HP Indigo press 3050

Tanay Mehta of Reproscan says that HP Indigo 3050’s control directly co-relates with the print quality and maintenance; and wishes the unit had an online coater to print with metallic ink

09 May 2013 | By PrintWeek India

What does the machine do? 
The Indigo 3050 is a digital offset printing press. It uses liquid inks unlike other digital presses. And has superior variable data printing capabilities. 

Why did you choose this particular machine? 
We chose this press as the print result was closest to the offset look and feel. 
Did you look at any other similar machines? 
Why did you make the purchase?
We bought this machine as we wanted to move into new sectors. It was forward integration for us. Once upon a time we were a printing press, after which we specialised in pre-press, now by getting into digital printing; we are closing the loop slowly. 
What features do you particularly like? 
The fact that this digital press uses liquid inks was a positive, as this technology allowed us to print on several kinds of papers. Another plus point is that this press allows us to have fairly good control over the machine which in turn gives us better control on its output.  There is a direct co-relation between the print quality and maintenance of the machine. Also the speed of printing is very good. 
Is there anything that you dislike?
The paper feeding unit is complicated to adjust for someone who is not an offset printer. So it becomes difficult to change paper size easily. Also if you do change the paper size and print jobs, it will affect the life of the machines’ consumables. 
Is there anything that you wish it had that it doesn’t? 
We wish it had an online coating machine for non recommended paper, or for varnish. We also sometimes wish it had a bigger print area and wish that in the future, this technology will allow us to print using metallic ink.
How fast is it? 
 4000 imp/hour.
How reliable is it?
Fairly, does not have several break downs, but when there are, they last for sometime.
What’s the quality like? 
Very nice, sometimes there are 3/4th banding problems, but we have worked around it.
How easy is it to use?
It’s easy to use now. There was a learning curve. First week you will be pulling your hair out. Then it only gets better. But still every time the engineers come to solve some problem, we learn something new. In three months, you can run the press fairly well unless there is an exceptional problem.
How much time or money has it saved? 
Can’t answer that as it’s a new venture for us. But I can definitely say that we have made money, and are satisfied. 
Has it won you any new work? 
Yes, because of the quality and consistency, jobs which would be more viable in offset, come to us as the client is ready to pay that little extra for the quality and consistency. But quality and colour is directly related to the way the operator maintains the press, hence not all Indigo presses will give you the same output. 
Would you say that it offers value for money?
Were there any difficulties experienced during the installation or after? 
A few, because this was the first machine in Mumbai. So there was a learning curve for us and the engineers. 
What about the pre and after-sale service? 
It’s good right now and I can imagine it will only get better. 
Who do you think the machine is right for? 
It’s right for existing printers, photo labs, pre-press houses.    
Under what circumstances would you buy another?
If I start churning out large volumes and feel like capacity is becoming a problem, then I would go for another.
User’s verdict
Speed 4/4
Quality 4/4
Reliability 4/4
Value for money 4/4