Posts tagged: HP Indigo

HP Indigo Lands Big Deal for HP Indigo 20000

India Tatro
 Feb 21, 2018

HP Indigo announced this month that a current user of HP Indigo 20000, ePac Flexible Packaging, has agreed to purchase 10 additional HP Indigo 20000s. ePac, based in Madison, Wisconsin, is a young, all-digital converter of flexible packaging and is already operating three HP Indigo 20000s sited in Madison and in Boulder, Colorado. The company, which started operations only in 2016, working with just one HP Indigo 20000, will add the new units to its existing sites this year and next at new facilities in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and Miami.

HP Indigo 20000 30″ digital web press

Among color digital printers for packaging and labels, HP Indigo 20000 is rare indeed. As of today, it is the only fully commercialized production level digital printer designed to print flexible packaging. Meanwhile, it was only in 2014 that HP Indigo launched the printer, so this seven color, 30” (760 mm) EP web is off to a fast start. At the time of the recent ePac announcement, HP Indigo also revealed that the current global installed base of this printer is 115 units. Given this model’s high purchase price, HP Indigo has likely achieved nearly $200 million in sales of HP Indigo 20000, not including the recent ePac deal.

A Brief History of the HP Indigo 20000

HP Indigo 20000 has predecessors, but they are all HP Indigo printers, namely the HP Indigo ‘Series 3’ label webs, especially HP Indigo WS6000 and WS6800. Starting around 2009, HP Indigo began developing flexible packaging as an extra application of WS6000, enlisting partners such as Karlville and Avery Dennison for finishing and media. As HP Indigo expanded further into flexible packaging, the company began to work with narrow-web label converters to help them start printing this application. In addition, HP Indigo even equipped rare flexible packaging converters with the Series 3 printers. Today, the HP Indigo 20000, an HP Indigo ‘Series 4’ printer, is the pinnacle of the HP Indigo’s efforts to develop digital printing for flexible packaging. With a web width equal to that of many flexo presses, and a powerful print engine based on the HP Indigo 10000, the Indigo 20000 is a practical digital option for flexible packaging.

Labels, Other Applications Also

Since HP Indigo 20000 is a roll-fed printer with a substantial web width, it is well suited for the production of both flexible packaging and labels. About 75% of the printing done on the Indigo 20000 is flexible packaging, with the remaining 25% being labels, or a mix of label and flexible packaging, or other applications. Keypoint Intelligence estimates that gross billings from the current base of HP Indigo 20000s for all uses is over $300 million annually. Those billings will grow as the base does, and as converters gain skill both in using the printer and in selling its services.

HP Pack Ready

While there are no new HP Indigo flexible packaging printers in sight at this point, a key finishing addition to the Indigo 20000 will be commercialized this year. This is HP’s new Pack Ready Lamination system which will dramatically decrease the time spent waiting for printed and laminated rolls to cure. While flexo converters must wait up to a week for their laminated rolls to cure, users of Pack Ready can expect curing to be almost immediate.

HP Pack Ready system with specially designed hardware form Karlville

The first component of Pack Ready is proprietary chemistry: HP Indigo licenses film manufacturers to use its patented coating technology to coat film for use in HP Indigo 20000 (several film companies in different regions have been licensed). After printing in HP Indigo 20000, that pre-coated film goes into a specially designed laminator by Karlville, HP’s partner for FP finishing. The laminator uses thermal energy to join the printed film with another film layers, and the lamination is fully cured in only a few minutes.

Pack Ready coating structure with HP’s proprietary heat-activated coating (in yellow)

Not Alone Forever

While the Indigo 20000 continues to be the industry leader for digital printing of flexible packaging, there are at least a few new digital entrants. These new machines are from Japanese companies Think Lab and Fujifilm, as well as Uteco Converting from Italy; Think Lab and Uteco are experienced suppliers for gravure and flexo in the flexible packaging industry, and Fujifilm is a giant in industrial inkjet. The new machines from these companies have only a handful of beta installations, mostly in Japan, but more will come, possibly also from competitors that are not evident today. As in all industrial printing, inkjet has high potential to contribute to flexible packaging printing. That said, EP printing from HP Indigo 20000 has a big lead, as exemplified by the recent deal with ePac.

