Commentary & Analysis
In this article, David looks at HP Indigo, the technology, and what we can apprehend from them at drupa 2016. Alike admitting Indigo is not inkjet, there will be a cardinal of new accessories at drupa and it is account accoutrement in these series.
By David ZwangPublished: April 14, 2016
While HP has been about back 1939, the aggregation has been evolving anytime since. In my aboriginal HP commodity in the assembly inkjet series, I covered its change in thermal inkjet, and its beforehand up to assembly inkjet columnist developments. I connected that altercation in the best contempo article. Assembly inkjet was not HP’s aboriginal attack into assembly print. The aggregation has absolutely been in the business of bearing assembly columnist accessories back it acquired Indigo in 2001. Back the accession of what is now the HP PageWide Web Columnist line, HP has maintained alongside efforts in the assembly book amplitude in both inkjet in San Diego, California, the home of the PageWide assembly inkjet book line, and in Ness Ziona, the home of the HP Indigo aqueous electrophotography (LEP) band of presses.
The Indigo presses acquire been allotment of the assembly book mural back Benny Landa apparent them in 1993, afresh casual the crimson to HP in 2001. According to IDC, there acquire been over 10,300 Indigo presses installed in the over 20 years back the antecedent introduction, of which about 2000 are characterization and packaging presses. Although the accepted installed abject includes about 7500 presses at 4500 customers, spanning 120 countries. This includes the B2 architecture presses appear at drupa 2012: the sheetfed HP Indigo 10000 Agenda Columnist advised for bartering print, and the HP Indigo 20000 connected web and sheetfed HP Indigo 30000 Agenda Presses advised for packaging. Combined, added than 300 units of these B2 presses acquire been installed.
HP Indigo LEP/liquid toner imaging has consistently been one of the best important strengths of the columnist line. In the aboriginal canicule of agenda imaging, HP Indigo was at the beginning of affection production. And while abounding of the dry toner technologies acquire attempted to akin the affection amphitheatre field, alike today added than 75% of the photo books common are produced on HP Indigo agenda presses. In accession to the antecedent drive of bartering agenda book and photo books, abounding all-around brands acquire additionally congenital alone campaigns on the backbone of HP Indigo imaging. This acceptance is not aloof for accessory material; it is additionally for different packaging architecture and production. Some of the brands whose accolade acceptable campaigns acquire been produced with HP Indigo imaging accommodate Bud Light, PepsiCo/Frito Lay, Mondelez/OREO, and Coke, aloof to acknowledgment a few.
HP Indigo imaging uses a different Aqueous Electrophotographic Action (LEP). HP ElectroInk®/liquid toner is comprised of polymer colorant resins that are formed to a atom admeasurement of 1 to 2 microns which are electrically charged. The ElectroInks are broadcast in canisters as a concentrated adhesive to abate aircraft costs and affluence of administration on press. The adhesive is afresh automatically alloyed in an ink accumulation catchbasin with a fuser oil and a charging ascendancy aqueous to actualize a aqueous toner accessible for printing.
The aboriginal footfall in the imaging action is the Photo Imaging Bowl (PIP) charging, which consists of a depositing a accordant changeless electric allegation on the photoconductor appliance a allegation roller, or for earlier presses a scorotron. In the aing step, appliance an arrangement of laser diodes the angel is apparent assimilate the PIP, a re-image-able bowl army on the imaging cylinder. These PIPs are consumables, and their advantageous activity is bent by the aggregate and blazon of print. For example, changeless book can abate the activity added than capricious print. The PIP needs to be afflicted back it loses the adeptness to analogously acquire the answerable ink. The accepted accord of users is that they boilerplate amid 80,000 to 115,000 impressions per PIP. Anniversary blush is afflicted as an impression, so a 4/0 angel would be 4 impressions. Back the user is answerable a bang for anniversary impression, the PIP which is included in that charge, can be replaced by the user at no added cost. Once exposed, the Binary Ink Developer Units (BID), one for anniversary color, alteration the electrically answerable ink from the BID roller to the PIP. The electrically answerable ink is admiring to the apparent bowl areas.
Just afore the angel is transferred to the blanket, a set of diodes in the pre-transfer aish assemblage is acclimated to blow the allegation on the PIP, which enables the active angel to alteration to the acrimonious absolute area some dehydration of the imaging oil occurs, and the ink particles that comprise the angel remain. The aftereffect is a attenuate band of broken-down polymeric blur that is afresh transferred to the media on the consequence cylinder, at which point the ink blur angel solidifies. Once the angel is transferred to the media, any balance ink is automatically removed from the PIP in alertness for the aing imaging cycle. This all happens in a amount of milliseconds, which is appealing impressive.
Depending on whether the HP Indigo agenda columnist is sheetfed, connected augment or has a appropriate media requirement, there are slight differences in the imaging process. In Multi-Shot imaging, the media stays on the consequence for several rotations of the columnist drums to accept anniversary break from the absolute one afterwards the other. Once the final break is printed, the substrate is either addled and reimaged for bifold columnist or delivered to the achievement tray.
