HP unveils digital power at Interpack

With the theme – the future of packaging - HP has forged ahead in the packaging segment. The possibilities are huge what with a mere 7% of packaging being printed, digitally. Noel Dcunha and Rushikesh Aravkar report from day one at Dusseldorf

10 May 2014 | By Noel D'Cunha

HP at Interpack 2014 has announced the launch of a new wide-format press, HP Scitex 15000 corrugated press which is aimed at the corrugated market. It has also showcased the print capabilities of its Indigo 20000 and 30000 presses, while demonstrating ink solutions for product identification.
HP, which launched the 20000, a mid-web digital press for labels and flexible packaging and the HP Indigo 30000 for folding cartons, during Drupa 2012 are clearly taking a big step into the estimated $11-bn (Rs 660-bn) global packaging market, and according to InfoTrends, only 7% of these materials are currently printed with digital technology.
Stephen Nigro, HP’s senior vice-president for graphic and inkjet solution business, made a presentation at the show during which he said, “People are asking what’s HP doing at a packaging show. Well, having led the shift, we are now driving the digital transformation in the packaging industry.”
He added, “Brand managers, retailers and packaging converters can take advantage of the benefits of digital printing, some of which include the ability to do cost-effective short-runs, versioning, customisation for enhanced customer engagement, and on-demand production to minimise warehousing and waste.“
HP also announced a strategic agreement with Comexi Group, a leading flexible packaging machinery manufacturer, to develop a dedicated lamination solution optimised for the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press. “The printed pages is not the end of the product, we develop close partnerships with industry specialists such that our customers benefit from the full value of digital across printing, converting and laminating processes,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice-president and general manager at HP Indigo division.
The Comexi Nexus L20000 is the first dedicated end-to-end lamination and coating solution for digitally printed flexible packaging.  Available in inline or offline configurations, the Comexi Nexus L20000will offer advanced solvent-free lamination to help flexible packaging converters shorten time-to-market, as well as help reduce waste and environmental impact. 
At the HP stand, there were other partners like Tresu, Kama and Scodix.
The HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press has an easy setup, operation and speed of up to 600 sq/mtr per hour allowing it to print up to 120 beds per hour. For point of purchase (POP) displays, the HP Scitex 15000 has three production modes: POP60 (60 beds/312sqm per hour); POP80 (80 beds/407sq/m per hour); and POP100 (100 beds/520sqm per hour), helping to maximise productivity.
HP also revealed that it is working on a plan to take its web inkjet press technology introduced in 2008 for publishing primarily, into packaging, more specifically to the litho laminated corrugated market.
The HP 45si and HP Black 2580 ink cartridge
HP has also expanded its Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) technology, HP 45si, that it has been working on with its partners, which will allow it to design package coding printers to meet customer’s demands; and the HP Black 2580.
 “As one of HP’s business, we take the core components and sell it to others in order to integrate it into different applications. With HP 45si and HP Black 2580, we have added a new capability to our printing system, product identification,” said Nigro. 
The new HP 45si is a HP TIJ print cartridge optimised for mild solvent inks, using for printing on non-porous and semi-porous substrates in the product identification market, while the HP 2580 solvent ink is designed for printing on coated and blister foils commonly used in the pharmaceutical market. 
“One of the things that’s true for the inkjet technology is that it is designed for the consumer. We have introduced a cartridge that allows us to accommodate products that are  porous and non-porous substrates and extend media range we can print on  and improve the print quality,” said Nigro. “The customers can now print on a broader range of substrates, allowing them to apply HP TIJ in new applications and experience the core benefits of TIJ.
HP INDIGO 20000 
The HP Indigo 20000 digital press is a 30-inch wide, roll-to-roll solution capable of producing diverse digital applications, including flexible packaging, labels and shrink sleeves on film or paper from 0.4 to 10 pt. The high-capacity press prints colour jobs at up to 137 linear feet per minute in Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM). HP Indigo’s superior liquid ElectroInk technology is the only digital colour printing process that matches gravure printing. The seven on-press ink stations enable converters to meet even the most stringent corporate branding requirements, using HP IndiChrome Pantone-approved on-press four, six and seven colour emulations, and off-press mixed spot inks to achieve up to 97% of Pantone colours.
The HP Indigo 30000 digital press is a 75 cm format offset-matching sheetfed solution designed for folding carton production. With zero setup, minimal waste, and easy versioning capabilities, the press empowers packaging converters to profitably address the evolving needs of their customers and gain a valuable competitive edge. HP’s unique ElectroInk technology delivers print quality indistinguishable from offset. The seven on-press ink stations enable converters to meet even the most stringent corporate branding. The press prints on any substrate from 200 to 600 microns, including paperboard, coated, uncoated and metallised, box, sleeve, or blister applications