HP launches integrated luxury label line

By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 27 September 2017

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HP has launched a new single-pass digital embellishment line for labels.


Gem will be available commercially from May next year

Priced at around €400,000 (£350,000) dependent on configuration, the Gem embellishment unit was launched at this week’s LabelExpo Europe in Brussels and can work both inline with an Indigo WS6800, which would cost around €800,000 for both, or as a standalone machine. The line is running live on HP's stand at LabelExpo.

HP head of marketing Graphics Solutions Business EMEA Michael Smetana described the machine as “the first digital embellishment solution that is fully integrated with a printing device”, eliminating the need for tooling and mounting.

Previously shown at Drupa in concept form, the machine, which was developed using digital embellishment technology from JetFX, will begin to be integrated with certain existing customers’ WS6800 machines from October and will be available commercially from May next year, at the same time as HP's ElectroInk silver metallic ink, which is also being shown at the expo. HP plans to integrate Gem with other Indigo machines in the near future.

Smetana said: “The beauty about this solution is that it is fully integrated, with one operator and one workflow. The machine has five features and depending on what you go for you get beautiful labels that really stand out on the shelf, high-end cosmetic products, beautiful bottles of wine, it’s a very nice look and feel.”

Running at speeds of up to 60m/min in one or two-colour mode and 40m/min in Enhanced Productivity Mode, the Gem takes pressure-sensitive label stock weighing between 12μm and 450μm at a maximum width of 340mm. 

HP said it enables an efficient print process for any label type, and allows the application of finishes such as digital foil, tactile silk screen-like effects, spot varnish, textures, digital holograms and full flood varnish. It can also utilise HP’s SmartStream Mosaic technology for variable-data printing.

Along with the WS6800, the machine is integrated with HP’s Production Pro DFE for Indigo Labels & Packaging presses, also being launched at LabelExpo, which runs off a Harlequin RIP from Global Graphics.

Away from LabelExpo, HP has also expanded its wide-format Print and Cut portfolio, with a new entry-level version. The 1.4m-wide HP Latex 115 Print and Cut is intended for smaller sign and copy shops. It joins the Latex 300 series Print and Cut family, the 315 and 335, launched earlier this year at Fespa, and is priced at around €8,000 for printer and €10,000 when configured with cutter.

“Many customers are looking for something at a lower price point so we think it can have a good impact on the market,” said Smetana.

Printing at maximum speeds of 48sqm/hr in two-pass billboard mode at up to 1,200dpi quality, the machine can be configured with up to seven HP Latex inks (CMYK plus light cyan, light magenta and HP Latex Optimizer), and can handle a variety of media types, including banners, self-adhesive vinyls, films and papers. It has a variety of other modes, including a 20-pass mode for high-saturation textiles. 

The cutter, which has an Optical Positioning System (OPOS) for faster job recognition, cuts a maximum diagonal cutting speed of 1.13m/second with 3G diagonal acceleration. 

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