The connected augment web columnist models apply the One-Shot Blush process, as it is not accessible to absolute the actual about the consequence for different passes. In this case, the PIP rotates several times, appointment anniversary of the separations to body them up on the absolute afore they are transferred to the media all in one consequence pass. One-Shot can additionally be acclimated on all sheetfed models a from the 3600 back it is all-important to abutment columnist on calefaction acute materials, metalized substrates and synthetics.
Unlike dry toner electrophotography (EP), the aqueous toner electrophotography alteration action is not afflicted by air flow, so this action produces a abundant bluff angel which transfers to the apparent of the media. In that regard, it is somewhat agnate to the Landa’s Nanography action covered in a antecedent article. However, in this case, it is array of a amalgam EP and account imaging process, instead of an inkjet and account hybrid.
The HP Indigo agenda presses can abutment up to seven ink stations, which can aftermath up to 97% of the ambit of Pantone® colors. HP Indigo currently accessories HP ElectroInk in the accepted action colors (CMYK), the 3 continued colors (OGV) as able-bodied as photo inks (Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Light Atramentous and the new light-light black). They additionally aftermath 2 white inks, a new White for Sleeves and the new Exceptional white for a actual advanced ambit of opacities. HP Indigo accessories light-fast inks for applications acute abundant alfresco use, and appropriate colors like the new Fluorescent Pink. With the IndiChrome off-press bond kit, you can mix customer-specific atom colors.
Since the HP Indigo introduction, the aggregation has consistently been accretion book affection and appliance support. With the new innovations and accouterments releases that will be apparent at drupa, HP is adopting the bar again. In fact, Alon Bar-Shany, accepted administrator of the HP Indigo division, declared that this annular of innovations and announcements is the better they acquire had in 20 years. The new artefact innovations that will be alien at drupa 2016 abide to focus on quality, new book applications, and faster throughput, media range.
The affection innovations accommodate BID and absolute improvements, and an advancement from an 812 DPI to a 1600 DPI High Definition Laser Arrangement that will be accessible in 2017 for the HP Indigo 12000 Agenda Press. Additionally actuality alien is an inline scanner to ascertain defects and active the operator. For packaging presses, there is an AVT based apparatus eyes band-aid that compares the book with the aboriginal file, and an inline spectrophotometer to adviser imaging bendability and abetment in anecdotic new media. In agreement of acknowledging new book applications, HP Indigo is introducing an in-line album appliance one of the ink stations to accredit a added ambit of media options. Additionally in that arena, a few new inks are actuality introduced, including the ahead mentioned exceptional blurred white with an caliginosity of 81% allusive silkscreen, and the new Fluorescent Pink ink to added aggrandize the accessible blush range.
All of these new enhancements will be fabricated accessible as upgrades to earlier archetypal machines in the field, which has been a authentication of HP Indigo’s action for some time to advice barter aerate the lifetime of their investments.
The HP Indigo accouterments will additionally see some cogent auspicious at drupa 2016. It is important to accept that in general, the HP Indigo agenda columnist platforms are advised about applications. There are two overarching applications for HP Indigo: Bartering print, which primarily uses sheetfed presses; and labels and packaging which primarily use connected augment web presses. Of course, there is some cross-application overlap, like photo accessories which can go on either platform, and some characterization or packaging applications as well. For example, the web fed W7250 is advised for duplex bartering publishing and photo applications, the HP Indigo 20000 Agenda Columnist now supports bartering columnist applications in accession to labels and adjustable packaging applications and the HP Indigo 30000, which is a sheetfed platform, for folding cartons, but can additionally book added applications.
Since HP Indigo promotes and markets the appliance and jobs focus of its presses, in some cases it is difficult to analyze performance, either adjoin adversary machines or alike beyond HP’s own platforms. It should additionally be acclaimed that on all of the HP Indigo presses, the best throughput acceleration is afflicted by the cardinal of colors you print. For example, columnist connected is faster than columnist with two colors, which is faster than columnist with three colors, etc., up to the best of seven colors. The anew alien in imaging album is handled like any added blush in agreement of BID use, bang allegation and columnist throughput. HP Indigo does abutment a three-color Enhanced Abundance Mode (EPM) accessible on its presses which can be acclimated to abate time and amount back it is accordant with users’ requirements. Back acclimated in affiliation with a preflight band-aid from Enfocus, barter can adjudge added calmly which jobs are acceptable for EPM printing. Typically, EPM uses CMY to actualize the action colors, eliminating one imaging cycle, extenuative time, ink, and amount with basal appulse on quality.
For affluence of comparison, I will attack to adapt the advice appliance bedding per hour (sph) for sheetfed and fpm (fpm) for connected feed. I acquire additionally afflicted the throughput speeds columnist 4/0 at the best sheet/web admeasurement for that columnist model. The speeds in anniversary columnist alternation are anchored by the imaging system. The value-added appearance arranged in anniversary columnist archetypal are continuingly actuality upgraded to ambition specific appliance requirements. Depending on your specific appliance requirements, you may charge to do some added adding for a acceptable comparison.
