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HP and KBA Collaboration Yields PageWide Web Press T1100S

Commercial printer designed for short runs and variable data printing.

Big Picture

After announcing plans to develop roll-to-roll inkjet digital printers in collaboration with KBA, HP has announced its first press, the PageWide Web Press T1100S for pre-printing corrugated top liner. Unlike analog machines, which were designed for batch processing, this machine allows for increased customization and personalization.

“We’ve identified an unserved opportunity in the corrugated packaging market to do digital pre-print of topliner,” says David Murphy, worldwide director of marketing & business development, HP PageWide web press solutions. A typical corrugated box has three layers, a top liner, bottom liner, and the media (or flute) in between.

“Typically, in a corrugated box plant, they will pre-print the top liner on a massive, high-speed flexographic or gravure press which is great for high volume, but not so great for shorter runs,” Murphy says. For a box manufacturer, a typical run is 80,000 to 100,000 units; a short run might be 10,000 to 20,000.

With what HP has termed “Multi-lane Print Architecture,” the machine splits jobs (or groups of jobs) of various box sizes and lengths into individual lanes on the press, allowing for shorter runs. HP says the machine prints at up to 600 ft/min and 330,000 sq ft/hr.

“Converters and brands alike need to create more targeted, effective packaging while reducing costs,” says Eric Wiesner, general manager, PageWide Web Press division, HP Inc., in a release.

The company calls the T1100S’s outputs “offset quality,” offering branded bonding and priming agents, as well as HP A50 aqueous pigmented CMYK inks, which comply with standards for indirect-contact paper-based food packaging. The machine’s printheads feature 1200 nozzles/in. In addition, embedded security coding, bar codes, and other features are designed to enable variable data production.

The max. printable width is 109.2 in., with tight-web continuous rollfeed. HP printheads supply aqueous ink in separate heads for CMYK colors and the HP Bonding Agent, with 1000-L pigment ink containers and 200-L priming agent containers.

The first machine, scheduled to begin production in 2016, was sold to DS Smith’s packaging division.

For HP’s Scitex customers and wide-format print shops, this technology is “not going to be a threat,” Murphy says, pointing out that there may even be increased opportunities for digital labeling with this technology. “If any of these providers are doing litho lamination or litho labeling, where they’re using offset presses to print sheets and then selling those sheets to hybrid plants or box plants … those would probably be negatively impacted by digital. Those same plants, if they embrace digital, would benefit from this kind of technology; instead of selling those labels on offset, they would be able to sell it printed digitally.”

HP Inc., one of two companies formed by the division of HP into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, was one of a handful of digital print manufacturers who recently signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to support climate change negotiations in Paris. And it was named the leading global manufacturer of digital print machines in a recent report released by the International Data Corporation.
 

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