In a recent meeting with the press, Alon Bar-Shany, general manager of HP Indigo, detailed how HP will answer a fluid printing market. Bar-Shany was also joined by Craig Curran, president of Nosco, to showcase how HP’s digital presses are faring in the labels and packaging space.
In addition, Bar-Shany explained his company’s plans for Labelexpo Europe 2019, which will feature automation and a connected workflow.
HP’s vision, both for Labelexpo and the future of the company, begins with the consumer. “The way we look at the world starts with the consumer, and then we look at the trends and how they impact the brands,” explained Bar-Shany. “Then we go to the converter.
“The consumer today wants to be treated as an individual, with everything accessible. This is independent of generation and geography,” he adds. “The world is evolving rapidly and megatrends, such as urbanization and technology, are impacting brands.”
HP sees an increasing market for digital printing, even going beyond their technology. Be it electrophotographic or inkjet, Bar-Shany sees a rising demand for digital.
“The exciting thing about our industry, if you look at what’s happened over the last few years, is there’s an increasing growth of digital,” he noted. “The growth is continuing independent of economies, trade wars, and other factors. It’s good to see growth, but there is also the opportunity to grow a lot more. The ability to double our customers’ business over the next few years is there.
"It’s amazing to see how companies are leveraging digital capabilities,” added Bar-Shany. Most recently, an HP Indigo customer has worked with Aperol and the UEFA Champions League. “There are global brands turning products into social media campaigns. The color consistency has to be perfect.”
At Labelexpo Europe, HP will highlight how its presses can answer the latest trends in printing, including sustainability, brand protection, interactive packaging, and localization. Social media will continue to play a big role for brands, necessitating color fidelity across multiple channels. Flexible packaging and shrink sleeves will see further adoption, too, especially as label converters look to expand their businesses.
“We’re not just showing printing at Labelexpo Europe, we’re showing the end product,” said Bar-Shany. “Customers want to understand the business model and how they can grow. Every customer coming to Labelexpo should be asking how do I double my business.”
Nosco’s experience with HP
Nosco, a 100%-employee owned converter located in Gurnee, IL, USA, began its journey with HP Indigo in 2004. Most recently, Nosco has invested in the HP Indigo 8000 and the HP Indigo 20000 and Pack Ready Laminator, which will support flexible packaging.
“We’re passionate about digital in our business, and we truly believe the future is digital with our clients,” said Nosco’s Curran. “For us working with HP Indigo, the quality has been outstanding, and we’ve been able to bring innovation to the market that meets or exceeds what we do with conventional.”
Nosco is beginning to incorporate variable data printing, especially as it provides solutions for the pharma, personal care, and healthcare markets. Flexible packaging is the next step for Curran.
“We are working to serve our customers with the full HP platform of solutions. We use the platform to allow our customers to order just what they need, when they need it,” he explained. “Our customers really wanted and drove us to flexible packaging, looking for the same look they were getting on the label and carton end. And we chose to support them with Indigo technology.”
Nosco graduated from the HP Indigo 6900 digital press to the HP Indigo 8000. Curran described the move as, “the best label installation we’ve ever done at Nosco.” Nosco is running labels 2-3 times the amount of labels it was running on the 6000 series.
For flexible packaging, Nosco is targeting short runs with even quicker turnaround times. Curran sees pouches as the hot market in flexible packaging. Other trends that will be addressed by HP Indigo include variable data printing, invisible inks, and track and trace products.
“We see a very strong trend of label customers that are adding additional capabilities around flexible packaging,” said Bar-Shany. “Nosco is a great example of this. That will be a big trend that we highlight at Labelexpo.”