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New HP Indigo Press Boosts Digital Productivity for Label and Packaging Converters

Press release from the issuing company

ROSEMONT, Ill., September 12, 2006 – HP today announced at Labelexpo Americas new products and tools designed to improve the digital production of labels and packaging, opening up new business opportunities for converters. These include the launch of the HP Indigo press ws4500, a new reseller agreement with Esko, the unveiling of HP Indichrome Plus with free green HP ElectroInk, and the premiere of HP Indigo Label Job Estimator software. In its interactive booth (# 3223), HP is showcasing the high-quality printing, increased productivity and end-to-end solutions that have enabled the company to provide a cost-effective alternative to flexographic equipment on small order quantities. According to analyst firm InfoTrends, “HP dominates the current population” of digital color label presses(1). To illustrate the ability to efficiently print numerous small order quantities, HP has created a ‘Tower of Power’ display for Labelexpo. The Tower of Power illustrates the high productivity advantages converters can gain in mainstream label production with HP Indigo by showcasing the number and variety of jobs produced on a single press in an eight-hour shift. The display features actual jobs printed by an HP Indigo customer, Utah-based Flexible Technologies, in a single shift prior to Labelexpo. Digital printing easier and more productive than ever with new HP Indigo press The centerpiece of HP’s booth at Labelexpo is the new HP Indigo press ws4500. The press’ new fast ink replacement feature enables users to replace spot colors without interruption. In real production situations, this means converters gain the unprecedented opportunity to switch between jobs with near-zero downtime. To showcase the HP Indigo press ws4500’s fast ink replacement capability, HP is offering 100 free cans of spot-color HP ElectroInk with the purchase of an HP Indigo press ws4500(2). More information can be found at www.hp.com/go/freeink. “One out of five of our customers’ converting jobs require the use of a custom-blended ink, which can be a challenge in a short-run digital printing environment,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. “While HP Indigo remains unique among digital press manufacturers for its PANTONE-licensed custom color capabilities, the HP Indigo press ws4500 also enables those colors to be used without stopping the press, a factor that improves the profitability of individual jobs as well as the overall productivity and value offered by this world-class printing engine.” The HP Indigo press ws4500 has a host of additional features that make it a robust and reliable production device designed for 24/7 operation on both small-order-quantity and medium-order-quantity work. High-value features and benefits – such as optional third-party Esko solutions that can reduce color matching time by as much as 50%(3, 4) – make the press a cost-effective label and packaging solution for jobs up to approximately 6,500 linear feet (2,000 meters) (4). “On the new Indigo, you can go from one job to another,” said Ben Masri, production manager, Label Art of California, a beta site user of the HP Indigo press ws4500. “For what we do and for what we’ve done for the past 40 years at Label Art, that is the machine for us.” Tighter integration between digital and flexography At Labelexpo, HP is announcing that it will be a reseller for the Esko Optimize Pack and the Esko Scope Pack for HP Indigo, a pair of new digital front-end solutions from label and packaging prepress leader Esko. In addition, a number of new media are now certified for use on HP Indigo label and packaging presses. These include: - label and packaging media from Avery-Denison and Wausau Coated Products, featured in the HP booth at Labelexpo Americas - new OPP and PE label substrates from Fedrigoni/Manter - flexible packaging media from ExxonMobil and Mitsubishi Polyester Films. HP is also announcing an improvement to its HP Indichrome on-press offering for digital press label and packaging customers. HP Indichrome Plus expands the previous color set of CMYK, orange and violet HP ElectroInks with the new addition of green HP ElectroInk. Through a permanent change in pricing programs for click charge contracts, green HP ElectroInk is now free for Indigo press ws4000, ws4050 and ws4500 customers(5). Label Job Estimator Software Free for HP Indigo Customers The new HP Indigo Label Job Estimator software tool ensures that converters gain the maximum benefit from all of their production equipment. The software, which is making its debut at Labelexpo Americas, provides the analytical processing capabilities to effectively determine whether a given job is more profitable on an HP Indigo or conventional flexographic press. The new software is available free of charge to HP Indigo customers through the www.myhpindigo.com customer portal. It is part of a comprehensive suite of business support initiatives designed to ensure that label and packaging converters have the necessary tools to successfully integrate digital printing into their production operations. HP is discussing today’s news at a September 12 Labelexpo press conference to be held at 12:30 pm in room 13 of the Stephens Convention Center. Also, on September 12 at 10:30 a.m. in the Labelexpo conference section (rooms 1 and 2), Ray Dickinson, new business development manager, HP Indigo Label and Packaging Group, will participate in a panel session titled, “How converters are using digital printing today.” More information about HP’s exhibit at Labelexpo Americas is available at www.hp.com/go/labelexpo.