The peace treaty between Israel and UAE has prompted HP to appoint Dynagraph as its UAE distributor for Indigo products.
HP Industrial Printing has appointed Dynagraph as its distributor for its Indigo and PageWide presses in the Middle East. In a conversation with Adir Ariel, regional business manager for Indigo in HP CEMA (Central Europe, Middle East, Africa), and Ronnie Louw, product manager of HP Indigo at Dynagraph, they explain the advantages of the new deal for customers in the region.
Dynagraph, a printing equipment supplier for more than 70 years, was already distributing HP latex and 3D printers in the region. ‘Dynagraph has been with HP for latex and 3D printing for sign and graphics,’ Louw says. ‘Because of our track record of serving the print industry for 70 years, we like to think that it was an inevitable conclusion for Indigo to sign up with Dynagraph. We have the market exposure and relationships which is very important in the Middle East.’
Under the new agreement, Dynagraph will offer the complete Indigo portfolio as well as service, training and installations. Ariel explains: ‘The most important thing for us was finding the right partner in UAE who will help us to open the door for our future customers and to deliver our message and innovation for both HP Indigo and our PageWide presses. We are not just selling our products, consumables and service but also our know-how. Together with Dynagraph, we have a very impressive know-how accumulation throughout the years.
It’s an opportunity for us and the market because now the market has the larger choice. It will bring the possibility to adopt newer technology and offer new products to end-users
‘Customers are moving from offset and flexo to digital. They know what they want but don’t know how – and how is the most important part. We are partners and not just suppliers. That is why HP is so successful around the world.’
Ariel says that when he visited UAE in a personal capacity, he was touched by the vibrancy of the people and the economy.
‘I always wanted to be able to work with them,’ he says. It’s an opportunity for us and the market because now the market has the larger choice. It will bring the possibility to adopt newer technology and offer new products to end-users. That’s the nice things about it, the market is open to both sides and it’s a good thing that people can come together and work together.’
He is positive that HP, being a leader in digital printing in most parts of the world, will soon be a leader in the region too. Louw explains that that apart from equipment training and consulting, the company will share knowledge of trends, technology and applications with its customers. The supplier will also offer courses and seminars for customers who want to take it a step further and look at ROI.
Dynagraph recently invested in a new 5,500sqm facility in Dubai. Currently, it has two offices in Dubai, and will consolidate everything in its new headquarters. The new facility will showcase several HP products including latex and 3D. The key featuring products will be the HP Indigo range.
Dynagraph will also provide training and testing in the new facility. Print service providers can come to the facility and test the machine and train on it.
Digital printing growth
The label and packaging industry around the world was among the least affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Covid shook up the entire print industry like every other industry. We saw a reduction but not in that segment. The label and packaging segment is growing, both globally and in the area I am responsible for,’ Ariel says.
He adds that HP Indigo labels and packaging customers showed double-digit growth. ‘We also saw increasing demand for digital printing,’ he adds. ‘The number of label print jobs as well as commercial jobs is growing while the length is shrinking. As print volume drops, digital becomes more economical than flexo and offset.’
Louw explains that although the Middle East, specifically UAE, has not typically been the first to adopt new technology, the pandemic has been a driving force behind increasing demand for digital printing.
‘The drive is coming not just from the print converter but also brand owners. They want to print and deliver, and it makes it much easier from the financial perspective as well.’
Agreeing with Louw, Ariel says that customers now demand faster turnaround time and less inventory. He sees a greater a call for on-demand printing.
He adds that there is a rise in craft labels in the food, cosmetics and beverage industry. ‘Packaging becomes a part of the product and gives it shelf appeal. It is a part of the product experience.’ Other trends that Ariel highlights are sustainability and brand protection.
‘Online shopping is increasing and with that the issue of counterfeiting is also increasing. This costs tens of millions of dollars to the world economy. Brands and PSPs are looking to prove their authenticity.’ Personalization is another up-and-coming trend.
Louw adds that automation is one of the biggest technology trends. ‘Businesses are moving away from dependency on labor. The Middle East tends to depend on foreign labor. And now with Covid and visa restrictions, businesses want to move away from dependency on labor. Automation is the key not just in print but in the entire supply chain – order taking, planning, printing, quality control, delivery and predictive maintenance.’
According to Louw, customers in the region didn’t diversify into new market segments. Instead, they are looking at current markets from a new perspective.
‘For example, in pharmaceuticals, they now can add Covid security details on packaging and print RFID tags. So, digital brings another facet to the existing industry. They are looking at current products and finding ways to diversify within them.’
The Middle East tends to depend on foreign labor. And now with Covid and visa restrictions, businesses want to move away from dependency on labor. Automation is the key not just in print but in the entire supply chain
Diversifying in new market segments such as labels and packaging is an opportunity for commercial print businesses.
‘But how to compete with guys who are already doing that? You print and deliver fast. There is also the benefit of offering additional colors. With automation, you can move away from dependency on specialized color mixing and maintaining stocks. You can print with Indigo’s orange violet and green colors and add embellishments,’ Louw explains. ‘With digital printing, converters can print high quality with less floor space and fewer employees.’
Louw mentions that commercial, newspaper and cut sheet printers have the option to diversify into labels and digital printing. But there are only a handful of digital printing options available in the region.
‘The quality available in digital printing in the region was not comparative to flexo and offset. Indigo’s tech is based on offset technology. You can print one or thousands of labels on it and then move it to offset and get the same quality,’ he says.
Concluding the conversation, Ariel addresses potential customers in the region and says, ‘We will together contribute to the prosperity and success of the region. We will be a part of it and at the same time we will also get the benefit of having this reach. I think we are going to do great things together.’