New HP Indigo and Scitex solutions for
packaging industry introduced at exhibition.
At the recent interpack 2014 exhibition, HP announced the expansion of its graphics solutions portfolio to address the needs of the corrugated, flexible-packaging and folding-carton markets which it said had preciously not been addressed by digital printing technologies.
The sector presents a whopping $11 billion market opportunity for HP as the packaging industry has been traditionally ruled by analogue printing equipment, with only seven per cent of the materials used currently printed with digital technology. However, in line with other print markets, shorter product life cycles, demand for faster time to market and a decline in average run length are accelerating the need for digital print. In addition, brand owners are seeking the versioning, short runs and reduced environmental impact that can really only be achieved with digital printing technology.
In an effort to capitalise on this digital opportunity, HP is introducing the HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press for production of corrugated displays and short-run packaging. It also announced the general availability and a new lamination partner for its HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses.
“After leading the shift to digital in label printing, HP is again driving an unstoppable analogue-to-digital transformation in the package printing industry,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Graphics and Inkjet Solutions Business, HP. “With HP solutions, packaging converters can capture the benefits of digital printing to diversify business models, reach new customers and explore new profit areas.”
HP Scitex 15000 automates corrugated application production
The HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press has been developed to simplify and streamline corrugated printing on an industrial scale. With the new large-format digital press — expected to be available 1st November — HP maintains that converters and display makers will be able to print direct to corrugated media as well as add short-run and versioning capabilities to their existing flexographic or lithographic-lamination operations. The press features:
- HP Scitex High Dynamic Range (HDR) Printing Technology, enabling a combination of high-quality output at industrial volumes.
- Easy setup and operation as well as speeds up to 600 m2/hour (6,456 ft2/hour).
- An integrated automatic media loader that handles up to four media stacks side by side, optimised for use with corrugated sheets without operator intervention.
- HP HDR240 Scitex Inks, which are GREENGUARD GOLDSM Certified and meet AgBB criteria, making them suitable for indoor point-of-purchase displays, bulk bins and freestanding display units.
HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 for packaging market transformation
After its apparent success when it entered the pressure–sensitive label market using presses like the HP Indigo WS6600 series, HP is now extending its digital expertise to packaging.
At drupa 2012, it unveiled the 30-inch-wide Indigo 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses, designed to transform the label, flexible packaging and folding carton markets with wider-format production digital presses. HP said that these presses are successfully operating at six customer sites and are shipping this quarter to meet demand from leading packaging printers and converters worldwide, including:
- California-based Emerald Packaging, who has signed an agreement to install the first HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press for flexible packaging in North America, allowing the company to enter the snack food, candy, health care and cosmetics markets.
- Netherlands-based Flach Packaging, a producer of folding cartons, labels and disposables, will be an early customer for the HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press, expanding its ability to deliver high-quality folding cartons with a quick turnaround.
“We have been evaluating the potential of digital printing technology for a few years as a new way to add value to our customers, which operate in extremely competitive markets,” said Harry Zweers, managing director, DGA Drukkerij Flach BV. “The HP Indigo 30000 is the first digital press that can actually deliver on the specific needs of the folding carton industry. It will allow us to boost production capabilities and drive supply chain efficiencies, and will enable our customers to differentiate themselves.”
End-to end packaging solutions are critical for success which is why HP is extending its partner network in this sector. At the exhibition it announced an agreement with Comexi Group, a leading flexible packaging machinery manufacturer, to develop a dedicated lamination solution. Optimised for the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, the Comexi NEXUS L20000 will offer advanced solvent-free lamination, promising shorter time to market with reduced waste and environmental impact.
HP Inkjet Web Press solutions for growing packaging segment
HP also intends to enter the growing packaging segment with its inkjet web press solutions. These are built upon HP Scalable Thermal Inkjet Technology which HP claims have delivered innovation and business transformation in other segments, including publishing, production mail and commercial print.
It is developing new solutions configured for packaging that will help converters produce cost-effective short to medium runs and digital customisation, deliver faster turnaround times and reduce inventory at industry-leading production speeds of up to 12,000 m2/h) HP is working with leading packaging converters to validate the technology in terms of quality, flexibility and economics. As an example, the company is conducting trials with its own consumer printer boxes using this technology.
HP SPS thermal inkjet for more package coding applications
The HP 45si print cartridge and HP Black 2580 Solvent Ink — developed by HP Specialty Printing Systems’ (SPS) — enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and ink partners to deliver primary package coding applications on substrates including flexible films and coated folding cartons. Since introducing the ink at Pack Expo 2013, HP has signed more than 25 OEM partners to test the HP 2580 solvent ink in various applications. Additionally, ink partners are using the HP 45si cartridge to print on a wider range of substrates with their proprietary inks.
“With the HP 45si technology and Collins ink, we’ll be able to address the needs of a large installed base that is tired of dealing with the spare parts and service costs of continuous inkjet printers,” said Chris Rogers, director, Sales and Business Development, Collins Inkjet.
Videos and updates on the new products are available on the HP for Designers Facebook page, the HP Graphic Arts YouTube channel and on Twitter using the #interpack hashtag.
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