During Labelexpo Americas 2018, HP (NYSE: HPQ) demonstrated the latest developments from its Indigo Digital Press portfolio. These are printers which allow converters to create labels and digital packaging.
HP Indigo Digital Press Portfolio
According to HP, the new Indigo portfolio has a suite of products which will give label and packing firms new business opportunities. The technology the company has developed comes as consumer demand for personalized products and services is on the rise.
Now digital technology is allowing companies to deliver on this demand. And for small businesses, it means being able to compete with large companies by creating bespoke products for promotions and events as well as mass production.
In a recent press release, vice president and general manager of Graphics Solutions Business for Americas HP Inc. Dave Prezzano explains why converters need solutions which allow them to differentiate themselves.
Prezzano says the adoption of digital technology is allowing businesses to add value to brands. He goes on to say, “HP Indigo’s platform for digital labels and packaging production empowers converters to embrace the possibilities of print to create, innovate, and grow their business profitably. By optimizing supply chain and meeting sustainability goals all while helping brands engage with their consumers with state-of-the-art automated design and production management tool — HP Indigo is helping them, and their customers, thrive in a changing world.”
A packaging converter takes plastics, foils, adhesives, rubber, liners and others materials and creates a new product. This can be anything from package labels to actual products such as containers.
An example of this application is the installation of the second dedicated shrink-sleeve HP Indigo 8000 in the U.S last year. By leveraging the newly released Pack Ready Lamination, converters are serving the fast-growing craft beverage market.
The company says the system is easy to use and has simplified the entry barrier to flexible packaging applications allowing businesses to produce industry-standard laminates with zero cure time.
The HP Indigo GEM was announced at Labelexpo 2017. It was a one-pass embellishment solution which made it possible to create different labels for a wide range of applications.
The system is in the first stage of beta customer testing, with the first U.S. beta customer being Innovative Labeling Solutions.
The HP Indigo 6900 has been improved to give converters the ability to print high-performance applications, enhance brand protection and open the full metal gamut.
In one printing process, the HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver combines metallic effects with digital capabilities. To date, the ink has been successfully adopted by over 100 customers for a range of applications in the health and beauty, beverage and household markets.
The HP Indigo 20000 further expands the capability of flexible packaging and label converters with diversified applications and large labels.
The 20000 now lets you print anything, according to HP, with an extended media gamut and support for extra stretchable substrates. New features include Premium White ElectroInk for high opacity white printing, sustainable ink which reduces waste, and one-step production.
The one-step production includes shrink sleeves, flexible packaging, IML, tubes, wrap around and more.
In addition to the improvements on the hardware side, HP also announced upgrades to the software running these impressive printers.
The latest Production Pro digital front end gets rid of prepress bottlenecks and delivers scalable RIP performance to process complex jobs such as mass customization, security and variable brand protection data.
HP says this version of Production Pro is five times faster than the previous version and offers converters a single point of control to manage their production with multiple Indigo presses.
Some of the other innovations include Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels to automate label production; the debut of the HP SmartStream Collage, an automated variable design feature for HP Indigo printing; and new applications and enhancements to the HP PrintOS.