HP targets label finishing

HP used last week’s Label Expo show to announced a couple of new products for its Indigo range, including a new finishing machine known as GEM, a faster version of its DFE and a silver ink.

The GEM finishing unit can produce a range of decorative effects such as these labels.

Of these, the most interesting is probably the Indigo GEM, which is capable of foiling, and varnishing, all in a single pass, to produce highly decorated and textured effects that are really quite stunning to see. It’s designed to be used inline with the Indigo WS6800 label press and runs off the same design file. It’s been developed by JetFX and should ship next spring.

There’s a new silver electro-ink for the Indigo presses that actually looks like silver, and is a considerable step forward from the previous silver that was more of a grey colour. It’s currently being beta tested and should be available shortly. Amongst the beta testers is the Dutch labels and packaging supplier Geostick B.V. The company’s technical director, Cees Schouten, commented: “We are thrilled with the early results of the new HP Indigo silver ink. We already sold labels printed with it to customers who readily accepted the results and were unable to detect any differences from conventionally printed silver ink.”

HP has also updated its digital front end with a new Production Pro for Indigo Labels and Packaging that it claims will offer five times faster processing. HP has continued to use Global Graphics’ Harlequin RIP, which has proved to be very scaleable. For now the new DFE will be offered with the WS6800 but will later be rolled out to the 8000, 20000 and 30000 presses. It can be used to centrally manage fleets of HP Indigo label presses, while connecting the press to automation tools including HP PrintOS, MIS systems and the Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels.

HP has also built on its 10-year relationship with Esko by integrating the Esko Color Engine into its Production Pro DFE and extending the arrangement to resell the new entry-level Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels.

Alon Bar-Shany, general manager of HP Indigo, concluded: “With these solutions converters can streamline and reinvent the production floor and print any label, no matter the complexity, to successfully help meet new market demands.”


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