24 September 2017 Digital Printing Technologies

New ink means HP Indigo users can find a silver lining

HP Indigo will show a silver ink for label printing in Brussels this week with the promise it will reach other markets.

HP will this week show a silver ink for its Indigo presses, initially for label printing, but with the promise that the long awaited metallic ink will also be available on its cutsheet machines.

The company had previously introduced a metallic silver effect ink, but this was withdrawn as too grey and not silver enough. The new ink is closer to PMS 877 and is smoother than the earlier metallic. It will be available in 2018 with a strong demand expected and no shortage of companies prepared to be the trial site.

The addition of silver extends the run of new inks that HP Indigo has introduced following the launch of a neon pink at Drupa last year. Further neon colours, green and blue, are already being trialled at an unnamed UK printer.

But another new ink may gain even more attention. This is a thermoexpanding ink that can create a raised image suitable for braille. The Indigo press has been able to print a raised image, but it has been a slow process as the layers to create the effect are laid down and it is not good enough for the tactile reading system.

The new ink will change this. When heat is applied after printing a reaction is triggered to create a 200 micron raised image. The company anticipates interest from packaging printing using the effect to print Braille on pharmaceutical cartons and labels. There is no date to release this, nor for a gold metallic ink that must now surely follow the silver

The announcements will add to those made by HP Indigo at Print17 in Chicago. These included availability of the High Definition Kit for the Indigo 12000. This was previewed at Drupa and works by doubling the resolution of the imaging head to 1600dpi. This enables smoother vignettes and reproduction in flesh tones by addressing more points on the image, and according to HP Indigo will open up greater opportunities in photo products and fine art printing. To emphasise the point, a deal for further HP Indigo 12000s for Shutterfly to give the photobook company 43 Indigos, ousting Xerox iGens as HP becomes its preferred supplier.

HP Indigo has now sold 600 of the B2 series 4 press, including 50 in the Indigo 30000 carton press configuration.

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Indigo silver

Indigo silver

HP will introduce a silver ink for its label press at Labelexpo. Cut sheet printers and commercial printers keen to use the new ink must wait until next year.

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