25 February 2018 Digital Printing Technologies

Upgrades all round as HP expands print portfolio

Packaging takes centre stage in new products from HP Indigo, but commercial printers and applications have not been forgotten.

Two years after the close of Drupa HP Indigo has released the key products announced at the exhibition. This is consistent with a product cycle that has previously centred on the interval between Drupa and Ipex, though the UK has effectively been squeezed from the market.

Thus the HP Indigo 12000 is now available in a high definition version following the completion of three beta tests. The C500 sheetfed inkjet corrugated press has notched five sales in Europe while a new set of inks has been released to enhance labels and packaging applications.

While the Indigo 12000 HD is a significant step in commercial printing, most of the development is focused on the packaging sector where HP is market leader in labels and flexible packaging with a key position in digital carton printing.

The HP Indigo 6900 is the successor to the Indigo 6800 with Pack Ready for Labels, enabling production of high resilience laminated self adhesive labels for chemical, pharma and more household and food applications. This is in field testing at four locations, says the company.

The much anticipated ElectroInk Silver is now available, offering a close match to Pantone 877 and a much more viable silver than the first aborted attempt at introducing a silver liquid toner. It is joined by blue and yellow inks which are invisible in normal conditions but which fluoresce under UV light. The applications are in promotional labels and brand protection.

The integration with the GEM embellishment unit for foiling, embossing, hologram application and lamination, announced at Labelexpo last year, is now available.

Likewise the implementation of a new Global Graphics based Rip as the HP Production Pro for labels and packaging will offer five times faster Ripping and integration with Esko’s Colour Engine. It will enable continuous production of labels.

The Pack Ready thermal laminator is another Drupa announcement that has passed testing and commercialisation phases and is ready for implementation by users of the Indigo 20000 flexible packaging press. This enables film to be printed and delivered within short cycles rather than waiting for printed laminated films to degas fully before shipping.

The Indigo 30000 carton press gains performance enhancing upgrades, making it possible to print 1 million B2 sheets a month. It can run inline with the Tresu iCoat 30000 coating line which was another demonstration at Drupa.

The same Series 4 print engine is at the heart of the Indigo 12000 HD. This has a new imaging head able to run at 1600dpi, double the addressability of the existing imaging head. While toner particle size is not changed, the finer imaging resolution will permit more steps in graduated tints and in areas of fine detail, ending risks of visible banding. The press will achieve 290lpi equivalent resolution, putting a quality between Indigo and dry toner printers.

The beta users have included photo printers CeWe and Orwo in Germany and New Print in Italy. Commercial printers will also be offered Vivid Pink and Vivid Green inks for photobook applications; the range of fluorescent inks is increased with green, yellow and orange.

Perhaps the most interesting announcement is that HP has sold a first batch of its C500 single-pass inkjet corrugated presses. This the first HP flatbed press to use the PageWide thermal inkjet heads rather than UV printheads. The PageWide heads are already in use on the HP PageWide T1100S 1.8m wide press for high volume corrugated preprint production.

« »
Extra inks for Indigo

Extra inks for Indigo

HP Indigo has added vivid green and pink inks to enable printers to provide an extra punch to images for photobook applications. There are additional inks too for labels and packaging to go with the introduction of the 6900 label press.

Explore more...

HP is developing silver for labels

Orders prove digital dependcy