By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
Inkjet address and barcode printers provide an opportunity for those printers familiar with offset to marry the two technologies together. Depending on the variability found throughout a print run, and an imprinting system is sometimes a better alternative to a full high-speed inkjet press.
Kodak user Axel Springer of Germany realized this back in 2012. It is one of Europe’s largest media companies, publishing over 230 newspapers and magazines. Faced with the increasing use of digital media, the management team at Axel Springer looked to digital print to attract and retain readers while simultaneously creating new channels for revenue.
The main goal was to drive a closer connection with readers. The company looked to develop new marketing strategies that integrated variable data components to better target specific audience segments. For example it hoped to create applications that included versioning or personalization of advertising campaigns, combining static advertising content with variable data and image components, and enable local advertising without plate changes.
Axel Springer looked for an inkjet address and barcode printer that would fit its current and future needs. “For us, speed is hugely important, because we can’t afford for production to slow down. Obviously, we needed high imprinting quality—on par with offset, if possible. Space was a consideration too—our staff needed plenty of room to operate the press. And from the customer’s point of view, availability is crucial,” explains Holger Benthack, production manager, Axel Springer.
In response, the company integrated the Kodak Prosper S30 imprinting systems on its Manroland Colorman Newspaper web offset presses. The configuration offers flexibility, as one web can be printed by two different towers, depending on the web lead. As a result, variable elements can be printed on the newspaper’s outer pages as well as on selected inner pages.
Once implemented, the system was used for a large scale Cash Millions Lottery campaign aimed at Hamburg readers. Tickers bearing a one-off, inkjet-imprinted number combination were included with the Bild—the highest circulation newspaper in Europe—at the beginning of a week. Readers were urged to compare their numbers with the daily lucky numbers for a chance to win cash and non-cash prizes.
Another campaign included imprinting 35,000 copies of publication Welt Kompakt every day. An exclusive prize code was printed on the tabloid’s title page. The promotion was only supposed to last two weeks, but the publisher doubled the time period due to its success.
“Thanks to the vast personalization options, this technology has enormous potential and has a major role to play in our future,” concludes Benthack.
Axel Springer is just one example of a traditional print provider relying on imprinting systems such as the Kodak Prosper S30 to help boost business and capture reader attention. While not straying from tried-and-true offset, it was able to integrate a hybrid solution that offers the best of both worlds. Printers from many different backgrounds can experience this scenario as well. dps
Aug2015, DPS Magazine