HP Indigo Reveals drupa 2020 Product Launches Addressing Label and Packaging Trends
The world of printing and packaging continues to evolve, but with each challenge and change comes an opportunity for disruption, says Alon Bar-Shany, GM of HP Indigo.
In an online webcast held Monday, March 9, Bar-Shany provided a preview of the latest technology the company will have on display during drupa 2020, and the new opportunities it will allow printers and converters to access. Packaging, Bar-Shany said, is a growing print segment, having surpassed commercial printing in size, due to a confluence of factors contributing to the increased demand for packaging.
Meanwhile, the trends driving adoption of digital technology are becoming increasingly prevalent, which has led HP Indigo to develop its latest round of technology with these factors in mind.
“Runs are becoming shorter,” Bar-Shany said. “We also have changes around retail. The retail space is changing dramatically. A lot of purchasing is moving online, which creates its own opportunities and challenges.”
In the label and packaging markets, Bar-Shany explained that while variable printing capabilities can lead to some interesting applications, much of the adoption of digital technology has been centered on the need for fast turnaround time. As customers continue to appreciate the benefits that digital can provide, Bar-Shany says that one common request he has received at HP Indigo is for a press that can match the speeds of analog.
As a result, Bar-Shany revealed that drupa 2020 will serve as the launching pad for HP Indigo’s Series 6 platform, which will debut in the form of the HP Indigo V12 digital press. The V12 is optimized for the label world, Bar-Shany said, and can print at 400 fpm up to six colors, with the capability of printing 12 colors.
In order to achieve these speeds, HP Indigo has developed its new LEPx architecture, which is based on the company’s liquid electrophotography — the technology at the core of its prior generations of presses. The difference in the architecture however, is that rather than a central impression drum, the press runs in an in-line formation utilizing a blanket belt that transfers the image to the substrate.
“We believe this is going to change the math of printing in terms of revenue, variable cost, and fixed cost versus a fleet of multiple flexo [presses] that half the time are being set up while this press can run non-stop,” Bar-Shany said.
While the Indigo V12 signals the launch of the Series 6 platform of HP Indigo digital presses, drupa 2020 will also serve as the debut site of multiple label and packaging presses expanding on the Series 5 platform.
Color management has become increasingly important Bar-Shany said, and all of the new Series 5 launches will feature Indigo Spot Master, a new feature that allows printers to match, maintain, and report on spot or brand colors, using just three meters of waste.
“Today, if you go to an analog plant, the amount of time they’re printing is very small,” Bar-Shany said. “Most of the time they’re setting up and then they’re working to reach color.”
The Series 5 presses that will be launched at drupa include the Indigo 6K, which builds on the Indigo 6900 digital label press, and adds increased security printing capabilities, and durability in print.
Building on the company’s label portfolio, the HP Indigo 8000 has been upgraded to the Indigo 8K, which offers a 25% increase in short-run productivity.
In flexible packaging, the Indigo 20000 has been upgraded to the Indigo 25K, which can be run in conjunction with the SuperSimplex e800 laminator from Nordmeccanica, and the Karlville Pack Ready solution, which has demonstrated an ability to decrease the amount of time it takes to convert a printed roll into a pouch.
The HP Indigo 35K for the folding carton segment is a completely redesigned digital folding carton press, expanding on HP Indigo’s current digital folding carton printing capabilities. Key upgrades include a redesigned paper feeding process, paper path, and priming, along with an integrated TRESU iCoat II coating unit.
With a wide array of both new and upgraded technologies primed to launch at drupa, Bar-Shany said HP Indigo is positioned to help package printers capitalize on the latest industry trends and advance their businesses.
“We believe these presses, which are all going to be commercially available, will bring new capabilities to drive growth for the industry,” Bar-Shany said.