HP will show a ‘digital pouch factory’ at Labelexpo, as one of its major customers in North America gears up to begin pouch manufacturing in the UK.
US-headquartered ePac Flexible Packaging is already a huge HP Indigo customer, having installed 30 Indigo 20000 presses this year. It has 16 operations in the US and Canada, offering fast time-to-market, on-demand production, and low minimum orders on pouches and laminated roll stock.
“EPac has ambitious growth plans – our customers disrupt traditional flexible packaging,” said HP Indigo general manager Alon Bar-Shany at a briefing ahead of Labelexpo.
“The ePac model is scaling extremely well, it’s one of the fastest-growing Indigo customers I’ve ever seen.”
In May ePac appointed Nick Monk as director of sales for the UK and Ireland. Monk has spent nearly 20 years in the labels business, most recently at Multi-Color Corporation and Collotype Labels.
EPac is currently fulfilling UK orders from the US, but is poised to set up a manufacturing site here, with further details likely to be available later this month.
Bar-Shany said that HP wanted to capitalise on the enormous growth potential in the labels and packaging market.
He said that HP Indigo estimated that of the $62bn (£50.4bn) retail value of the overall labels market, currently only around 5-6% was produced using HP Indigo equipment. Just 1% was produced using other digital solutions, Bar-Shany said.
“The most exciting thing is, there definitely an opportunity to grow a lot more,” he added.
“We want to be first movers in new developments, as we always have been. There is a massive potential for leveraging our portfolio. Every customer who comes to Labelexpo should be asking ‘how do I double my business?’."
HP’s 2,000sqm booth at the show will include a ‘digital pouch factory’ combining a HP Indigo 20000 with laminating and converting, in a small footprint. It will feature a first showing for the Pack Ready laminating machine from partner Karlville.
Embellishment and brand protection will also be key features of the exhibit, with the HP Indigo 6900 GEM configuration for one-pass production of foil, special effects, and spot colours.
Also on show will be a Kurz DM Jetliner, a digital pre-print foil unit that integrates with the HP Indigo 6900, allowing the foil to then be overprinted digitally for special effects including gradients. Bar-Shany described it as being “complementary to GEM”.
Labelexpo takes place from 24-27 September, in Brussels.