HP Indigo digital printing accelerates with new innovations across portfolio

Announcement comes at Dscoop Edge Fusion 2021

HP Indigo digital printer for commercial printing
HP Indigo digital printer for commercial printing

At Dscoop Edge Fusion 2021, HP Inc. announced a new wave of HP Indigo digital printing innovations, supporting momentum, growth, and digital transformation. More than 125 HP Indigo presses have already been installed to date from the new technology portfolio announced in March 2020.   

“Despite the challenges of the past year, Indigo customers have continued to lead the transformation of the graphic arts industry. Our R&D labs continue to deliver on our promise, releasing new capabilities, products, and solutions to support the growth of our customers,” said Haim Levit, HP Indigo vice president, and general manager, in a keynote address to Dscoop Fusion, a global gathering of HP Graphic Arts print service providers and solution partners with over 8000 members.

Transformation in commercial printing   

Since its introduction last year, HP Indigo’s new commercial portfolio gained significant momentum worldwide, including long-term investments in new fleets by Cimpress and Shutterfly. The portfolio empowers commercial printers to continue expanding the digital transformation in the market. For example, the HP Indigo 100K Digital Press has more than 30 units already installed. 

HP Indigo 100K Digital Press
HP Indigo 100K Digital Press

To drive digital expansion in commercial print even further, HP Indigo announced a new set of features, expanding the capabilities of its drupa portfolio:  

  • The new Automatic Alert Agent 2.0 for HP Indigo Series 4 presses (HP Indigo 12000 and 15K). This inline inspection system scans every printed sheet and compares it to its digital reference, automatically identifying print defects. AAA 2.0 now automatically diverts defective sheets to scrap and reprints them, all in real-time with no human intervention and no interruption to production. The system leverages advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, increasing accuracy and speed to provide productivity and profitability for PSPs. 
  • Expansion of HD printing capabilities with the new Fine Line RIP. This new RIP and press computing infrastructure deliver superior capabilities for small solid text and fine lines, producing the sharpest Kanji fonts and complex security patterns.  
  • New capabilities on the HP Indigo 100K, including Automatic Pallet Replacement (APR), enabling continuous print with non-stop stacking, allowing PSPs to achieve even higher productivity levels for this platform. 
  • Introduction of the new HP Indigo 6P Digital Press, a narrow-web press dedicated to photo and publishing applications. This press expands the capabilities of the Indigo 6800p with a series of innovations for productivity and versatility, including a larger, 320x980mm image area and faster RIP.  
  • HP Indigo Certified Pre-Owned Digital Presses, offering a new opportunity to acquire HP Indigo presses, including B2 format presses, at significant capital expenditure (capex) savings. 
  • Value packs and options available for HP Indigo commercial customers, including the HP Indigo 15K value pack for the HP Indigo 12000 press, expanding high-value application capabilities. In addition, options to extend the capabilities of commercial Series 3 presses, including the availability of a 5th color station for the HP Indigo 7eco Digital Press.

Hypergrowth in HP Indigo labels and packaging  

In flexible packaging worldwide, HP Indigo production has experienced growth in the past year of more than 50%, with folding cartons and label customers enjoying solid double-digit growth.  

HP Indigo announced the commercial availability of additional products and capabilities in its 2020 portfolio for labels and packaging production to support this growth momentum. In addition, value packs and options are also available for HP Indigo 20000, 30000, and 6000 series users, allowing them to protect their investments and enjoy new capabilities on their presses.  

Commercial availability of the HP Indigo 35K for folding cartons 

The HP Indigo 35K Digital Press, the new flagship press for high-value folding carton production built on the market-proven HP Indigo 30000, is now co

mmercially available. The new press provides premium color and print quality now with 40% overall higher productivity, thanks to faster job changeover, color accuracy with Spot Master, and a more robust paper path from the feeder to the coater. Additional features include:  

  • Printing on thinner substrates from 150 microns to capture applications such as rigid boxes. 
  • New HD printing with 1600 dpi for enhanced print quality.   
  • New HP Indigo ElectroInk Premium White for higher opacity.  
  • New ElectroInk Invisible Yellow, track-and-trace solutions, and security elements for multi-layered brand protection applications on one press, in one pass. 
  • A new Tresu iCoat coater integrated for inline production on the HP Indigo 35K. 
HP Indigo 35K Digital Press
HP Indigo 35K Digital Press

Spot Master released for HP Indigo 25K and HP Indigo 35K 

In addition, to support productivity in digitally printed packaging, HP announced the release of HP Indigo’s breakthrough Spot Master color automation technology, the industry’s fastest time to color6.  

