HP also announced continued market momentum, with more than 500 HP Indigo WS6000 series Digital Presses now sold worldwide. The volume of labels printed on HP Indigo digital presses grew by more than 25% in Q3 2013 versus a year ago, significantly outpacing the market growth rate of less than 5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to the company. The company also has experienced strong market acceptance of the HP Indigo WS6000 enhancement package that improves press performance as well as new end-to-end solutions for the packaging portfolio.
“Today’s brands demand high-impact packaging and fast turn-around times, and they are requesting HP Indigo technology to meet their needs,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo Division, HP. “Our unprecedented growth in the labels market reflects our commitment to help our customers stay on the cutting edge by continually introducing new solutions that will help converters continue to differentiate themselves.”
The announcements were made at Labelexpo Europe 2013, where HP is demonstrating its comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end solutions for label, folding carton and flexible packaging converters in Hall 5 Patio (5106C).
Until now, silver metallic print, which is used for the production of more than 2 billion square meters of prime labels, has mostly been printed using conventional print processes. The introduction of HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver enables for the first time the printing of high-quality silver ink on digital print applications. It opens up opportunities for more jobs, and offers converters a cost-effective, high-quality solution for these needs.
Geostick B.V., a Netherlands-based labels and packaging supplier, has experienced success with initial testing of the new ink.
“We are thrilled with the early results of the new HP Indigo silver ink. We already sold labels printed with it to customers who readily accepted the results and were unable to detect any differences from conventionally printed silver ink,” said Cees Schouten, technical director, Geostick B.V. “The new silver ink opens numerous new opportunities for us. HP’s continual commitment to introduce new capabilities and innovation in the platform, give us the agility we need to keep meeting our customers’ changing demands.”
Expected to be commercially available in early 2014, HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver is suitable for a range of label applications, including paint, automotive, household chemicals, beer and soft drinks.
HP also announced it will complete its 500th installation of the HP Indigo WS6000 series Digital Press at RAKO Etiketten’s production facility in China. In addition, RAKO has added three HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Presses to its facility in Germany, building on the company’s installation of five HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Presses last year. The additional capacity will enable the company to increase efficiency and productivity as it extends the benefits of digital label printing to a wider market.
Beta customers have provided favorable feedback for the HP Indigo WS6000 series Digital Presses enhancement package introduced in August. The enhancement package includes a series of features that improve press performance, including the new HP SmartStream Labels and Packaging Workflow Suite, version 4.0, powered by Esko.
“The new HP SmartStream Labels and Packaging Workflow Suite has enhanced the workflow in our shop and exceeded our highest expectations. The Adobe RIP it features is three to four times faster for static jobs, and it’s even faster for print jobs with variable data components,” said John Dion, president, Dion Labels. “In addition, the new color engine has automated many of our processes while improving our color results. In turn, our overall productivity has increased and it’s easier than ever to produce more jobs on our press.”
All of these product upgrades and capabilities are backward compatible, creating new opportunities for converters, while protecting existing customers’ investments and improving the return on investment of an HP Indigo Digital Press for new customers.
Demonstrated for the first time worldwide at Labelexpo, new end-to-end solutions for the HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses will accelerate the transformation of the folding cartons and flexible packaging markets.
The HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, driven by the HP SmartStream Labels and Packaging Workflow Suite, version 4.0, powered by Esko, will be producing high-quality digital printing of multiple packaging applications, including flexible packaging, pressure-sensitive labels and shrink sleeves. The AB Graphics’ Digicon 3000, designed specifically to support the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press specifications, is shown alongside the press and allows converting of pressure-sensitive labels and flexible packaging films.
For the first time, HP also is demonstrating a full end-to-end solution for folding carton production on the HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press, including the Tresu iCoat 30000 from TRESU Group, which enables both UV and aqueous post-print selective coating. Also on display is the Kama stripping and blanking unit (SBU) that contains programmable rollers to strip waste and blank printed boxes without the need for expensive tools or cumbersome manual processes. The SBU joins Kama’s DC 76 die cutter, a die cutting and foil unit with automatic registration camera for a complete, digital compatible finishing solution.
The HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses have sparked significant interest from hundreds of converters and brands, ranging from family establishments to industry leaders. The solutions are expected to be commercially available in 2014.