Why has HP secured all of pavilion 17 at the world’s largest printing fair? To present an array of new solutions that enhance digital performance in all fields of application, and above all to show off its integrated end-to-end solutions, which are tailored to the requirements of each individual operator and outlet market. Below are the major breakthroughs for labeling and package printing.
By activating the QR code printed on the page of the magazine, readers can book a guided tour with an HP consultant at the largest stand at Drupa 2016. Occupying all of pavilion 17 for a total of 6500 m2 over two floors (9000 if one counts all the service and backstage areas needed to maintain full capacity operation during the fair’s 11 days. The purpose of this initiative – explains the multinational’s marketing team – is not only to help visitors navigate the three areas into which the stand is divided (commercial/publishing, packaging & labeling and large format), but also to show them how this array of machinery, services and knowhow that represents HP’s strength in digital printing can guarantee them superior competitiveness and open new business opportunities.
Efficiency and competitiveness, the concern’s representatives assert, which cannot be obtained simply by acquiring a machine, but which requires a whole system of tools and competencies straddling the entire supply chain. This is why HP is also using its mega-stand to host a number of outstanding technology partners, from preprinting to finishing, starting with the indispensable Esko. Many of these partners – Kurz, Duplo, 3Dlab+print… – are showing HP solutions at their own stands, multiplying HP’s visibility. The group will also once again be represented at Drupa Innovation Park, Drupa Cube and Packaging Touchpoint.
The fastest end-to-end for labels
The star of the labeling area is the HP Indigo 8000 Digital Press, one of the most efficient end-to-end digital narrow web printing systems on the market, with productivity of 80 m/min: «double that of the previous HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press and the highest on the market, approaching that of conventional offset systems», remarks Antonio Maiorano, HP Indigo & PWP Italy Country Business Manager. What’s more, Maiorano stresses, the 8000 features the same proven reliability as the WS6800, «no small feat and not to be taken for granted».
Substantial technology. Marco Murelli, Solution Consultant: «We have managed to double the production speed by installing two Series 3 motors, and by overcoming technical obstacles, especially alignment, timing, motor synchronization, color adjustment, etc.».
«Another salient feature of this roll-to-roll machine – the technician continues – is that it also primes the substrate, thus making it possible to print on all material types». «The converter – states Enrico Monteverdi, Digital Press Market Development, rather than needing to acquire pre-primed materials, applies the most suitable treatment in line, making the process more efficient while enjoying greater flexibility in stocking».
HP 8000 Digital Press has the same web as the WS6800 (340 mm), prints up to 7 colors with 812 dpi («by which HP obtains most Pantone and specialty colors», Murelli points out) and is capable of operating with all support types with thickness between 12 and 450 microns, be they monolayer, laminated or shrink. The system can operate inline or offline in combination with the ABG FAST Track rotary die-cutter and guarantees an efficient digital workflow, with guaranteed quality thanks to AVT inspection technology.
Outlets. The importance of this offer is reflected in the expanded potential target user base. «The 8000’s performance – asserts Enrico Monteverdi – enable using it for serial printing, and thus not only for variable data, samples, special campaigns, seasonal offers etc., but also for “normal” lots of both labels and flexible packaging».
Flexible packaging + Pack Ready
HP has introduced next-level optionals that radically update the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press for flexible packaging, making it an excellent solution even for downstream operators, for an even wider range of flexible packaging and at higher volumes. «First of all – explains Maiorano – this machine with 760 mm web (prints max 740 mm), for 10-250 micron substrates, is now compatible with new supports, including PE and stretch materials, and it can thus be adopted to print heatshrink films and in-mould and pressure sensitive labels. Furthermore, its versatility has been enhanced with advanced color matching and faithful color yield even under harsh conditions, in addition to drastically reduced processing times, thanks to the HP Indigo Ready Lamination system, a new technology that elminates the time required for lamination and allows immediate time-to-market».
