hour and with a duty cycle of more than two million color pages per month, the HP Indigo 5600 allows 36Pix to efficiently replace its traditional film and paper presses during peak times without any slowdown in production.
“As the photo market continues to evolve, professional photo labs are searching for solutions that produce high-quality photo prints with cost and environmental advantages over traditional silver halide technology,” Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo Division, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. “HP Indigo digital presses have the superior color quality, productivity and flexibility to meet the changing market needs, allowing photo labs such as 36Pix to produce digital photo prints and specialty products.”
36Pix opened in 2000 with hopes of transforming the school photo industry from delivering standard photos loose in blank envelopes to providing unique, personalized and bound portrait books. The multipage portrait books use the company’s ChromaStar® technology to replace green-screen backgrounds with imaginative portraits that reflect each child’s personality and interests.
With four, six or seven process colors plus light cyan and light magenta special inks, the HP Indigo 5600 can produce true-to-life colors to accurately reproduce skin tones and backgrounds. With its unique combination of high productivity and superior color matching, the HP Indigo press delivers a high-quality alternative to minilabs at a lower price point.
The HP Indigo 5600 also allows 36Pix to print an array of customized photo merchandise, ranging from coasters to mobile phone covers as well as personalized activity books and story books using the child’s photo and name.
“We saw an opportunity with digital printing to turn school photography from bland to interesting. The HP Indigo 5600 enables us to continue to grow and remain innovative with a commitment to using the best technology,” said Ste-Marie. “As we serve more customers and expand our business, we hope to add more HP Indigo solutions in the near future.”
All of the portrait books 36Pix produces are saddle-stitched and trimmed using the C.P. Bourg BSF booklet-making system for easy in-line finishing. 36Pix also uses a GBC laminator for a high-quality gloss finish to enhance the richness of the photos while protecting them from damaging scratches.