Three New Videos: One Book Review and Two on CMYK+ Special Effects

Jim Hamilton
 Jul 10, 2017

I recently completed three short videos on topics of interest to the print community:

  • “Postcard Marketing in an Online World” by Joy Gendusa – Joy Gendusa is the Founder and CEO of Postcardmania. Her common-sense approach, numerous examples, and years of experience provide a fascinating look at the world of targeted postcard campaigns. Highly recommended, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. Many thanks to Konica Minolta for providing this book to all attendees of the recent PROKOM user group meeting in Vienna.
  • CMYK+ Effects on a Calendar – This 2017 calendar was printed on a Ricoh Pro C7100 series digital color printer and sports foil effects produced on a Kurz DM Liner. This calendar is a fascinating example of the use of special effects beyond four-color, specifically white toner and metallic foils. Papers used in the calendar come from Favini, Arjo Wiggins, G.F. Smith, and James Cropper. The design work was done by Silk Pearce. The symbol on the front of the calendar box is from a font called FE203 that was designed by Craig Ward. Thanks to Andy Campbell of Ricoh Europe for sending the calendar!
  • Bennett Graphics ‘Senseational’ Sample KitBennett Graphics in Tucker, Georgia sent me this sample kit highlighting digitally-applied spot gloss and foil special effects. The kit was produced on an HP Indigo 10000 and a Scodix Ultra Pro. Each sheet also received a satin aqueous coating that was applied conventionally using an offset press. The resulting designs are stunning. Thanks to David Bennett for sending the kit!

My other videos can be found on the Jim Hamilton YouTube page. I have recorded over 100 print sample videos over the past five years. Other industry-related videos are also there.

Beyond CMYK: The Digital Print Enhancement Opportunity

Jim Hamilton
 May 30, 2017

I love print. I particularly love it when it knocks my socks off. I’m a fool for gloss varnishes, metallic foils, velvet finishes, neon colors, and lenticular images. You get the picture. I’m also a huge digital print advocate. Yet much of production color digital print is process color only. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are great, and they are perfect for a lot of work, but sometimes I yearn for more. Maybe it’s that I’ve been spoiled by all the fantastic capabilities of offset print.

CMYKplus collage

InfoTrends estimates that 30% of offset printed color pages have some type of enhancement beyond the four process colors. I often refer to this as “CMYK+.” CMYK+ may be a spot or flood coat, a Pantone color, a metallic gold or silver ink, opaque white, or a range of other value-add special effects. Sometimes print will even use a combination of two or more special effects. All in all, this amounts to more than a trillion color offset pages that have some type of an enhancement beyond process color in promotional document applications. How many digital pages have such special effects? Read more »

HP at drupa 2016: Re-Imagining Production Digital Printing

Ron Gilboa
 Mar 29, 2016

During a pre-drupa event last week in Israel the HP Indigo and PageWide Web Press production teams announced a range of new products and product improvements. Headlines among this news are:

  • A new B1-format device called the HP Indigo 50000
  • A twin-engine, 197 feet-per-minute, roll-fed, label print called the HP Indigo 8000
  • A new Indigo high-definition laser array capable of 1,600 dot-per-inch resolution
  • Spectrophotometers, scanners, sensors, and vision systems for the Indigo product line that enable improved productivity, consistency, and image quality
  • Expansion of HP’s PageWide Web Press HD platform to include a monochrome offering called the T490 M HD
  • Ongoing development of PrintOS

HP’s event was hosted at the HP Indigo facilities in Kiryat Gat and Ness Ziona and was informative as well as very telling about the company’s ongoing commitment to the future of digital printing not only from a technology perspective but taking into consideration social responsibility related to environmental impact as well as the profitability of their community of customers.

In his welcoming comments Alon Bar-Shani, General Manager, Indigo Division at HP Inc. mentioned the team’s commitment to the success of their clients, pointing out page growth of over 50% that has occurred in the Indigo installed base since last drupa, that is expected to produce an estimated 30 Billion A4 pages by the end of 2016. According to Bar Shani, this growth can be attributed to the dedication of HP Indigo’s team to print quality, the versatility of their solutions, and a line of products that is built to last. This sentiment was echoed also by David Murphy, Worldwide Director of Marketing & Business Development, HP PageWide Web Press division, HP Inc., who cited productivity, quality, versatility and economics as the key drivers in the estimated 50 Billion A4 pages printed on HP’s PageWide Web Press installed base in 2015.

Alon Bar-Shani holding up new canvas high quality HP Indigo print

Alon Bar-Shani Holds Up High-quality Canvas HP Indigo Print

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Activity Brewing in the Zone of Disruption

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 25, 2016

Inkjet is having, and will continue to have, significant impact on the production digital print market. One of the most active areas for inkjet is in the “Zone of Disruption.” It’s a busy segment, and it will only get busier as drupa 2016 approaches, so now is a good time to revisit the product activity there.

In defining the Zone of Disruption, InfoTrends has in mind inkjet products with a capital acquisition cost of less than $1 million, very competitive running costs, and high levels of productivity. This puts them at speeds faster than current cut-sheet color toner devices, and at a capital acquisition cost lower than most 20” roll-fed color devices. To be truly disruptive there are some other important aspects. These devices must compete in quality and ease of use against the mainstream cut-sheet toner devices. This requires sound design, effective feeding & finishing, as well as workflow software that automates production. Success within niche markets is certainly good, but being disruptive in the marketplace means that these products must address the needs of mainstream cut-sheet and roll-fed color users. As this market progresses, InfoTrends is closely watching for broad levels of success by products in the Zone of Disruption. As of today, only a relatively small number of products fit there and relatively few placements have been made.