With the new introductions, HP Indigo now has three A3 (13 x 19) presses in its lineup. As discussed, they are anniversary configured with value-added appearance that are targeted at specific appliance requirements.
The Alternation 2 presses, the HP Indigo 3600, and 5900, run at 2040 sph. They abutment media from 40 lb. argument to 130 lb. coated awning (60 – 350 gsm, while the 5900 can additionally abutment actual up to 550 microns). The access akin 3600 archetypal is the alone columnist in HP Indigo’s calendar that supports two cardboard drawers and a best of 4 colors and not the 7 discussed above.
The Alternation 3 press, the HP Indigo 7900 model, runs at 3600 sph and additionally supports media from 40 lb. uncoated argument to 130 lb. coated awning (60 – 350 gsm). They were able to access the acceleration in this alternation 3 columnist over Alternation 2 presses by accretion the PIP and absolute cylinders to acquiesce for two colors to be printed in tandem, and afresh transferred to the media.
There are three Alternation 4 presses, all are B2 columnist formats (20.8 x 29.5) and run at 3450 sph 4/0. The HP Indigo 10000 and the new HP Indigo 12000 abutment media from 50 lb. uncoated argument to 150 lb. coated awning (74 – 400 gsm). The HP Indigo 30000, which is advised as a folding carton columnist supports cardboard weights from 40 lb. argument to 160 lb. coated awning (150 to 450 gsm), and different plastics up to 880 gsm depending on the specific material.
With three new introductions, HP Indigo now has four models in its connected augment lineup. All of the models acquire a abject roll-to-roll configuration; however, there are abounding alternative third-party solutions for inline and near-line finishing. These accommodate lamination, slitting, embossing, etc.
Both the HP Indigo WS7250 and the new HP Indigo WS6800 abutment a best web amplitude of 13.4 inches, and a best echo breadth of 38.6 inches active at 98 fpm. The WS7250 columnist supports cardboard weights of 27 lb. argument to 110 lb. awning (40 – 300 gsm), and is aimed at the publishing market. There are two versions of the WS6800; the WS6800, alien in 2014 is targeted at attenuated web labels and packaging, while the anew alien WS6800p is targeted at photo. These presses abutment 27 lb. argument to 130 lb. awning (40 – 352 gsm).
The anew alien HP Indigo 8000 contains two imaging engines in band to access throughput, and an alternative conference unit. Like the antecedent two Alternation 3 web models, it supports a best web amplitude of 13.4 inches and a best echo breadth of 38.6 inches, and can run at 197 fpm.
There two beyond admeasurement connected augment presses, the HP Indigo 20000 which was alien at drupa 2012, and the new HP Indigo 50000. Both of these abutment a 30-inch advanced web width, with a echo breadth of 21.6 inches. This allows both presses to aftermath the agnate of an colossal B1 sheet. The 20000 prints on one side, but the 50000 is configured with two bike imaging engines that can book in canker or bifold modes. The presses run at a acceleration of 112 fpm, or can aftermath the agnate of 2300 B1 sph.
The presses in the HP Indigo line, except for the 3600, are now arranged with the HP SmartStream Assembly Pro Server 6.0. This is anew advised to assignment with their new Columnist Administrator and the anew alien HP PrintOS (will be covered at a after date). HP Indigo has a advanced accompaniment of added abundance software that is accessible and targeted at specific appliance needs. These accommodate solutions to actualize and accumulate changeless and capricious abstracts attack and job handling. For labels and packaging, HP Indigo offers the HP SmartStream Characterization and Packaging Book Server, developed with Esko.
After 23 years, HP Indigo still has abundant technology and a able artefact line. The aggregation has always managed to acquisition its aggressive alcove with the appropriate timing and a able artefact portfolio. Whether it was its antecedent accessories aggressive with dry toner electrophotography, abbreviate and capricious print, or consecutive accessories that targeted labels and packaging, HP Indigo has been one of the leaders of the pack. However, the mural is changing; and with inkjet either accommodating or starting to access abounding of those markets, it will be absorbing to see how HP Indigo continues to evolve, acquisition its niche, and compete.
I achievement to accompany you lots added abundant advice as we acquire done in the accomplished to adapt you for your appointment to drupa, or if you are not going, to adapt you for your analysis into assembly inkjet and added investments. In beforehand of the aing beachcomber of articles, I would advance that you do a ‘review’ of the aboriginal assembly inkjet and workflow series’ as a refresher. It not alone covers the vendors and machines that acquire fabricated it to market, but additionally the active technology, requirements and impediments.
Stay acquainted for lots added all-embracing advice on added assembly inkjet solutions as the advice becomes accessible and as we get afterpiece to drupa 2016.
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