Spot Master uses a new patented algorithm for fast and accurate color matching, enabling converters to reach brand colors within 5 minutes, with an accuracy of less than 2 delta E and less than 3 meters of waste. As a result, Spot Master delivers consistent, uniform color across the entire print frame, and each label or package looks the same no matter when or where it is printed.   

Spot Master is now available on both the HP Indigo 25K and 35K and will be available for the HP Indigo 6K later this year.  

Creating the digital label factory of the future 

To support the transformation of label converters from an “analog first” mindset – with the burden of slow delivery, high labor costs, higher waste, tooling, ink mixing, and more – to a digital “Indigo first” mindset, HP Indigo continues to ramp up the development of the upcoming HP Indigo V12 Digital Press. 

The HP Indigo V12 Digital Press, a narrow-web label press, is the first HP Indigo press built on next-generation HP Indigo LEPX architecture. It provides Indigo’s renowned quality and versatility at significantly higher speeds, supporting the need for faster delivery, growing SKUs per job, waste, and labor reduction. 

HP Indigo Secure opens new opportunities for digital security printing   

HP also announced HP Indigo Secure, a new suite of never-before-seen security and brand protection solutions, to help security printers and print service providers protect their customers from counterfeiters and other product threats. HP Indigo Secure is a set of solutions including hardware, software, media, and inks for security printing and brand protection, based on proprietary HP Indigo LEP technology and industry-leading partner solutions.

HP Indigo 6K Secure Press is HP Indigo’s first secure digital press designed especially for the security printing market. The press is a one-pass, end-to-end security printing solution featuring multiple security layers in collaboration with Jura JSP. The press is available for certified security printers.  

New HP PrintOS applications boost production efficiency  

HP PrintOS helps customers get the most out of their presses, simplify and automate production, and innovate and grow. More than 4500 users use the cloud-based PrintOS applications daily to address every aspect of their production, anywhere and anytime. The usage of PrintOS was significantly increased during 2020, with a 25% increase in production monitoring, 32% growth in cloud-created VDP, and 230% growth in orders managed by PrintOS Site Flow.  

HP PrintOS Production Pro DFE
HP PrintOS Production Pro DFE

HP announced several new solutions that further improve production efficiency: 

  • PrintOS Learn, a hybrid learning experience combining on-demand and live virtual courses, face-to-face training, and best-in-class technology with interactive training modules. PrintOS Learn offers a personalized and continuous learning experience based on Indigo equipment and user profiles. 
  • PrintOS Supplies Inventory enables customers to maintain optimal levels of HP supplies. Based on historical usage levels, timely alerts are sent to customers when supplies are running low. Customers can order and track supplies just-in-time, thus avoiding press downtime due to missing supplies or oversupply that requires storage. 
  • An improved integration between PrintOS Production Pro DFE for Commercial Print and Heidelberg Prinect automates the production and avoids human errors. This integration is another example of how customers leverage PrintOS openness to implement Industry 4.0 principles, improve efficiency, reduce cost, and increase quality. 
  • A new powerful platform of PrintOS Production Pro DFE for L&P is now available for the HP Indigo 6000 Series, 6K, 8000, and 8K. The new IN170 platform rips complex VDP jobs twice as fast as the standard DFE, significantly shorting production time. 
  • Following the success of PrintOS Color Beat with HP Indigo 12000, 15K, and 100K digital presses, the application is now available also for HP Indigo 25K, enabling customers to validate that the press meets the highest color standards automatically, and also supports automated certification of Idealliance G7 standard
  •       HP SmartStream Designer for Adobe CC2021 is released. Among the new features is HP Frames, which transforms video frames into VDP images. In addition, new enhancements for HP Mosaic and HP Collage, and an integrated Barcode Studio editor.


2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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