«Normally – states Murelli – the support is printed and then laminated using adhesives that require some time for curing. With Ready Pack, on the other hand, special materials are used which, when hot sealed with the printed film on the HP 20000, accelerate the curing process, enabling operators to print on the reel and then laminate in 24 hours. What’s more, while with the 20000, with some adjustments, prints can be obtained that are resistant to the high temperatures of pasteurization, with Pack Ready it is now possible to subject the packaging to the high stress conditions of sterilization».
This spells high potential. «Film that has been printed and laminated with this system – states Monteverdi, citing just one example – can be sent directly to the machine that forms the bags and subsequently to filling, in a cycle that is thus reduced from 10 to less than 4 days».
More productivity for folding boxes
The HP Indigo 30000 for folding boxes upgrade enhances the system’s productivity (+30%) and multiplies the types of supports that can be processed, which now include synthetic materials, metallized plates and PVC, PP and PET.
It also perfects the printing of microtexts and barcodes and integrates the Tresu iCoat two-phase coating system, which employs two coating heads to simultaneously execute previously separate processes (for example gold leaf and subsequent coating). Tresu iCoat also enables spreading the protective varnish in just one step and decorating with gold, silver and other high viscosity flexographic inks.
HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press is compatible with other converting solutions by HP partners, including systems for inspection, creasing, folding and gluing.
HP arranged for the arrival of 230 t of equipment to Drupa, the equivalent of 45 elephants. In just 3 weeks, the concern set up 56 machines over a surface of 6200 m2 (the size of a soccer field), where it will be running one of the world’s biggest “digital printing operations” for 11 days, with 3500 m2 of storage space for substrates, spare parts, consumption materials, etc. (or 3 Olympic swimming pools). Finally, all of this will be dismantled and sent home in 10 days… But how many people does this effort require? The staff occupies six hotels.
Breakthroughs at the fair
The HP stand at Drupa presents itself as a dynamic tech city, at once a place of exhibition, contacts and conviviality (don’t forget the daily happy hour). HP will be presenting a dozen new machines and important updates in a global debut.
Packaging & labeling. For these applications, HP is presenting the new HP Indigo 8000, the fastest narrow web press on the market, as well as major updates to the reel-fed HP Indigo 20000 for flexible packaging and the sheet-fed HP Indigo 30000 for folding cardboard. Then there is the WS6800p for photo specialty applications, which is a variant of the HP Indigo WS6800 narrow web, and the WS7250 narrow web with double motor, not to mention Pack Ready, which is more than just an accessory.
Wide web. The king of this area is the reel-fed oversize B1-format duplex HP Indigo 50000, a high tech solution that on its own is a reason for visiting the stand. Since the last Drupa, HP has doubled the speed and more than tripled the web of its wide web solutions. The latest achievements in High Definition Nozzle Architecture include the reel-fed machines T490 HD, T490M HD and T240 HD, which, in terms of quality (2,400 nozzles per inch) and productivity (244 m/min), guarantee offset performance on an inkjet solution.
Commercial and publishing sectors. These two outlet areas occupy the largest space at the stand. Of note are the HP Indigo 12000 (1,600 dpi version of the 10000 B2 sheet-fed, which continues to be available in the catalog), the 7900 (an upgrade of the 7000) and the entry level solutions 5900 and 3600.
Inks and accessories. All applications have benefited from additions to the gamut of electrophotography liquid toners, including a phosphorescent pink, a “very light” black for better rendering of shadowing and contrasts in photos, a protective fluid coating for printed substrates, a silkscreen quality opaque white and a newly formulated primer that guarantees adhesion in HP Electroinks on all paper types.
Software. The fair will also witness the arrival of PrintOS, an open integrated platform for smart production management. It’s a cloud-based operating system adapted to all HP Indigo, PageWide Web Press, Scitex and Latex solutions, equipped with intuitive mobile and web-based apps. The main tools include Box, which makes it easier to acquire a job through non-automated channels like email and file transfer services, and Site Flow, which combines automatic order write-ups, preprint management and shop floor management.
Alon Bar-Shany, VP&GM HP Indigo Division.