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An Indigo Storm is Predicted

The indisputable leader of the technical meetings and fairs in recent years ‘or in other words the biggest organizer and host for the most guests’ is the HP Inc. company. HP held its first VIP event of 2018 on February 19 – 22. It was reported that around 700 customers of HP Indigo participated in this huge organization. A total of nine experts from 7 companies attended this important meeting from through HP Indigo Turkey Distributor Matset fromTurkey. Three of the participants were label companies, three copy centers and one was in the field of commercial printing. When we returned on the 22nd of February our feeling was that there will be an HP Indigo storm that will last all the way into 2019. It was a meeting that we followed with enthusiasm and exhaustion.

by MEHMET AKİF TATLISU

We were included in a series of special meetings along with nearly twenty journalists as MATBAA & TEKNİK from different countries and not only collected important information over the two days but also witnessed some important events. Our first day was in HP Indigo while our second day was reserved for HP Scitex. There is important news on both fronts. We will provide you with everything we have been able to collect in such a short time, but the discussions and new elements may overflow into future editions.

Let’s start with HP Indigo. Of course there are new things. The ones that stand out are the 6000 series new 6900 version and the 12000HD model. There are also innovations about ink. You can read about all of the innovations on the HP Indigo side in the following official press bulletin. But of course our interpretation in the introduction will be a little different:

HP Indigo is on its own in the market with ElectroInk, their own patented invention. There is no other press producer that uses ElectroInk and can call their machine Digital Offset. In the meantime rivals can achieve faster spreading by using toner and ink jet technologies and in fact this information is just in despite our predictions:

While ElektroInk and inkjet are on the rise…

HP Indigo General Manager Alon Bar Shany told the journalists on the night of February 19 that HP Indigo was evaluating its leadership in the digital printing solutions for the label and packaging field by comparison with the six competitor producers ‘using other ink technologies’ (Source: IDC and ASP based on internal estimations). He added that ElectroInk, therefore HP Indigo had increased its share. HP Indigo increased its market share by three points to 72% in 2017; the inkjet technology share went up one point to 7% while the toner based machines share receded 3 points to 22%. LEP (Liquid Electrophotographic Printing) was one of the main topics in the press meeting that lasted an entire day on February 20th. One of the slogans that HP Indigo used during these meetings was Print on Anything! Let’s continue our comments from here and explain LEP from the point of view of applications, that there is hardly any material left for it to be printed on.

Application is the best!

The HP Indigo meeting area was divided up as expertly as it was confusingly. In one of the corners was the Indigo E-Print 1000 digital printing machine that showcased in 1996 and was featured in one of our first editions. 25 years have gone by since the E-Print 1000 was released to the market. After this section there was a wide space arranged for applications. We were allowed in this area last as journalists. But when we went into the applications area all the technological innovations we had heard about all day had completely lost their meaning for me because this advanced technology enables the best applications but the technology cannot function on its own without the innovative minds necessary to do these applications. We have added a few photographs (Seven collage picts) to this article from the applications area. I am sure they will interest you. The most famous HP Indigo project is the labels called Coca Cola, right? If you do a little more research you will find out about Oreo and Nestle too and a few other global brands. Let’s provide you with another example to summarize what we mean.

A facebook page, Tasty. It has over 90 million followers. There are recipes used by countless homemakers skilled in the kitchen. Recipes are shared. Many sponsors are found and films are shot. The subscribers of the page advertise sponsor products by sharing and this becomes a social media phenomenon. Tasty has even given followers the chance to print their own cookbooks. You choose your recipes. You add personal notes, pictures, etc. and then you receive your own special Tasty book by mail. Should we congratulate whoever created this facebook page or whoever brought this book project to the creator of the page or should we declare them all innovators? We just couldn’t decide. But in the end the number of customized Tasty books printed digitally at HP Indigo is 20 thousand. We didn’t even ask the price.

