HP Announces New HP Indigo Digital Presses (Commentary by Cary Sherburne)
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Press release from the issuing company
— HP today expanded its digital press portfolio with new HP Indigo solutions to offer customers increased productivity, simplified color management and new capabilities for high-value applications.
“Our customers are always seeking ways to improve productivity and diversify applications so they can deliver more value to brands and end customers,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo Digital Press Division, HP. “The latest releases of our industry-leading portfolio demonstrate our commitment to providing customers state-of-the-art digital printing technology to meet these needs, while also offering an upgrade path that helps protect their capital investments.”
HP Indigo 7800 Digital Press: A leap forward in color management and productivity
The HP Indigo 7800 Digital Press provides general commercial printers simplified color management, improved productivity and an expanded application range.
Offering direct printing on synthetic substrates with One Shot Color technology, the HP Indigo 7800 enables PSPs to print high-value applications, such as plastic cards, overlays, lenticular applications, point-of-sale and premium postcards. The press supports HP Indigo ElectroInk Digital Matte for spot coating effects on glossy substrates in addition to other special inks, including HP Indigo ElectroInk Invisible Red and Light Black. The press also features unique special effects, including raised print, textured effects and digital water marks.
The HP Indigo 7800 provides automated on-press color management aided by an in-line spectrophotometer. Eliminating the need for manual color manipulations, the in-line spectrophotometer and color management tools help to ensure the best possible match to hard-copy proofs, color uniformity within a page, and color consistency between presses and sites to meet strict brand guidelines. The spectrophotometer also streamlines the process for color standards certifications, such as GRACoL and FOGRA.
In addition, the press features an intelligent automation feature that helps prioritize print jobs with optimized on-press job sequencing according to job length, media, image types and job priority.
“CEWE is constantly innovating, and we need our digital printing technology to keep pace as we adapt to photo market trends and secure new business,” said Dr. Reiner Fageth, chief technology officer, CEWE. “With a large fleet of HP Indigo digital presses already, we appreciate how HP Indigo continues to deliver scalable technology that has allowed us to take advantage of quality and performance enhancements over time, and the features of the new HP Indigo 7800 will help us further extend our high-quality offerings, such as the CEWE Photobook, as well as our application range to help maintain our business.”
The HP Indigo 7800 is driven by HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server Version 5, the fastest digital front end (DFE) available on the market that enhances performance with 30 percent faster Raster Image Processing (RIP).(2) HP Indigo Direct2Finish, a platform for automated and simplified near-line finishing operation, enables automatic submission of accurate job definition format (JDF) instructions to leading finishing devices, reducing make-ready and turnaround time as well as reducing the chances of waste and human error.
Redefining label printing performance with the HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press
The HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press, the third generation of the best-selling(3) HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press series, offers breakthrough productivity, versatility and advanced color management.
Delivering the industry’s highest crossover point in narrow-web production versus analog for the vast majority of pressure-sensitive label jobs,(4) the press will help support the rapid increase in volume of digitally produced labels.
The HP Indigo WS6800 helps customers reach new levels of productivity and reduce time spent preparing color profiles and PANTONE® color matching by up to 75 percentwith a new in-line spectrophotometer.(5) Using closed-loop control, the spectrophotometer eliminates the need for manual color calibrations and adjustments. An expanded frame width, increased from 317 mm to 320 mm,(1) allows for higher press output and reduced costs. In addition, label converters can produce up to 131 linear feet per minute in color using Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM).
Providing improved efficiency in the converting of shrink sleeves, high-slip HP Indigo ElectroInk White reduces production steps with single pass sleeve production. HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver gives labels a metallic look similar to UV flexo silver inks and can be used as a spot or base color on a range of label applications, including paint, automotive, household chemicals, nutraceuticals and soft drinks.
The HP Indigo WS6800 supports the HP SmartStream Labels and Packaging Workflow Suite 4.1, powered by Esko. This workflow suite provides consistent repeat job control and advanced decision-making tools to help select suitable jobs for EPM. A new, high-definition 223 lines per inch (lpi) screen provides increased color gamut space.
