HP unveils enhanced press portfolio

By Darryl Danielli, Tuesday 29 March 2016

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HP has unveiled its portfolio of Drupa product launches, which includes six new Indigos and three new PageWide Web Presses.

hp-indigo-50000

HP Indigo 50000 to be unveiled at Drupa

At a media event in Israel last week the company revealed the next generation of its sheetfed B2 Indigo platform and a flagship oversize B1 Indigo.

The commercial sheetfed Indigo 10000, along with the other series four presses, the web-fed Indigo 20000 for flexible packaging and the carton Indigo 30000, were all premiered at Drupa 2012. Since then around 300 series four presses, primarily the 10000, have been installed across 38 countries.

However, at this year’s show HP will launch the Indigo 12000, which will ultimately replace the 10000.

While the new press features many of the same headline specifications of the 10000, it will have a wide-range of productivity and quality enhancements. These include the addition of One Shot technology to enable a wider choice of substrates, an inline spectrophotometer, and a new screening configuration for the three-channel (CMY) Enhanced Productivity Mode (EMP).

It will also benefit from Indigo Optimizer, a new software tool that HP claimed can increase throughput per shift by up to 40% through features like intelligent job sequencing and the production of proofs without stopping jobs in production.

The 12000 will become available in the second half of this year and will ultimately feature the option of a new imaging system: the 1,600dpi High Definition Laser Array (HDLA) technology. However, HDLA will not be available until 2017.

Installed 10000s, of which there are circa 250 worldwide, will be field upgradable to the 12000 specification later this year.

“We have a very clear philosophy that when we launch a new technology it’s backward compatible,” said Alon Bar-Shany, general manager of HP’s Indigo division, who added that the company only showed technology that it could expect to ship within a “reasonable timeframe” of 12 months, presumably a dig at Landa Digital Printing, which has further delayed the commercial launch of its Nanographic digital presses.

With a number of vendors poised to unveil B1 digital presses at Drupa, HP will also use the event to demonstrate a new oversized B1 Indigo.

The 27-tonne Indigo 50000 is essentially a pair of Indigo 20000 reel-fed engines, that have been enhanced to expand their capabilities beyond the unit’s original flexible packaging remit to also be more suited for commercial print applications.

The 762mm wide web press can print 32m/min or 770 straight A4 colour pages per minute and has a maximum repeat length of 1,138mm, making it capable of printing pages 10-up, HP said.

The 50000 will go into beta sites early next year, with commercial shipping slated for next summer.

“We’re still very much climbing on the ‘S-curve’ of where the Indigo LEP [liquid electrophotography] technology can go, it’s still a relatively young technology and we [will] have many decades where we can continue to innovate around this technology,” said Bar-Shany.

At Drupa HP will also launch the Indigo 7900 sheetfed press, which will feature many of the same enhancements as the 12000, with the exception of the HDLA technology. It will also launch the Indigo 5900, which will also feature many of the new features, including one-shot imaging.

All of the new presses as well as circa 90% of presses already installed, will be compatible with the cloud-based PrintOS production environment, which was unveiled earlier this month.

For the labels market, HP will launch a new twin-engined Indigo 8000 narrow web press, which Bar-Shany said would revolutionise the label industry.

The 80m/min press (in EPM mode, 60m/min CMYK) features two WS6800 engines, which are also being launched at Drupa. The 8000 was shown in Israel running inline with a AB Graphic Digicon, with the new FastTrack die-cutting unit, at full press speed.

The 20000, 8000 and the WS6800 all feature new colour automation technology based on Esko’s Colour Engine.

HP also demonstrated its new white liquid ink for packaging applications, Premium White, which it said offered an opacity level (81% with four hits) that was previously only available with silkscreen.

Also targeted at the Packaging market, HP unveiled a new patented lamination technology, Pack Ready, which will be developed by licensed HP partners, for on-demand production of laminated packs and labels.

“The industry is always going to to look at the specs of the presses: the speeds, the width, the number of colours etc, but more importantly customers are telling us that in this changing world with its lack of predictably in what they will be printing tomorrow or the weeks ahead they need a system, not just a press, that enables them to generate profitable revenue from hundreds to thousands of jobs per day, so the discussions move from cost per page to cost per job in the sense getting the job in and then out to customer with minimal manual handling and minimal mistakes,” said Bar-Shany.

HP also used last week’s event to unveil three newly enhanced inkjet PageWide Web Presses. The 42-inch (1.06m)-wide full colour T490 HD and the mono T490 M HD, and 22-inch (559mm)-wide T240 HD. As well as featuring the High Definition Nozzle Architecture, launched last year, the three new machines also have a number of productivity enhancements that HP said boost their speed by 67% and 25% respectively.

The firm, which will be the largest exhibitor at Drupa 2016, will be showing 230 tonnes of technology on its 6,200sqm stand, which will feature 56 presses and printers and occupy the entire Hall 17 at Messe Düsseldorf, Germany, from 31 May to 10 June.

“The scale of our presence at Drupa demonstrates that digital has made its way since the early days of 2000, when no one was really convinced. 2016 will demonstrate that digital is everywhere and HP is leading the way,” said Francois Martin, worldwide marketing director of HP’s Graphics Solutions Business.

While the the new portfolio will have its official launch at Drupa, around 3,000 customers and prospects will be getting a sneak preview of the new machines in Israel, through a combination of customer days throughout April and Dscoop EMEA, which is being hosted in Israel next week.

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