Customer Opportunities Expand with First-ever White Ink for Digital Sheet-fed Presses

Image Evolution among first users of HP ElectroInk White

BIRMINGHAM, UK, 26 May 2010 - HP today announced the availability of HP ElectroInk White for the new HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press, expanding the press's capabilities, market and business potential.

This follows the positive early reception of HP ElectroInk White for commercial and packaging applications on HP Indigo press 5000 and 5500 models following its worldwide launch three months ago. Further extension of HP ElectroInk White availability, to HP Indigo 7000 Digital Presses, is expected in the first half of 2011.

HP ElectroInk White is the industry's first white ink for sheet-fed digital presses. It enables HP Indigo press users to print full-colour images on transparent, coloured and other substrates commonly used in point-of-purchase (POP) signage, greetings cards, direct mail and other applications.

Meeting the increasing market demand

HP ElectroInk White has been available for HP Indigo label and packaging presses for more than a decade. The introduction of white ink into the commercial market has required increased production capacity. HP ElectroInk White production was, therefore, moved from Ness Ziona, Israel, to the main HP Indigo ink and press manufacturing site at Kiryat Gat, providing an increase in space of about 50 percent.

"Worldwide industry interest and uptake has been very positive, with a significant number of customers already requesting the option kit for HP ElectroInk White in the first weeks since its launch," said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. "This new ink helps PSPs offer more with their existing HP Indigo platforms, and represents a chance to gain incremental business on jobs they could not previously produce on a digital press. We expect the use of HP ElectroInk White to accelerate as PSPs and their customers come to appreciate its potential for creativity and added value."

Early adaopter: adding opportunities and value

An early white ink user, Image Evolution, of Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK, is a dynamic company that has considered itself at the vanguard of digital printing since 2002. It was a beta site for the Thick Substrate Kit (enabling stocks up to 460 microns to be handled), which made it ideal for beta testing HP ElectroInk White. Today, along with commercial products including short-run and personalised print including booklets, leaflets, flyers, questionnaires and other commercial products, Image Evolution offers products on heavier substrates including greetings cards and folding carton prototyping.

Using white ink with along with the personalisation capabilities of its HP Indigo press 5500, Image Evolution has the ability to add value to other products, too. For example, it prints names on boxes for personalised mugs.

"The ability to handle thick substrates and now print with HP ElectroInk White not only adds value, but blurs the traditional boundaries between commercial print and other segments," said Gary Mitchell, Sales Director, Image Evolution.

"We are continuing to explore new markets and revenue streams and push the boundaries of our digital capabilities," Mitchell said. "An example of this is using HP ElectroInk White to print white on white, which creates a subtle, almost watermarked, appearance, which has security applications, especially when used with variable data printing.

"We are finding that designers are excited about the new possibilities opened up to them by being able to incorporate white into their designs. Direct mail is a good example: the addition of white ink can add to the initial attraction of the piece when it's opened and create an advantageous impact," Mitchell concluded.

Substrate support for customers

HP has worked with two of its preferred media partners - Fedrigoni and Mohawk - to develop customised coloured papers for use with the new white ink. New white ink-compatible media from Fedrigoni include brown, blue, red and orange coloured papers. Mohawk has launched multiple colours with HP Indigo compatible i-ToneĀ® papers for a full array of hues to choose from.

Other media supporting white ink include coloured and metallic-effect papers from GPA and Arjo Wiggins, as well as transparent films from Tekra, Folex and Hanita.

More information about HP Indigo presses is available at through the HP Graphic Arts Twitter feed.