HP commits US$ 200 million to sustainable water-based ink innovation

Creating sustainable digital print solutions

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HP has committed US$ 200 million over five or more years to develop water-based ink technologies for printing digitally on corrugated packaging and textiles. The company’s commitment complements its ongoing investments in other printing technologies and markets aimed at creating sustainable digital print solutions. Traditional textile coloration makes use of technologies that can be problematic from the water emission perspective. World Resources Institute estimates that about 20% of industrial water pollution comes from garment manufacturing.

“Investing in the water-based solutions that meet market needs and the increasing sustainability requirements of graphics customers is expected to propel the business growth for HP,” said Santi Morera, general manager and global head of Graphics Solutions, HP. “We will be dedicating resources toward continued innovation and industry disruption to accelerate safer, simpler, and more sustainable water-based printing technologies that meet the quality, performance, and economics needed by these markets.”

Future of the market

HP’s water-based inks for corrugated packaging include applications such as food packaging. The company is investing in the production of inks, printheads and press technology, with improved quality, performance and sustainability, with the belief that water-based solutions are the future of this market.

This announcement builds on HP’s existing innovation in water-based ink technology, such as for the sign and display market. Water-based HP Latex Inks, for example, have established a durable, versatile and safer alternative for existing inks used for signage and displays.

“HP’s continuing investment in advancing water-based ink technology gives DS Smith the confidence that we will meet the health and safety demands of our customers, along with our high standards for the work environment for our employees,” said Ruediger Lindner, general manager, DS Smith.

Robert Seay, general manager, Georgia-Pacific Hummingbird said, “Water-based inkjet inks are a technology differentiator in corrugated packaging, enabling us to confidently address a broader range of applications from food and beverage to personal care products.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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