“Our company seeks to provide our customers high-quality products that meet their strict brand guidelines, while pushing the limits on productivity,” said Cees Schouten, technical director, Geostick B.V. “The increased frame width and automated color management processes of the HP Indigo WS6800 will help us produce more jobs per day with less operator intervention and reduced overall costs, while maintaining the high print quality our customers expect.”
Printing with the environment in mind
By enabling just-in-time print production in the exact quantities needed, HP Indigo digital printing solutions help reduce waste and boost sustainability. HP Indigo has established a program in collaboration with the Good Energy Initiative to offset carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing of its HP Indigo 7000 series and WS6000 series Digital Presses. All HP Indigo series 3 presses have achieved carbon (CO2) neutral manufacturing status.(6)
Initial shipments of the HP Indigo 7800 and WS6800 Digital Presses are beginning this month. HP Indigo 7800 and WS6800 features are expected to be available as optional field upgrades in early 2015.
Additional information about HP Indigo digital presses is available at http://www.hp.com/go/indigo. Product videos and updates are available on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hpgraphicarts and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/hpgraphicarts.
(1) Compared to print width of the HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press.
(2) HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server Version 5 is the fastest DFE in the market according to HP Internal and independent market data; 30% faster compared to HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server Version 4.6.
(3) The HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Press is the best-selling narrow web press, outselling all analog vendors according to IDC market share data.
(4) Based on HP Internal and syndicated research as well as customer validations.
(5) Figure based on HP Internal estimates.
(6) Calculation of carbon emissions has been performed by an independent third party consultant; carbon offset projects conducted by the Good Energy Initiative.
Commentary by Cary Sherburne
Here we are at what you could call the drupa mid-point and it seems like announcements for various types of new digital presses have been coming fast and furious. HP is no exception. The company’s announcement of two new models in its Series 3 family of Indigo digital presses comes on the heels of news about successful market activity for its Series 4 platform – the HP Indigo 10000, 20000 and 30000 presses.
In a pre-announcement briefing with Alon Bar-Shany, Vice President and General Manager, HP Indigo Division, the media and analyst community learned that at Dscoop Asia, currently underway in Bali, HP is announcing its 100th installation of an HP Indigo 10000 press at a customer site. These presses are now installed in 25 countries, with the largest installed base in the U.S., followed by China. The 100th installation is a second unit at Sun Litho in Salt Lake City. Many sites have more than one unit.
Bar-Shany pointed out that while the Indigo 10000 was primarily designed to produce commercial printing applications, there have been some surprises in that units are being placed to produce direct mail, photo products and packaging in addition to conventional commercial printing work.
In terms of the packaging presses, the Indigo 20000 (web fed) and 30000 (sheet-fed folding carton press), there are more than 10 already installed in customer sites with more coming.
That being said, the company continues to add to its Series 3 installed base and is celebrating the 2,000th customer install which is being announced at Dscoop Asia.
The two new Series 3 presses announced here represent a 4th generation of the platform originally announced at drupa 2008. Bar-Shany indicates that among other enhancements, these presses have new capabilities that extend the range of applications they can produce and simplify their usability, especially as it relates to color management with the inclusion of an in-line spectrophotometer (from X-Rite). The WS6800 uses an updated front end powered by Esko (with Adobe’s APPE 3.1) for its SmartStream workflow suite.
There is also a new capability for fingerprinting substrates, data which can be created once and transferred to other presses. The company claims a 75% reduction in set-up time for color profiles and Pantone color refinements as a result of these enhancements. HP has also added Smart Scheduling to the mix to provide a dynamic scheduling process that reduces the scheduling burden on busy plants. Bar-Shany described it as a GPS for the operator that helps him avoid traffic jams.
These new presses also have a One-Shot option that enables high quality printing in near perfect register on plastic materials, including lenticular, as well as new ink sets.
In line with its historical policy, HP is making these enhancement available to owners of older Series 3 presses beginning in early 2015, most of which will be included with a maintenance contract (some upgrades are fee-based). In addition, there is a significant amount of cross-pollination going on between Series 3 and 4 platforms, with enhancements to one platform being migrated to the other as appropriate, over time. Both of these aspects of HP policy are good news for press owners, meaning that their investment is protected over a longer period of time without the need for a “fork lift upgrade” to access new capabilities.
We will likely be able to see these new presses in action at Graph Expo, although HP has not announced its final show configuration yet.
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