23 June 2013 Events

HP Indigo gears up to unwrap first digital packaging presses

Beta sites names and third party deals announced as HP prepares for launch of its B2 packaging machines.

HP Indigo has shown off its wider width reeled and carton press technology.

HP Indigo has shown off its wider width reeled and carton press technology.

HP INDIGO HAS TAKEN PROSPECTS and customers to view progress on the packaging versions of its B2 digital presses ahead of Labelexpo where the Indigo 20000 will next appear.

At the same time HP has announced a series of partnerships to turn the print engines into production devices through prepress and finishing tie ups and capped this with announcements about the first beta users. RAKO-Etiketten in Germany and Innovative Label Solutions in the US will be the first with the webfed Indigo 20000, installing the machines by the end of the year, and New York based Multi Packaging Solutions and AGI-Shorewood will be among the “launch customers” for the Indigo 30000 carton press. It will be put through its paces at Shorewood’s Toronto plant. Shere Print, part of Ultimate Packaging, Grimsby, had previously been announced as a beta site for flexible packaging applications.

WHILE THE WEBFED MACHINE WILL have strong appeal to existing customers of earlier label presses, HP says that ten of the world’s largest flexible packaging printers are among the 100 orders placed for the new machines. Several of those ordering the carton version are multinational businesses.

Since the launch of the presses last year, HP has started to create production flows around the presses as this is a key difference between the packaging and commercial print sector. Unsurprisingly Esko is the key partner on prepress, having worked with HP Indigo on its labels frontend. Version 4.0 of the SmartStream labels and packaging print server offers simplified colour management operation as well as the extra imposition tools, variable data capabilities needed by the larger formats. It boosts productivity by a claimed 70% in colour management for the existing WS6000 range.

ONE THE FINISHING SIDE, HP is working with AB Graphic to expand the Digicon concept to cover the wider web and to include lamination for flexible packaging or labels production in one pass.

Finishing for the carton press also builds on the existing relationship it has with Kama, represented by Friedheim International in the UK, to provide firstly a cutting and creasing platen with a new type of stripping and blanking unit to operate inline. This includes automatic register adjustment to precisely position register marks under the platen’s dies. HP also announced a partnership with Tresu to produce the iCoat 3000, a flexo unit to apply both UV and aqueous coatings after printing. Both devices will be available next year.

TRESU HAS MEANWHILE ACQUIRED the rights to StoraEnso

AGI-Shorewood expects to use the Indigo carton press for prototyping and proofing as well as for shorter runs through a new service that is being developed. Multi Packaging Solutions operates in health, beauty and entertainment sectors and is allied with the CartonDruck group in Europe.

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HP Indigo has shown off its wider width reeled and carton press technology.

HP Indigo has shown off its wider width reeled and carton press technology.