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HP expands with first-ever white ink for digital sheet-fed presses

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Palo Alto, CA – HP today announced the availability of HP ElectroInk White for the new HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press, expanding the press's capabilities, market and business potential.

This follows the positive early reception of HP ElectroInk White for commercial and packaging applications on HP Indigo press 5000 and 5500 models following its worldwide launch three months ago. Further extension of HP ElectroInk White availability, to HP Indigo 7000 presses, is expected in the first half of 2011.

HP ElectroInk White is the industry's first white ink for sheet-fed digital presses. It allows HP Indigo print service providers (PSPs) to print full-color images using transparent, colored and other substrates commonly used in point-of-purchase signage, greeting cards, direct mail and other applications.

Meeting the increasing market demand
HP ElectroInk White has been available for industrial applications with HP Indigo label and packaging presses for more than a decade, but the introduction of white ink into the commercial market has required increased production capacity. In response to demand, HP moved white ink production to the main HP Indigo ink and press manufacturing site in Kiryat Gat, Israel, increasing the plant space devoted to white ink by approximately 50 percent.

"Worldwide industry interest and uptake has been very positive, with a significant number of customers requesting the option kit for HP ElectroInk White in the first weeks since its launch," said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. "This new ink helps PSPs offer more with their existing HP Indigo platforms, and represents a chance to gain incremental business on jobs they could not previously produce on a digital press. We expect the use of HP ElectroInk White to accelerate as PSPs and their customers come to appreciate its potential for creativity and added value."

Early adopter: adding opportunities and value
An early white ink user, Image Evolution, of Aldermaston, Berkshire, U.K., is a dynamic company that has considered itself at the vanguard of digital printing since 2002. It was a beta site for the Thick Substrate Kit that allows the HP Indigo press 5500 to run media up to 18 points, which made the company ideal for beta testing HP ElectroInk White. Today, along with commercial products such as short-run and personalized booklets, leaflets, flyers and questionnaires, Image Evolution offers products on heavier substrates including greeting cards and folding carton prototypes.

Using white ink with along with the personalization capabilities of its HP Indigo press 5500, Image Evolution has the ability to add value to other products, too. For example, it prints names on boxes for personalized mugs."The ability to handle thick substrates and now print with HP ElectroInk White not only adds value, but blurs the traditional boundaries between commercial print and other segments," said Gary Mitchell, Sales Director, Image Evolution.

"We are continuing to explore new markets and revenue streams and push the boundaries of our digital capabilities," Mitchell said. "An example of this is using HP ElectroInk White to print white on white, which creates a subtle, almost watermarked, appearance, which has security applications, especially when used with variable-data printing.

"We are finding that designers are excited about the new possibilities opened up to them by being able to incorporate white into their designs. Direct mail is a good example: the addition of white ink can add to the initial attraction of the piece when it's opened and create an advantageous impact."

Substrate support for customers
HP has worked with two of its preferred media partners – Fedrigoni and Mohawk –to develop customized colored papers for use with the new white ink. New white ink-compatible media from Fedrigoni include brown, blue, red and orange colored papers. Mohawk has launched multiple colors with HP Indigo-compatible i-Tone papers for a full array of hues for PSPs to use.

Other media supporting white ink include colored and metallic-effect papers from GPA and Arjo Wiggins, as well as transparent films from Tekra, Folex and Hanita.




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