HP reached a global milestone during Labelexpo with the sale of its 200th HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, and the company used one of the largest stands at the show to showcase a ‘full partner ecosystem’ designed to help printers and converters meet market demand, create new opportunities and support profitable growth.
Arranged around ten ‘Zones of Growth’, the workflows demonstrated a range of applications including stand-up pouches and shrink-sleeves, highly embellished labels and packs with infinitely variable VDP, to security and brand protection, illustrating how printers and converters can continue to grow profitably with HP Indigo Digital Presses. Michael Gillis, Regional Manager GSB South Pacific with HP, says HP Indigo GEM, launched at Labelexpo in Europe two years ago, led an embellishment focus at the show.
“GEM, which allows users to add foils, spot colours, tactile varnishes and other options in-line, post-printing, has now completed beta-testing and we’re already taking orders,” Gillis says, “while the KURZ DM-Jetliner in-line to an HP Indigo 6900 Digital Press demonstrates how another of our partnerships allows converters to access creative pre-print embellishment options, like the customised labels featuring foiled caricatures of visitors hand-drawn and produced live on stand.” The use of HP ElectroInk silver to metalise the colour gamut provided another option and was just part of a focus on the ElectroInk range, which saw the range expanded with Premium White for Sleeves and a Fade Resistant Orange to its lightfast ink set.
The now familiar ElectroInk yellow and blue invisible inks were on show as part of a suite of robust, multi-layer brand protection and security solutions demonstrated at the show.
Mark Daws, Director – Labels & Packaging ANZ for Currie Group, the exclusive Australian distributor for HP Indigo Digital Presses, says this continues to be a major challenge for brands.
“HP has responded with a growing range of options that include print innovations as well as software and cloud-based solutions to tackle counterfeiting and deliver track-and-trace and product verification functionality,” he says.
HP also teamed up with Karlville in Brussels with the HP Indigo Digital Pouch Factory, where an HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press with Pack Ready for Labels lamination was paired with a Karlville Pack Ready thermal laminator and new Swiss Stand-Up Pouch Making Machine, for single-pass pouch production.
“HP now provides a totally integrated solution that suits both narrow- and wider-web presses, enabling efficient and profitable pouch production for medium- to high-capacity operations,” Daws explains, adding that the ‘same-day’ production cycle for customised pouches created enormous interest with visitors to the Brussels show.
In another collaboration, an HP Indigo 8000 Digital Press, running at an impressive 80m/min, was paired with an integrated ABG ILC 762 FastTrack die-cutting system to produce shrink-sleeves which were then converted onto beer cans on the nearby Karlville stand.
Importantly, HP also focused on helping businesses remain productive and profitable with solutions designed to reduce touchpoints through increased automation.
“The cost of inputs, particularly labour, continues to rise, with no ability to compromise on quality or delivery times,” Daws says. “Automation is the solution to managing complex jobs more efficiently, maximising the value of staff resources, and minimising costs to produce more jobs, more profitably.”
Finally, the increasing importance of sustainable solutions was highlighted with HP announcing that its Indigo 6900, 8000 and 20000 Digital Presses have attained the Intertek Green Leaf sustainability mark, its digitally-printed flexible packaging can be fully de-inked for recycling, and the ElectroInks range has been certified for use on compostable and recyclable pouch materials.
As for the future, a revolutionary platform launched at Labelexpo is set to not only provide new options for customers, but a sound collaborative basis for future development. Drawing on IoT technologies, software and cloud-based solutions, HP PrintOS Marketplace will provide information, news, downloads, value-add apps and third-party solutions on-demand, provide HP Indigo Digital Press users with access to HP Service Edge predictive maintenance, and provide a secure platform for what Gillis calls ‘a community of ideas’.
“At HP, we know that many of our innovations are born from collaboration with our customers, our partners and third-party suppliers,” he says. “In an increasingly complex industry eco-system, this collaboration will become even more vital to create future solutions which will drive profitability and success.”