In its pre-drupa briefing, HP has announced that it is introducing a fleet of new Indigo presses for commercial print, packaging and label applications, based on two new generations of the Indigo liquid toner technology, plus a new addition to the PageWide series of high-speed inkjet presses.

There are two new B2 Indigo models, the 15K and the 100K, both of which use HP’s new Series 5  ElectroInk print engine, which general manager of the Indigo division Alon Bar-Shany said offers a 30% faster imaging process, supporting 180m/min web printing or 6000sph (in three-colour Enhanced Productivity Mode). The Indigo 15K is based on the existing Indigo 12000 but is suitable for more ‘premium’ applications, offering increased quality and enhanced workflow automation, according to Mr Bar-Shany. It can handle media up to 600 microns thick and in its six-colour mode offers a stochastic screening HD option, with a four-colour option to follow. Its RIP operates at 1600dpi which supports detailed Asian typefaces as well as security print applications. According to Mr Bar-Shany, ‘almost all’ of the new features will be available to existing Indigo 12000 users via a ‘value pack’ upgrade.

For high volume production environments, such as those often found at online-based trade printers, the Indigo 100K is intended to support continuous operation. ‘We redesigned pretty much everything for non-stop running,’ said Mr Bar-Shany. The press supports up to five feeder units, uses offset press gripper-to-gripper paper feeding, and operates on-the-fly colour measurement and correction. It is driven by Cloud-based software which Mr Bar-Shany said would allow one operator to run two presses, each capable of 100,000 B2 impressions per shift (hence the 100K name) and a total of 12 million B2 duplex sheets a year. The Indigo 100K is targeted both at existing users who want more productivity without increasing footprint (most B2 Indigos can be upgraded to the new specification) and at offset-only environments where it can more efficiently handle shorter runs and mixed jobs ‘freeing up offset for what it does best’.

HP isn’t abandoning the SRA3 sector either. The existing Series 3 7×00 models will be complemented by the Series 5-based Indigo 7K, which as with the 15K, supports a wider range of media types and weights, including thermal transfer material for T-shirts and other garments, while continuing to support the special colours/applications such as silver, fluorescent yellow and scratch-off ElectroInks. Mr Bar-Shany stressed the longevity of  Indigo presses compared to dry toner presses in the 100+ppm category, saying that many Indigos had run to 200 or even 300 million impressions, while dry toner machines have to be replaced after 30 – 40 million. An entry-level five-colour model, the Indigo 7eco, dubbed ‘my first Indigo’ , is also being introduced.

All the Indigo presses are supported by Print OS which provides a ‘common mindset and capability’ and currently has over 10,000 users worldwide. Its marketplace now boasts over 500 applications, ideas and licenses, allowing Indigo users to get files, advice and software ‘mostly for free’. All the new Indigo models or upgrades  for commercial print were in beta test at customers sites in 2019 and are expected to be available by late summer 2020. Pricing was not disclosed, however.

A number of Indigo models for label, folding carton and flexible packaging applications were also launched, including a 120m/min 340mm width label press, dubbed the Indigo V12, that uses a different printhead and transfer blanket arrangement – called Series 6 and using ‘LEP-X’ technology – to offer 1600dpi output and six to 12 colours with quality ‘better than flexo’. This won’t be available until 2022 as extensive testing at beta sites is underway. There are other potential applications for this technology but given the timeframe, HP isn’t yet saying what they are.

In its high-speed web-fed inkjet range, HP has introduced the PageWide T250 HD, which adds CMYK Brilliant Ink for expanded colour gamut, including highly saturated reds and blues with a glossy finish, printable on both coated and uncoated offset media. The 152m/min 560mm width press uses HP’s Optimizer digitally-printed primer to increase image quality and substrate choice but also offers a dedicated and exclusive Harris & Bruno web coater which offers ‘breakthrough’ UV and aqueous coatings for commercial and direct mail applications.

‘HP continues to innovate with the HP PageWide T250 HD, offering commercial PSPs impressive quality and versatility to profitably grow their businesses on a proven press platform,’ said Eric Wiesner, general manager, HP PageWide Industrial Division. ‘Perfect for commercial print, advertising mail, publishing, transaction, and more, customers who adopt this technology enjoy leading-edge quality, blazing productivity, broad versatility and compelling economics in a press that is upgradable.’ The T250 HD will be demonstrated at drupa and available later in 2020.