HP driving the digital printing for packaging market by encouraging converters

Published On : 2017-05-10

In May 2017, HP Inc. at their interpack 2017event announced the continued promotion of digital packaging printing solutions along with new technologies. HP packaging and labels printing are being adopted across the globe with increased customer acceptance, allowing brands and converters to deliver limitless possibilities.

Amcor, a global flexible packaging supplier based in Switzerland, is currently using an HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press at its unit in Ghent, Belgium, for digital packaging printing on a number of flexible materials. Since they installed the press two years ago in 2015, several brands have turned to HP Indigo digital prints supplied by Amcor for diverse packaging needs, according to company data. This installation comes amid rising demand for the HP Indigo Series 4 large format for the purpose of digital printing. First unveiled in 2014, more than 120 presses have been purchased by converters worldwide, with half in 2016 alone. The HP Indigo 6000 series and Indigo 8000 that are included in the Indigo narrow-web Series 3 labels and packaging presses have reached 1200 units alone.

In addition to this, a truly unique brand campaign was recently launched by the South African cream liqueur producer, Amarula. 400,000 special edition bottles are to be released with individualised labels created with HP SmartStream Mosaic variable design and HP Indigo digital print technology. In a manner that perfectly encapsulates what is possible with HP Indigo digital printing, every bottle has a unique elephant name and icon that represents the remaining number of this endangered species on the African continent. The digital printing for packaging market is driven by brands that seek to delight their customers, deliver security solutions, optimise supply chains, and reduce time to market and HP digital printing is one of the best companies that can serve this objective. HP labels and packaging printing has been enjoying double-digit growth for some time now and is the fastest-growing segment in the HP Inc. Graphics Solutions Business.

For the interpack 2017 event, graphic artist Emily Forgot and packaging designer Silas Amos have collaborated with HP to create 2000 Heineken bottles by using HP SmartStream Mosaic variable design technology with seed patterns for a truly unique, individual shrink sleeve. Forgot commissioned special artwork for the bottles that featured 10 numerals, seed patterns and icons, with a design inspired by the animated film ‘The Yellow Submarine’. The final sleeves made by Amos used this design as well. Printed by Dutch label converter Eshuis on an HP Indigo WS6800, every bottle has an individual number with a specially designed font that uses HP Variable Data Printing. That is why, every bottle is unique in two ways. According to Amos, they wanted to create artistic packaging that was different in each case along with being striking to look at. Their idea took full advantage of the technology available to make every bottle unique, each of which was held in place by a simple design system. The designs by Emily Forgot not only announce the limited edition nature of the Heineken bottles, but also emphasise that the set is ‘greater than the sum of the parts individually’.

The Heineken bottles will be distributed during the interpack HP Happy Hour that is daily in the HP booth located in hall 13 from 18:00 hours. In this HP interpack branding campaign, there will also be corrugated tables, digitally printed signage, flexible snack packaging and waiter T-shirts to give a look and feel of what can be achieved by way of HP technology. HP booth visitors will get to witness ‘Print Transformed’ designs by Forgot that incorporate dreamlike digital packaging printing visions that can be put to effect in everything ranging from vinyl wall decals to nail art, all printed with HP.

HP Variable Data Printing and HP SmartStream Mosaic are a part of the HP SmartStream Designer software and they make it possible to customise the colours, texts and images of any print job. Launched at the interpack event, the Brand Managers Digital Packaging ROI Calculator calculates the ROI of any HP digital printing as opposed to traditional printing costs, while the HP Agency and Designer Tool Kit offers training materials of an open source nature. Mass customisation is believed to be the next big frontier for global players in the digital printing for packaging market and HP believes that its technology can serve as the gateway to this. Entrepreneurs like Forgot and Amos are only a few examples of individuals invaluably benefited by HP digital technology and this is expected to become much more commonplace in the days ahead.