The biggest and busiest stand at the show is Hall 17, where HP has booked out the whole 6,200sqm, and is believed to soon approach a colossal $400m in drupa sales.
Many Australian printers are among those taking the cheque books out, although Phillip Rennell, sales director at Australian distributor Currie Group, is not at liberty to reveal who is spending what quite yet.
“Printers coming from Australia are embracing the complete solutions that HP is demonstrating at this drupa. It is no longer just about what the machine will do, it is about how to optimise productivity, with software, integration and automation playing a big part in that,” says Rennell.
“Connection is crucial, whether that is by platform, by press, by geography, by application. Segmentation is receding, printers are looking to produce a wider range of applications,” says Steve Donegal, HP Asia Pacific manager.
“HP is moving forward, as is the print industry, developing ways to produce more, and more efficiently. Today for HP only 30 per cent of the conversation is about the machine, 70 per cent is about maximising utilisation.”
[Related: The latest from drupa 2016]
Among the latest launches is the HP Indigo 12000 B2 press, which Phillip Rennell expects to hit Aussie shores by next year.
The machine has several enhancements from the existing HP Indigo 10000, however the 10000 can be upgraded in the field to the 12000.
Donegal says, “HP is determined to protect a printer’s investment. We have an upgrade strategy that does not involve fork lift trucks.”
HP is also set to launch its PrintOS at this drupa, which it describes as an operating system for a business.
Rennell says, “It is a platform from which our customers will be able to draw on knowledge and software as they need or want it. Printers will be able to connect online to their production centres, and they will be able to use any number of a host of apps as they need them to help in their business.”
Rennell points to Siteflow, a workflow app, created to optimize scheduling, as an example. It was originally created by Precision Printing, but is now available to all HP users.
He says, “Currie Group is not just selling HP Indigo kit. We are positioning ourselves as a strategic partner for print businesses. It is not just selling a piece of kit, that is tactical, it is about the sales, the scheduling, the prepress, technology, the productivity, the finishing, the substrates. This is strategic, and this is what HP and Currie can offer.”
Two innovations to watch out for in the future include the new HP PageWide C500 Press, a flexible and robust industrial post-print corrugated solution powered by HP PageWide Technology, and the new HP Indigo Digital Combination Press, enabling HP Indigo print and digital embellishments in a single pass.
HP says the new HP PageWide C500 Press introduces a highly versatile, offset-quality cost effective solution for corrugated direct-to-board printing.
The new press is designed to seamlessly integrate into a standard production environment, from large integrated packaging converters with centralised or distributed printing, to small, independent sheet plants, enabling printers to affordably adopt digital technology for mainstream production and reinvent a segment ripe with opportunity.
Digital printing is the fastest growing segment in packaging with a projected annual growth rate of 17 percent in a market expected to be worth $19bn by 2019.
HP is previewing its vision for the future of combination labels' production. The HP Indigo Digital Combination Press concept will incorporate HP Indigo print and digital embellishments in one press, creating a fully-digital, single-pass solution to deliver high-value labels and packaging production.
This new digital combination concept, developed in alliance with JetFX, will enable streamlined production of digital spot and tactile varnishes, digital foils, as well as embellishments of virtually unlimited designs made possible using HP SmartStream Mosaic.
The HP Indigo Digital Combination Press concept demonstrates the advantages of a fully-digital combination press, providing a single point-of-control for all functions with seamless integration to the digital-front-end of an HP Indigo WS6800 or 8000 Digital Press, also reducing waste and production time.
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