Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Friday, March 16, 2012

HP helps print service providers deliver mainstream flexible packaging and folding carton applications

Next-generation Indigo presses meet larger size-format needs for packaging production
HP has unveiled new presses that allow print service providers (PSPs) to apply digital printing's supply chain, inventory and product marketing advantages to the sizes common in packaging production. The 762-millimeter (mm) (30in) wide, web-fed HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press and the 750-mm (29.5in) wide, sheet-fed HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press use the same market-leading,(1) high-quality, versatile printing technology that top brands choose for label and packaging production on HP Indigo WS6000 series digital presses. 

"HP Indigo digital printing already has transformed the label market, and the larger format and higher throughput brings the unique benefits of digital to other segments of this market," said Christopher Morgan, senior vice president, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. "With these new presses, we can help packaging printers offer their customers the benefits of digital printing and redefine what is possible for the brands they serve."

HP will demonstrate the new presses in May at the drupa tradeshow as part of a full portfolio of packaging solutions from HP. The new portfolio also features an HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press compatible with broader range of synthetic substrates, as well as HP Scitex FB7500 and FB7600 Industrial Presses that have a new white ink option for corrugated packaging.

Greater sell-through and shelf appeal with a streamlined supply chain
HP's solutions offer significant benefits for brand owners, including:
  • Strong product sell-through with the adoption of multi-SKU strategies that maximise seasonal, promotional and cause-related marketing opportunities.
  • High product appeal and brand integrity with an HP Indigo imaging process that outperforms flexographic and offset-printed products in several industry studies and competitions.
  • Better use of capital resources with lower warehousing costs, less waste from obsolescence, and reduced up-front investments for initial orders.

One HP customer benefitting from these advantages, Avery Dennison, works with HP to increase brands' operating efficiency while developing new ways to make brands stand out in an increasingly crowded retail marketplace. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company is the industry's leading supplier of pressure-sensitive label substrates, and a Preferred Media Supplier of HP Indigo-certified label substrates.

Avery Dennison also uses a global fleet of HP Indigo presses to produce garment and other tags, replacing offset printing. HP Indigo technology allows Avery Dennison to achieve globally consistent, high-quality branding for small jobs, reducing the expenses brands incur to maintain inventories.

HP Indigo WS6600 accelerates digital adoption
HP Indigo presses are driving continued momentum as a cost-effective, efficient alternative to analogue printing. Launched last September, the HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press has led several long-standing HP Indigo customers to increase their fleet size to take advantage of an Enhanced Productivity Mode that boosts throughput by one-third(2). Those customers also take advantage of the HP Indigo WS6600's optional, in-line priming (ILP) unit, which enables printing on many of the standard, off-the-shelf media used on flexo and gravure presses.

Schneller Leopold, one of Germany's leading folding carton producers, recently held an open house to showcase how it uses the HP Indigo WS6600 for carton production. Other HP Indigo WS6600 users have deployed the press for flexible packaging and tube production.

To further improve the HP Indigo WS6600 model's capabilities, Michelman , a global developer of water-based barriers and coatings for flexible film packaging, paperboard, and corrugated cartons, has released a new primer for the press's ILP unit. The Michem ILP040 primer extends the ILP's media compatibility from paper-based substrates to synthetic media.

HP also has released a new SecurePack System for HP Indigo WS6600 and HP Indigo WS4600 model presses, providing a controlled and monitored environment for efficient production of pharmaceutical and security applications.

Helping PSPs capture growth in flexible packaging
Scheduled for commercial availability in late 2013, the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press is a roll-to-roll digital press designed primarily for flexible packaging. The HP Indigo 20000 press's 762-mm (30in) media width and 1,100-mm (44in) repeat length accommodate most flexible packaging format sizes. With up to seven-colour printing, including white ink, and printing quality that matches gravure production, the press can meet brands' stringent colour and quality requirements. The HP Indigo 20000 runs at 27 linear metres (88.6 linear feet) in five-colour mode (full process colour plus white) and at 45 linear metres (147.6 linear feet) per minute when running in Enhanced Productivity Mode.

An inline priming unit on the press helps to ensure compatibility with nearly any standard flexible packaging substrate from 10 to 250 microns thick. Materials printed on the press are compatible with dry lamination and comply with food packaging regulations when used with good manufacturing practices.

The press will feature an EskoArtwork print server and upstream prepress tools that integrate into the entire EskoArtwork system of production workflows for high quality and efficiency. Compatible third-party workflow solutions provide complementary capabilities such as web-to-print, management information systems services and printed content inspection/verification.

HP Indigo also supports customers wishing to set up dedicated production lines for short-run work with qualified comprehensive finishing options for the new press. Pouch-making equipment manufacturer Totani has joined the HP SmartStream Solutions Partner programme and is developing finishing solutions for flexible packaging printed on the HP Indigo 20000.

HP's new sheet-fed press for folding carton production
The sheet-fed HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press offers a 750 x 530-mm (29.5 x 20.9in) format size compatible with existing offset printing presses used for mainstream folding carton applications. Scheduled for commercial availability in late 2013, the press offers proven HP Indigo print quality with up to seven-colour printing on carton stocks up to 600 microns thick. The press can run up to 4,600 sheets per hour in Enhanced Productivity Mode and 3,450 sheets per hour in regular four-colour process printing. As a near-zero setup digital solution, the HP Indigo 30000 can help PSPs produce more short-run jobs per shift.(3) The press comes with an in-line priming unit for compatibility with a wide range of media.

Like the HP Indigo 20000, the HP Indigo 30000 will feature an EskoArtwork print server and upstream prepress tools. Additional comprehensive production components, such as digital finishing solutions from HP SmartStream Solutions Partner programme members, will help packaging printers reduce their turnaround times for folding carton work.

Best-in-class industrial white ink solution for corrugated
HP also offers a range of high-performance, UV-inkjet HP Scitex flatbed industrial presses that create new digital packaging production opportunities on corrugated board and other rigid substrates up to 1-inch/25.4-mm thick. The HP Scitex FB7500 and FB7600 Industrial Press models can now print high-quality, full-colour corrugated packaging using a new white ink solution that produces high-quality, full-colour graphics on natural kraft board. The HP Scitex FB225 White Ink and HP Scitex FB7500/FB7600 White Ink Kit help customers reduce labour and pre-press costs compared to analogue solutions and improve efficiency with precise white-to-CMYK registration.