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At its HP Indigo user group, Dscoop Edge, HP released its latest lineup of HP digital printing presses and intelligent solutions designed, it says, to address today’s production challenges in the commercial printing and labels and packaging industries.

To be released at drupa: HP Indigo 18K
To be released at drupa: HP Indigo 18K

Hosted in Indianapolis, the Dscoop Edge attracted a sizeable number of ANZ print professionals to cross the Pacific for the annual event, encouraged to attend by local HP Indigo distributor Currie Group. The new releases will be on show at drupa in May, where HP has the biggest stand.

HP says printing businesses face challenges such as inflation, labour shortages, material scarcity, and environmental concerns. It says that to sustainably grow their business, offset players need to access new growth opportunities by embracing digital printing and an intelligent production floor.

"We're committed to unlocking profitable and sustainable growth for our customers," said Haim Levit, SVP and division president of HP Industrial Print. "Our LEP, LEPx, and inkjet technologies have improved in terms of quality, versatility, productivity, sustainability, and economics and our commitment and significant investment into continuous innovation has enabled over 8000 printers and converters to expand their businesses and grow sustainably. HP has been a digital transformation leader for more than 30 years, and our digital printing technology has established the gold standard in commercial print and labels and packaging production.”

HP says today’s printing businesses are navigating increasing production challenges. Supply chain disruption, energy supply concerns and worsening sector labor shortages reinforce the need for greater efficiency, speed and reliability across the production floor.

The HP Indigo 120K Digital Press is designed to address high-volume production challenges. Optimising production floors by combining analogue and digital technologies, the HP Indigo 120K reduces human touchpoints and enables multi-press operation by a single operator. HP says the new press delivers offset-matching image quality, flexible job routing between offset and digital, and an ECO mode option that reduces the press's carbon footprint by 11 per cent.

Produced on the new HP Indigo 120K: Direct mail
Produced on the new HP Indigo 120K: Direct mail

The company says the new HP Indigo 18K Digital Press handles the widest range of print applications ever produced with a single B2 digital press, accommodating diverse substrates and job types. Advanced AI features like auto recovery and proactive alerts enhance productivity and simplify the entire production process, achieving, says HP, up to 80 per cent press availability within a single shift. Aligning with HP’s sustainability commitment, the Indigo 18K supports Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), delivering 24 per cent energy savings per sheet.

HP also launched the HP Indigo 7K Secure Digital Press enabling restricted digital security printing to be executed for security-focused print jobs in a single pass. Collaborating with Jura JSP, HP says this sheetfed press enables workflows tailor-made for security production lines, so customers can diversify their offerings, cater to a comprehensive range of security needs, and acquire new customers to grow their business.

One pass security printing: HP INdigo 7K
One pass security printing: HP Indigo 7K

"As the printing industry embraces automation and digitalisation, HP Indigo empowers customers with unprecedented levels of productivity, efficiency, versatility, quality, and cost-effectiveness," said Noam Zilbershtain, VP and GM, HP Indigo and Scitex. "Our portfolio defines the industry standard for automation and sustainability, reflecting HP's vision for the print production floor."

 "We’re also excited to announce that today HP will roll out general commercial availability of the HP Indigo V12 Digital Press, the fastest narrow web digital press on the market and first press to utilise new innovative LEPx technology. Commercial availability comes after successful beta site installations including Brook + Whittle, a leader in sustainable packaging and digital printing in the US," continued Noam Zilbershtain, VP and GM, HP Indigo and Scitex.

HP is increasing its automation through AI and robotics, launching a comprehensive print production automation ecosystem. Based on internal studies, customers who leverage automated processes achieve 51 per cent higher volume and 80 per cent more jobs per press compared to less automated customers. These customers also grow at an average of 27 per cent year-over-year, which is higher than the industry average. HP's holistic approach combines effective presses with intelligent features from job submission to delivery.

Specific efficiency innovations include PrintOS Production Beat Support for analogue printing and finishing equipment, to enable customers to monitor their entire production floor, not only HP presses, capturing data in real time from analogue equipment and digitalizing the entire production.

Components include HP Indigo PQ Maestro, offering an intelligent start-of-day wizard that optimises press performance. Preflight, an AI-based decision-making tool that automatically predicts the suitability of the best-fit print mode by learning customers preferences, and AAA 2.0 (Auto Alert Agent) advanced, a machine-learning algorithm that increases print productivity with zero human intervention.

"By using AAA 2.0 we experience a significant reduction in production time, saving 1 hour for every 80,000 impressions. This not only enhances our operational efficiency, but also drastically reduces customer complaints and returns by 5-7 per cent," highlighted Andreas Organzidis head of Color Digital Printing, Elanders.

As the industry moves towards a more productive production floor, HP is introducing Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) in collaboration with Movigo to automate media transfer, saving up to two hours per day, per press. 

Developed in collaboration with printers and converters, HP also announced the launch of the HP Sustainability Amplifier program enabling printers and converters to accelerate their sustainability agenda and offer more sustainable prints. The program, in collaboration with HP’s Sustainable Impact Strategy, aligns with HP's commitment to renewable energy and reducing CO2 emissions.

An industry pioneer in inkjet technology for 40 years, HP PageWide Web Presses use HP’s proprietary thermal inkjet technology to deliver offset class quality and productivity with the benefits of digital printing.

"Since our first HP inkjet web press in 2009, HP customers have printed more than one trillion pages on PageWide. Along the way, we’ve invested in innovation to protect our customers' investments and help them grow sustainably. Today we're introducing the new HP PageWide Plus Package, to enhance productivity, automation, and economics," said Annette Friskopp, VP and GM, HP PageWide.

The enhancements to HP PageWide Plus Package unveiled today include Performance Economy Color (EC) Mode. It delivers print quality customers require for faster turnaround with less colour ink and a 60 per cent increase in productivity up to 800 fpm (244 mpm).

Enhancements: HP Pagewide
60 per cent increase in productivity: HP Pagewide

It also includes the general availability of Smart Workcell Controller which HP says offers advancements in intelligent automation and productivity improvements of up to a factor of 15x, and On Press Color Profiling. Automation transforms colour profiling into a less than five minutes job, a tenth of what it normally takes.

HP also announces two new additional capabilities expanding the versatility of the HP PageWide Advantage 2200 web inkjet press. Heavier Media Expansion, which enables printers to use thicker substrates, allowing them to capture more high value jobs up to 320gsm/18pt, and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) for Transactional Print Systems.

At drupa 2024, HP members of the global print community will be able to see firsthand eight automated production lines equipped with the latest innovation across HP Industrial, involving over 25 partner companies and incorporating more than 20 unique automation solutions.  


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