United Arab Emirates publishing giant UPP (United Printing & Publishing) has chosen a KODAK NEXPRESS SE3000 Digital Production Color Press to spearhead its on demand print service.
Established in 2006, UPP is one of the largest companies in the UAE and specializes in newspaper and commercial offset printing. With an annual AED 260 million turnover and 500 employees, it offers a wide range of commercial and newspaper print production services for print buyers from regional and international publishers, advertising agencies as well as corporate operations. Key clients include Abu Dhabi Media Company, Al Ittihad, Financial Times and educational books for Macmillan Publishers plus many weekly and monthly magazines for regional as well as international markets.
The ability to flexibly and cost effectively meet the changing demands of the international publishing industry prompted UPP’s decision to invest in a KODAK NEXPRESS SE3000 Press—its first step into the digital arena. “Digital printing is a new area for us and we have started to meet the growing demand for the ‘on demand print’ segment of the industry,” says UPP CEO, Mr. Ali Saif Al Neaimi.
UPP’s NEXPRESS SE3000 Digital Production Color Press joins two 16-page commercial web offset presses, two eight-color sheetfed offset perfecting presses and a number of multicolor sheetfed offset presses that also deliver specialized coating applications.
Ali Saif Al Neaimi explains the decision: “We liked the combination of impressive quality with high production, commercial viability and 3D printing capabilities. We reviewed the leading industry systems available in the region, but felt the NEXPRESS SE3000 Press was the ideal solution for us.
“We wanted to divert the short-run jobs from our offset capabilities to digital and thereby free the offset presses for larger volume jobs. This gives us faster turnaround on short-runs with better pricing. It also saves paper and reduces the associated costs.”
One-Stop Print Solution
Scheduling improvements and operational savings were not the only benefit explains Ali Saif Al Neaimi: “We could have outsourced digital print until the volumes pile-up. However, as a company, we prefer to have a one stop print solution.”
But it is not just the ability to offer a complete service that convinced Ali Saif Al Neaimi that the time to invest was right: “We foresee the transition from offset to digital happening slowly but surely and therefore made this proactive investment looking into our future. Now our customers are confident to share their database and information needed for VDP as the entire operation is handled confidentially within our company.”
As a result of the new addition UPP is enjoying higher profitability on short run jobs, additional revenue through Transpromo, faster turnaround, the business winning capability of offering variable data and personalization as well as Dimensional Printing and emboss and deboss effects.
Making the Digital Switch
Some of the jobs that the company was printing using offset technology are now completed on the NEXPRESS SE3000 Press because of the time frame, run length and the cost factors. This has created new business for the digital press and at the same time kept UPP’s offset presses free to take on the longer run and more demanding jobs.
While Ali Saif Al Neaimi says it is too early to comment on the ROI and the overall benefits, he states: “By and large the investment has really helped us extend our services into the new and future segment of digital POD. Customers have also noticed the difference and operators have embraced the new press in particular the ORC system, which is handy for our maintenance team and ensures uninterrupted print production.”
As for UPP’s relationship with the Kodak team Ali Saif Al Neaimi adds: “The Kodak executives are very helpful and knowledgeable. They have shared many of their worldwide experiences, which in itself is a learning exercise for us. In return we share our experiences, which we hope is useful for them as well.”
Arif Khan, Area Manager, Kodak (Near East) Inc, adds: “This cooperation has been a true partnership. By involving each other from the start in each company’s possibilities, opportunities and necessities, we were really able to define a mutually beneficial solution for both parties. The cooperation is going smoothly and as Mr. Al Neami says, we are continuously learning from one another and growing alongside one another.”
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