HP is demonstrating digital pouch manufacturing capabilities through a Digital Pouch Factory showcase, as part of the new Printing Expo virtual exhibition platform, now live at www.printing-expo.online.

The HP Indigo ‘Digital Pouch Factory’ is a concept that has previously been seen at in-person, live events such as Labelexpo Europe 2019. Companies including international multi-site converter ePac Flexible Packaging, Baker Labels in the UK, and Martin Peroutka in the Czech Republic are already operating comparable set-ups around the world.

HP Indigo 25K at Printing Expo

An HP Indigo 25K is the cornerstone of both Digital Pouch Factory configurations at Printing Expo

At Printing Expo, this sees see the HP Indigo 25K digital press – the newest edition of the established HP Indigo 20000 digital press –  presented alongside converting and pouch making technologies as a ‘Digital Pouch Factory’.

In the first pouch factory configuration shown, thermal lamination is highlighted, with the HP Indigo 25K digital press shown alongside a Karlville Pack Ready Laminator. In the adjoining factory set-up, solventless manufacturing is shown using a Nordmeccanica Super Simplex e800 solventless lamination system, launched earlier this year and designed especially for on-demand, flexible packaging production. In both factories, a Karlville KS-DSUP-400 pouch making machine highlights the end-to-end nature of the Digital Pouch Factory concept, with a Karlville Slit HS Compact exampling slitting of flexible packing materials, as well as labelstocks.

Visitors will be able to see photorealistic 3D renderings of the devices, whilst videos and downloadable brochures will provide additional context and content to add value. Further information on the consumables needed and supply chain partners involved in each process are also offered. Attendees are able to book tours of the Digital Pouch Factory, virtual demonstrations of digital pouch manufacturing, as well as organise meetings with HP executives to discuss their interest in digitally producing flexible packaging.

In addition to the machinery, visitors to the Digital Pouch Factory area will have access to a virtual pre-press department, where HP’s print production, design, digital front end and job submission tools will be presented.

Outlining the concept of the Digital Pouch Factory, and the value in presenting it via the Printing Expo virtual platform, Alon Schnitzer, global flexible packaging market development manager, HP Indigo, commented, ‘We want to highlight to both narrow web label converters and general print service providers the tools available to them to move into digital flexible packaging with the only field-proven solution for digital flexible packaging.’

He continued, ‘I know from first-hand experience the importance of adopting a digital mindset and ensuring absolute accuracy in production to effectively and profitably produce flexible packaging using digital technologies. Using conventional converting technologies with a conventional mindset, for example, can create a lot of waste, make the process long and consequently reduce margins.

‘With the Digital Pouch Factory, we are able to highlight a unique ecosystem of partner companies and complementary technologies designed to ideally fit in with the HP Indigo 20000/25K digital press.’

Inside solventless Digital Pouch Factory at Printing Expo

Inside the solventless Digital Pouch Factory attendees can see and engage with a Nordmeccanica Super Simplex e800 solventless lamination system, Karlville KS-DSUP-400 pouch making machine and slitter (out of shot is an HP Indigo 25K digital press)

On demonstrating this concept as part of Printing Expo, Mr Schnitzer added, ‘We are able to show how it will look in real-life, how much space is needed, and the number of people required on the shop floor to run a Digital Pouch Factory, even without travelling to a physical site location. We bring highly valuable information to those looking to introduce digital flexible packaging into their production mix, as well as seeing and understanding the technologies involved. We’ll show how easy it is to scale such an operation, as has already been successfully deployed around the world by ePac Flexible Packaging.’

Printing Expo is a virtual exhibition introduced in response to the current coronavirus crisis, and the impact it has had on the exhibition and event industry. This has seen print shows around the world largely postponed and rescheduled for 2021 and beyond, or in some instances seen the upcoming edition of an event cancelled outright with the view to a return next year. Some events have also been translated into online and virtual formats, and multiple platforms have been introduced by established event organisers and new players to capitalise on the appetite for knowledge, as a vehicle for new product launches, and to facilitate connections and exchanges amongst the global print industry.

Resolve Business Management (RBM) introduced Printing Expo earlier this year as, ‘the world’s first virtual exhibition and conference for the printing industry’.

HP joins Muller Martini as a launch partner for Printing Expo. Digital Labels & Packaging and sister publications Digital Printer and FlexoTech are media partners of Printing Expo. Visit the Whitmar Publications virtual stand for more information. Register for free access to Printing Expo here

Printing Expo is claimed to work in the same way as a live exhibition, with ‘attendees’ able to ‘walk’ the aisles of the virtual venue, visit virtual representations of individual suppliers’ stands, and request information on specific products and services, new and old. HD videos, 3D products and literature downloads are claimed to facilitate real-time sales enquiries.

Wayne Beckett, Printing Expo event director and joint managing director at Resolve Business Management commented, ‘With Printing Expo we have tried very hard to make it feel and look like you are visiting a real event. We have been lucky enough to work with some really forward-thinking companies when putting together Zone 1, which has made this possible.

‘Nowadays the word virtual seems to proceed everything online. Someone walking around their showroom filming on an iPhone is promoted as a virtual tour, but it’s not a virtual tour at all. Not too long ago this would have just been called a video. We believe that anything virtual has to be interactive and most of all needs to be fun to visit as well as useful, which is why we have launched Printing Expo.’

Access Printing Expo via www.printing-expo.online, 24/7/365, as of 09.30, 30 November, 2020.

Read an interview with Mr Beckett in the March/April issue of Digital Labels & Packaging, and here