Zone of Disruption

The Zone of Disruption fits below the gap between Read more »

Brewing in Belgium: KHS & Martens Brouwerij Ramp Up ‘Direct-to-Shape’ Printing

Bob Leahey
 Aug 19, 2015

Color digital printing for packaging got a boost in Europe recently when a brewer long known for innovation, Martens Brouwerij (Belgium) publicized its use of a direct-to-shape print system to print PET bottles in full color, starting in June 2015. Called “Direct Print Powered by KHS™”, the system is engineered and built by KHS (Germany), a global supplier of filling and packaging solutions to the drinks industry, and commercialized by a wholly-owned KHS subsidiary, NMP Systems. The system, based on Xaar 1002 heads, Read more »

HP Indigo: Gearing Up for LabelExpo

Ralf Schlozer
 Jul 21, 2015

In July HP hosted a worldwide HP Indigo VIP event in Israel. More than 250 customers and prospects visited from dozens of countries from all over the world – including USA, about 10 different European countries, China, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Mexico, USA, Brazil, South Africa, and more. There were dozens of sessions presented in each of the four tracks: Flexible Packaging, Labels, Folding Cartons and Commercial Printing. In addition to visiting HP Indigo labs and manufacturing facilities, attendees also visited local HP Indigo customers according to their tracks.

The event provided a great opportunity to present some news ahead of LabelExpo Europe, which is taking place end of September in Brussels. Packaging, and especially label printing, is now a major business for HP Indigo. According to HP label volumes are growing by 25% every year. With a forecast of more than 600 million square meters of labels to be printed in 2015 HP claims to represent nearly 10% of the global label market value and has established itself as major player not only in digital print, but in the whole label print market.

However HP Indigo is extending its coverage beyond label markets. While the ws 4000 and 6000 series are firmly rooted in the label market with only occasional installs in folding carton, shrink sleeves and in-mould labels, the HP Indigo 20000 marks a distinctive move into adjacent packaging markets. Of the roughly 30 installations of the 20000 so far most are used for flexible packaging, followed by shrink sleeves, with only a minority used purely in label printing. Meanwhile, HP Indigo has 20 or more installations of the 30000, the B2 sheet fed press that mainly prints folding cartons. Read more »

B2 Digital Presses: Market is Ramping Up in Europe, North America

Bob Leahey
 Dec 2, 2014

The new generation of ‘B2’ format sheet fed presses from HP Indigo and several other suppliers has caused interest and excitement since their first unveiling two years ago. Today about 140 B2 presses are operating worldwide, and that total is growing. InfoTrends recently interviewed 40 current users of B2 presses and also surveyed 200 prospects for the technology in Europe and North America, in order to understand the status and outlook for B2 digital systems, which are available now from Delphax, Fujifilm, HP Indigo, and Screen, with more to come.  The results are charted and interpreted in the new report, Opportunities and Challenges in B2 Digital.

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HP Flexes Its Packaging Muscles: Part 1

Ron Gilboa
 Nov 24, 2014

HP’s Graphic Arts division demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the future of digital printing for packaging applications by announcing a partnership with Kama, a major manufacturer of finishing automation.. The announcement came a part of a recent open house that Kama held at its Dresden, Germany headquarters; also at that event, Kama, a 120-year-old manufacturer of automatic die cutters, hot foil stamping systems, and folder-gluers, revealed its collaboration with HP Indigo to launch a prototype of the FlexFold 52, a folder-gluer that will become commercially available in Q2 2015. During his introduction, Kama CEO Marcus Tralau proclaimed that “packaging is coming home” to Germany with this new technology introduction.

The FlexFold 52 offers automatic setup for rapid changeovers from one job to the next, making it ideal for producing short runs of folding cartons. Setup is handled via JDF and JMF commands, and the device can automatically adjust the length and width of the folding elements before gluing them together at a speed of 200 meters per minute with nearly whisper-quiet operation. Developed in collaboration with HP Indigo’s team, the system complements the capabilities of the HP Indigo 30000 printing system when producing folding carton applications.

 

Kama FlexFold52

Kama FlexFold52

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The Benefits of Working Together – Dscoop EMEA 2013

Ralf Schlozer
 Nov 14, 2013

Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative) is an independent global community of graphic arts business owners and technical professionals who use HP Indigo, Scitex or HP web press equipment. Dscoop was founded in 2005 and after establishing a strong presence in North America it is broadening its reach with the second conference for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa). More than 700 digital print professionals from 36 different countries gathered at the second annual Dscoop EMEA conference. Among them were 400 print service providers, a substantial increase from 200 in the year before. The event titled “Print Grand Prix” ran November 6th to 8th at the Rome Marriott Park Hotel, Italy.

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