At Interpack 2014, HP announces the expansion of its graphics solutions portfolio, opening the door to the corrugated, flexible-packaging and folding-carton markets previously not addressed by digital printing technologies.

An $11 billion market opportunity, the packaging industry has been traditionally ruled by analog printing equipment, with only 7 percent of these materials currently printed with digital technology. However, shorter product life cycles, demand for faster time to market and a decline in average run length are accelerating the need for digital print. Furthermore, brand owners are seeking the versioning, short runs and reduced environmental impact that are only available with digital printing technology.
To help packaging converters and manufacturers take advantage of the digital opportunity, HP is introducing the HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press for production of corrugated displays and short-run packaging. HP also announced general availability and a new lamination partner for its HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses.
“After leading the shift to digital in label printing, HP is again driving an unstoppable analog-to-digital transformation in the package printing industry,” says Stephen Nigro, senior vice president of graphics and inkjet solutions business at HP. “With HP solutions, packaging converters can capture the benefits of digital printing to diversify business models, reach new customers and explore new profit areas.”

HP Scitex 15000 Automates Corrugated Application Production 

The HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press simplifies and streamlines corrugated printing on an industrial scale. With the new large-format digital press—expected to be available Nov. 1 —converters and display makers can print direct to corrugated media as well as add short-run and versioning capabilities to their existing flexographic or lithographic-lamination operations. The press features:
  • HP Scitex High Dynamic Range (HDR) Printing Technology, enabling a unique combination of high-quality output at industrial volumes. 
  • Easy setup and operation as well as speeds up to 600 m2/hour (6,456 ft2/hour), helping to maximize productivity.
  • An integrated automatic media loader that handles up to four media stacks side by side, optimized for use with corrugated sheets without operator intervention.
  • HP HDR240 Scitex Inks, which are GREENGUARD GOLDSM Certified and meet AgBB criteria,(4) making them ideal for indoor point-of-purchase displays, bulk bins and freestanding display units.

HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 Forge Packaging Market Transformation 

HP is extending its digital expertise to packaging after establishing a leadership position in pressure-sensitive labels, printing more than 24 billion labels in 2013(5) using digital presses like the HP Indigo WS6600 series. 
At Drupa 2012, HP unveiled the 30-inch-wide Indigo 20000 and 30000 Digital Presses, designed to transform the label, flexible packaging and folding carton markets with wider-format production digital presses. The presses are successfully operating at six customer sites and are shipping this quarter to meet demand from leading packaging printers and converters worldwide, including: 
  • California-based Emerald Packaging has signed an agreement to install the first HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press for flexible packaging in North America, allowing the company to enter the snack food, candy, health care and cosmetics markets.
  • Netherlands-based Flach Packaging, a producer of folding cartons, labels and disposables, will be an early customer for the HP Indigo 30000 Digital Press, expanding its ability to deliver high-quality folding cartons with a quick turnaround.
“The HP Indigo 20000 will bring a speed-to-market advantage as well as the ability to offer customized short runs, which will be important differentiators for us,” says Kevin Kelly, chief executive officer of Emerald Packaging. “No other manufacturer is close when it comes to offering a digital press for flexible packaging, especially for use with food products.”
Extending its end-to-end packaging solution partner network, HP also announced an agreement with Comexi Group, a leading flexible packaging machinery manufacturer, to develop a dedicated lamination solution. Optimized for the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, the Comexi NEXUS L20000 will offer advanced solvent-free lamination, delivering shorter time to market with reduced waste and environmental impact.

HP Inkjet Web Press Solutions for Growing Packaging Segment

HP also intends to enter the growing packaging segment with its inkjet web press solutions. HP inkjet web presses, built upon proven HP scalable thermal inkjet technology, have delivered innovation and business transformation in other segments, including publishing, production mail and commercial print. 
HP is developing new solutions configured for packaging that will help converters produce cost-effective short to medium runs and digital customization, deliver faster turnaround times and reduce inventory at industry-leading production speeds of up to 12,000 m2 per hour.(6) HP is working with leading packaging converters to validate the technology in terms of quality, flexibility and economics. As an example, HP is conducting trials with its own consumer printer boxes using this technology.

HP SPS thermal inkjet Reaches More Package Coding Applications 

The HP 45si print cartridge and HP Black 2580 Solvent Ink — developed by HP Specialty Printing Systems — enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and ink partners to deliver primary package coding applications on substrates including flexible films and coated folding cartons. Since introducing the ink at Pack Expo 2013, HP has signed more than 25 OEM partners to test the HP 2580 solvent ink in various applications. Additionally, ink partners are using the HP 45si cartridge to print on a wider range of substrates with their proprietary inks.
“With the HP 45si technology and Collins ink, we’ll be able to address the needs of a large installed base that is tired of dealing with the spare parts and service costs of continuous inkjet printers,” says Chris Rogers, director of sales and business development at Collins Inkjet.