What we are trying to say is that digital printing is a great solution for customizing, versioning, personalizing but that is not the entire job. Actually there is no such thing as the entire job. Digital printing is a fact that forces minds to innovate and opens new doors to companies. This is what we came to understand at this event. And of course this claim of HP Indigo that you can print on anything! We found out in this meeting that the company is trying to and succeeding in developing thermal ink to print on textiles, paper connected to electronic circuits and many other things to support this motto. This is the impact it has had on us. The technical details are in the next two paragraphs.

The 32 meter giant: PageWide C500

Let’s move to the February 21st HP Scitex visit. HP Scitex has announced its PageWide C500 post print corrugated cardboard printing press. This is a giant 32 meter press (the footprint of the machine is 32 x 8 x 4,8 meters) with single pass, 75 meters per minute print on coated or uncoated paper and more importantly   equipped with water based ink for food grade applications. Let’s leave the details of this machine to the below lines. HP Scitex General Manager David Tomer says the corrugated market which was 3.5 billion USD in 2017 will rise to 5.5 billion USD in 2022. Compared to the metal, flexible, cardboard and plastic packaging and labels, the most significant increase will be in corrugated packaging. Another fact that Tomer shared is that over 50% of the corrugated packaging that is produced is produced as food packaging.

So what is obvious when we compare the information in the above paragraph with the general features of the PageWide C500 is what a spot on investment it is. Let’s not just focus on corrugated packaging. As you know PageWide has the T series machines that we wrote about last year and several times in the previous years. Pre Print and spool feed. There are 6 corrugated food packaging application stories that PageWide Industrial Division WW Business Development and Marketing Manager David Murphy tells in a row about these machines. They are very impressive. There is customization, personalization and versioning. There is every kind of capability presented by digital to sell a product applied. In only its 6th success story there is a 79% increase in sales in the year 2017.

Now, let’s take a look at what’s new in Indigo and Scitex?

Accelerates customer growth in digital printing 

HP Inc. expanded its labels and packaging portfolio with solutions to drive the printing and converting toward more flexible, productive and profitable digital printing of any application. New solutions include the HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press for labels and packaging and HP PageWide C500 Press for mainstream corrugated production.

“The expansion follows the largest packaging deal ever for HP Indigo with ePac.  Our customers are growing fast across all segments and are experiencing massive success. They are leveraging HP technology to innovate and deliver on brands’ evolving needs,” said Santi Morera, Global Head of Graphics Solutions Business, HP Inc. “These new technologies we are launching are needed now more than ever and will allow our customers to be more productive.”

Innovations increasing digital production profit

The new HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press increases the addressable label market while offering higher revenue per meter, including:

  • Pack Ready for Labels for the production of high-resistance labels for food, household, chemical, and pharma labels. Four beta sites are producing commercial jobs.
  • New HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver, now commercially available, delivers metallic effects across a wide color gamut, similar to Pantone 877.
  • HP Indigo ElectroInk Invisible Blue and Yellow visible under UV light for brand protection and promotional labels
  • Integration with the HP Indigo GEM embellishment unit, the first fully digital, one-pass label printing and embellishment solution for spot, tactile, foil, holograms, mini textures and lamination.

Additionally, the high-performance HP Production Pro for Indigo Labels and Packaging now included in the HP Indigo 6900 and rolling out this year to HP Indigo’s entire Labels and Packaging portfolio. Featuring five times faster RIP power and the Esko Color Engine, the powerful Digital Front End provides extensive productivity and scalability for continuous digital production, to allow converters to scale and manage their digital production across multiple presses and multiple sites, increase the number of jobs per day, and shorten delivery cycles.

Pack Ready Laminator commercially available

For the HP Indigo 20000 flexible packaging press, the HP Indigo Pack Ready Laminator is now commercially available. A pioneering technology, Pack Ready Lamination allows for immediate time-to-market of HP Indigo digitally printed flexible packaging by eliminating the use of adhesives. The Pack Ready Laminator is manufactured and supplied by Karlville.

