HP announces Indigo WS6000 milestone

HP announced the 1,000th installation of its HP Indigo WS6000 label press series at Labelexpo this week.

The firm said it now had 600 customers in 67 countries, and WS6000 installations had doubled in the past two years.

Italian label printer Eurostampa took the 1,000th device, adding a WS6800 to its four existing HP Indigo presses.

“It’s approaching 20 years since we launched our first digital label press, the Omnius in 1995,” said Alon Bar-Shany, general manager of HP Indigo. “It’s been an amazing 20 years but I can honestly say that the last two years have been by far the most interesting period.”

He said that 18 months after launch, HP had now sold more than 70 of its 20000 and 30000 models aimed at flexible packaging and cartons.

“We have a great mix of customers for the 20000. The range of applications is way beyond labels and flexible packaging. Its B1-plus format is very, very efficient for imposition and we also have customers using it to produce balloons, canvas prints, posters and point-of-sale,” he added.

“HP’s strategy is to go and service the various parts of the packaging industry with the core technology we have to help brands stay relevant. Having a good social media campaign is not the only way for brands to reach customers!”

The firm showed its new Color Automation Package for the WS6800, for automated on-press colour matching with continuous colour calibration. Media fingerprints can be exported and imported across different presses.

“Brands want quality and consistency and they can scale globally using the network of HP customers,” he explained. “If you have three of four presses, once fingerprinted you can move the job to another press. You can start printing in Mexico and then move to another site or another country pretty seamlessly.”

At Labelexpo, HP also showed a new fluorescent pink ink that glows under UV light, and fade-resistant versions of ElectroInk yellow and magenta.

Bar-Shany also highlighted its new Premium White ink technology.

“After years of belief that Indigo is not capable of producing an opaque white, now we can. Through a combination of pigments and formulation we an offer the widest range of opacity levels in the market – up to ‘screen like’ – and really expand the applications. We’re getting ready to test it with customers.”

Quizzed about HP’s plans for Drupa next year, and the likely competition from Benny Landa’s Landa Digital Printing offering, he said: “We eagerly wait for Drupa to see what Landa and others are bringing to the table. But our focus is on customers. They will choose on technology, and their trust in someone who is innovating reliably. We focus on what we do but we wish all our competitors good luck.”

HP Indigo will be part of the Graphic Solutions Business of HP Inc when HP splits into two separate businesses in November.

The firm’s executives have highlighted packaging as a key growth market.