Digital label converting gathers pace with wide-spread adoption of the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press

Converters in Europe, the Middle East and Africa respond to market demands with migration to digital

BARCELONA, Spain, 09 December 2010 - HP today announced the success of its HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with label and packaging converters leveraging the advantages of digital for label, flexible packaging and shrink sleeve production.

Since becoming commercially available in spring 2009, 100+ HP Indigo WS6000 Presses have been installed in EMEA as label and packaging converters have recognised its benefits. With print speeds of up to 30m/min full colour, the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press addresses more than 80 percent of jobs currently printed by flexo presses. Superior print quality and accurate reproduction of PANTONE® Colours(1) means that labels and flexible packaging printed on WS6000 digital presses integrate with conventionally printed products, satisfying the demands of international brand managers.

Other strengths of the press include its ability to print on a wide range of substrates with easy change-overs, and powerful, full-colour variable data printing for short-runs, localisation and the printing of barcodes, sell-by dates, batch numbers and security devices.

End-to-end

The provision of an end-to-end solution for label and packaging converters was a key HP strategy from the start and partnerships with leading industry suppliers throughout the workflow has resulted in reliable, flexible solutions for label, shrink sleeve and flexible packaging production. With the option of in-line or near-line finishing configurations, users of all HP Indigo ws/WS-series presses are assured of an efficient production solution that meets their requirements.

Using tools like the HP Indigo Smart Planner for Labels, HP Indigo customers can calculate the cross-over point when deciding whether to run jobs conventionally or digitally, or to model the business impact of adding a digital capacity to an existing business.

Specific benefits

Such is the versatility of the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press that, depending on their circumstances, different users cite different features of the press as reasons for investment.

Springfield Solutions Ltd, of Hull, UK, is a packaging decorator and an advocate of digital printing since its installation of an Indigo Omnius in 1996. Today it has two HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Presses and an HP Indigo press ws4500.

"The efficiency and speed of the WS6000 press relative to its predecessors made our investment decision for a second press remarkably easy. We enjoy a great partnership with HP and the WS6000 press is a manifestation that their machine development programme is in tune with the needs of packaging decorators. Our make-readies are even better than before, our print speeds have doubled, preventative maintenance is easier and the machine has a lower environmental impact versus anything that we have used before. It ticks a lot of boxes!" said Albert Dass, chairman, Springfield Solutions.

For nearly 20 years August Faller, KG, has focused on printing folding cartons for the pharmaceutical industry. The company operates at four different production sites in Germany and also produces package inserts, labels and combination products.

"Since we installed the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press, our productivity has increased," said Wolfgang Staudt, director PharmaServiceCenter Labels, Faller. "We are taking on more short-run print for our pharmaceutical customers. Also, the workflow from prepress to finishing has improved with the new press. Our clients require that colours match corporate identities which we achieve perfectly with the press's colour management software."

Pitkit Printing Enterprises, Ltd, of Caesarea, Israel, is an established label converter of 40 years' experience with a broad customer base. An HP Indigo press ws4500 customer, the company installed an HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press in August 2010.

"We are a specialist in security label and identity document printing for high-level international brands and organisations," said Gideon Fishman, managing director, Pitkit. "The WS6000 digital press enables us to print reliably the variable data necessary for these applications. For both security reasons and the high profile of our customers, high image quality is imperative and we are able to achieve this with our HP Indigo press."

Ro.Ma SpA, of Milan, Italy, specialises in the production of multipage labels as well as self-adhesive labels. It installed its first digital press, an HP Indigo press ws4050 in 2006 and has recently upgraded to the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press.

"When we invested in the HP Indigo WS6000, we aimed to improve our productivity and we have achieved that. The new press is enabling us to improve our production speed and flexibility with fast turnarounds and variable data printing, as well as accommodating changes in paper formats. The HP Indigo press is now handling all the manufacturing we used to run on the ws4050 press as well as that from a retired web offset press. In fact, with the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press, we will be able to achieve the same quality as offset but with higher speeds and lower costs," said Marco Rossi, owner, Ro.Ma SpA.

Vila Etiketten, one of Holland's leading and fastest growing label producers, with a portfolio of over 2000 customers including blue-chip brands, retailers and other local printers, ordered its HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press to replace its HP Indigo press ws4500, at IPEX in May. Robbert Vugts, managing director, Vila Etiketten, said:

"Our new HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press will enable us to maintain our competitive edge and further step-up our productivity to meet customer objectives. Not only will we be able to increase efficiency, but we will be able to increase our page impressions with the HP Indigo WS6000, and help our customers get their products to market much quicker."

Rotolabel, of Cape Town, South Africa, was founded in 1982 and has evolved into one of Africa's leading producers of self-adhesive labels. A major supplier of labels to the food, wine and hygiene industries, the company had an HP Indigo press ws4500 and had seen its digital production grow rapidly.

"Following two extremely successful years we needed to increase our capacity," said Grant Watson, sales director, Rotolabel. "Being a leader in high quality labels serving the retail, pharmaceutical, personal care and wine markets our next investment in technology had to offer our customers superb quality. This left us with no doubt in our minds, from our experience with the HP Indigo press ws4500 it had to be another HP Indigo press. The print quality on the various materials was in a class of its own.

"The only question which remained was whether we should go for another ws4500 or the WS6000. Although priced higher than the WS4500, the increase in blanket size to 980mm doubles the speed and is far more efficient to print a larger spectrum of label sizes. Doing the maths, the equation became a no-brainer, and we bought the WS6000."

Established in 1991 and now employing 50 people, Coreti is a dynamic producer of self-adhesive labels using flexo, offset and screen technologies as well as digital printing. Its new HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press complements an existing HP Indigo press ws4500 installed five years ago.

"We opted for HP because we believe it has no serious rival as leader in the digital printing world, both in narrow web and sheet-fed markets," said Luis Fernandez Vilela, general manager, Coreti. "After five years of using HP Indigo presses, the highlight has been the way they seamlessly integrate into our production process. Having HP Indigo presses enables us to adapt easily to the current changes in the market."

More information is available at www.youtube.com/hpgraphicarts or follow HP on www.twitter.com/hpgraphicarts.

PSPs can find local printers offering similar innovative applications by visiting www.hp.com/go/pspnetwork.

(1) The HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press is able to reproduce PANTONE -licensed HP IndiChrome on-press 6-colour printing using CMYK as well as orange and violet; PANTONE-licensed HP IndiChrome off-press Ink Mixing System, for spot colour creation, using CMYK as well as orange, violet, red, green, blue, bright yellow, and transparent; and, HP Professional PANTONE Emulation Technology (PANTONE-licensed CMYK values for 4-color PANTONE simulation, utilising ICC profiles to provide optimized simulation values for the specific press and media combination)