Extended capabilities for the HP Indigo 30000

The HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press offers converters an opportunity to build new profitable businesses that leverage cost-effective short runs and added value long-run production. The new capabilities and improved performance include:

  • Increased productivity to enable dozens of folding carton jobs per day and up to 1 million B2 sheets per month.
  • The widest folding carton application span on one press, leveraging wide media range from paperboards to metalized, synthetic, and transparent media, new security features like micro-text and micro QR-codes, and new automatic mass customization and personalization capabilities.
  • The Tresu iCoat 30000, sold and serviced by HP Indigo, for one robust folding carton production line.

Digilinck, a folding carton converter based in Deinze, Belgium, is adding a second HP Indigo 30000 digital press. “The Folding cartons market is changing and our customers expect speedy delivery and lower inventory levels. The HP Indigo 30000’s high flexibility and offset matching quality allow us to seize this opportunity and build a new profitable digital business, offering short turnaround-time and economic production of short-run healthcare packages,” said Vincent Oosterlinck, Owner, Digilinck. “Since installing the press, our business grew by 66% in the last three years.”

Addressing the dynamic corrugated packaging market

HP also announced that Kiwiplan, a leading MIS/MES software solutions provider for corrugated and rigid packaging, will be fully integrated, keeping the HP PageWide C500 presses running at optimum capacity, while helping customers to save time and costs through production and supply chain efficiency.

Five customers in Europe and the US have already purchased the groundbreaking PageWide C500 Press for direct-to-board post-print corrugated production. The first unit will ship next month.

Utilizing HP’s high-performance single-pass Thermal Inkjet technology, the HP PageWide C500 provides a cost-effective digital alternative for offset lamination and flexo production. The press delivers offset quality direct-to-board with mainstream productivity on both coated and uncoated papers, delivering packaging with vibrant graphics that preserves even the finest details.

The HP PageWide C500 utilizes HP CV150 Water-Based Inks, which contain no UV-reactive chemistries. These true water-based inks allow corrugated converters to print primary and secondary food-related packaging without an additional barrier. This robust and trusted solution enables compliance with the most stringent global food safety regulations and industry guidelines.

HP Launches High-Definition Digital Press for Commercial Printing

Following successful beta testing at ORWO and CEWE in Germany and Italy’s New Print, HP Indigo is now starting commercial shipment of the press.

Ongoing innovation for new digital printing applications 

The HP Indigo 50000 Digital Press, the most productive digital press on the market, is now accompanied by a robust finishing solution for cost-effective printing of offset jobs.

HP also announced new color gamut technology and new inks:

  • ColorUP! delivers an extended color gamut using color profiles to expand the on-press color gamut using additional hits of CMY inks.
  • HP Indigo ElectroInk Vivid Pink and HP Indigo ElectroInk Vivid Green, a new set of brighter inks for high-end photo applications including wedding photography, allow printers to reach more vibrant pink, green and blue shades.
  • Commercial release of HP Indigo ElectroInk Fluorescent Green, Yellow and Orange, in addition to the previously available Fluorescent Pink. The inks are already in use by PSPs to produce commercial applications.

Creating a more efficient production floor with workflow and end-to-end solutions

The powerful apps running on the PrintOS platform bring cloud advantages to enable PSPs to automate production, optimize their presses, and grow.

New HP PrintOS apps available include:

  • An optional OEE app for efficient and automatic measurement of Overall Equipment Effectiveness, providing value-based on-press data to ensure press excellence
  • Color Beat, enabling color tracking and reporting to ensure color standards are reliably and consistently achieved.
  • A new version of HP Site Flow enables customers to effectively fulfill hundreds or thousands of online orders per day. With fast and easy startup, and instant scalability, PSPs can take on new business, and handle tight deadlines, while increasing productivity from order to delivery.

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