HP Inc. and KBA Unveil 110 Inch-Wide Inkjet Web Press

HP Inc. and KBA jointly presented the world’s first HP PageWide Web Press T1100S on December 3 and 4, to almost 200 international packaging printers and trade journalists at the KBA headquarters located here. The gigantic inkjet web press with a web width of 2.80m (110 inches) was developed in under two years by HP Inc. and KBA-Digital & Web Solutions in close cooperation. It opens up new opportunities in terms of the flexible production of corrugated packaging in various formats and run sizes with digital pre-print liners.

Digital printing is the fastest growing process in packaging with a projected annual growth rate of 17 per cent and is expected to be worth $19 billion by 2019.(1) Digital packaging solutions now also enable cost-effective short-runs and unlock the ability to make every box different.

“Converters and brands alike need to create more targeted, effective packaging while reducing costs,” said Eric Wiesner, general manager, PageWide Web Press (PWP) division, HP Inc. “HP Inc. and KBA have combined forces to bring the world’s most productive press to market(2), offering more value to high-end converters with the efficiencies of pre-print and digital in one press.”

With a web width of 2.80m (110 inches) and a digital fully flexible printed area in terms of format and run size of over 30,000 m²/h, the HP PageWide Web Press T1100S is the largest and most productive inkjet web press on the global market today.

DS Smith Packaging is the first customer to install the HP T1100S. It delivers significantly higher productivity and production flexibility than traditional analogue technology especially when it comes to small and mid-sized runs, and thanks to its high level of productivity of over 30,000m² (330,000ft²) printed per hour it can also be implemented economically for large runs.

“We selected the new HP PageWide Web Press T1100S as the next step in our ground-breaking digital PrePrint program,” said Stefano Rossi, CEO, DS Smith Packaging Division. “Our co-development with HP has resulted in the first digital machine able to print at the speed and width we need for high-volume corrugated production. It will provide our customers with unprecedented short-run flexibility and quality consistency.”

Reinventing corrugated printing
While current analogue printing technology prints multiple copies of one box design in a more or less large number and all of the boxes look the same and are the same size, the HP PageWide Web Press T1100S, with Multi-lane Print Architecture (MLPA), creates an immense paradigm shift in the production of corrugated board.

Like on a highway, HP MLPA splits the web into multiple print “lanes” during production enabling different jobs, with different box sizes and run lengths, to be printed next to each other simultaneously. Multiple ultra-short or short runs in varying formats can be queued and printed together, with no makeready or press stops in between jobs, while a long run is printed in another lane.

HP MLPA, coupled with all the advantages of digital printing, allows cost-effective customization and personalization of corrugated packaging if necessary. It meets the demands for shorter print runs without having to create inventory. Corrugated converters can now print only what is needed, when it is needed.

Fast, high-quality production
As more brands demand customized and personalized packaging, converters must accommodate faster turnarounds and shorter run lengths, while producing high-quality printed solutions at lower costs. Printing at speeds up to 183m (600 ft.) per minute and a printed area of 30,600m² (330,000ft²) per hour, the HP PageWide Web Press T1100S helps packaging manufacturers quickly take on new, complex jobs at speed.

With enhanced priming options, including a combination of HP Bonding Agent, HP Priming Agent and four-color HP A50 aqueous pigmented CMYK inks, customers can print in a high quality on standard uncoated and coated liners from 80-400 g/m² (GSM). The inkjet web press delivers greater cost savings, versatility, productivity and quality with high color saturation, dark black optical density and crisp text. In-line and near-line coating solutions for HP Priming Agent and aqueous overprint varnishing also help optimize print quality.

In cooperation with KBA, HP offers a range of equipment and automation options for the T1100S. These include primer and over-print varnish coating solutions, automatic reel change as well as the KBA PATRAS fully automated paper logistics system.

Users benefit from synergies between HP and KBA
When presenting the HP T1100S Christoph Müller, CEO of KBA-Digital & Web Solutions, remembered the start of the collaboration between HP and KBA at an evening meal in September 2013. Müller, noted, “As one of the world’s leading traditional press manufacturers, KBA has 200 years of experience in press engineering and has gathered extensive know-how in handling sensitive substrates and large web widths from offset and gravure printing. HP has played a global leading role in hard and software for 76 years and over the past 31 years has continually pushed innovation in the field of thermal inkjet technology forward.”

He continued, “Users of the HP T1100 PageWide Web Press will profit from our joint knowledge and the synergies between both companies. We started this alliance before all contracts were finally signed, which is proof of our mutual trust, and our technical teams work together extremely well.”

Rosback to sell creasing heads in UK after winning in patent claim

US manufacturer Rosback Company will start selling a rival creasing system to Tech-ni-Fold Tri-Creaser technology in the UK after successfully defending a patent infringement claim in the US courts.

rosbackJudge Virginia M Kendall ruled that Rosback’s heads do not infringe Tech-ni-Fold’s US Patent No 6,572,519, in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, on 29 September.

Rosback said the ruling was “a complete vindication of the TrueScore-Pro design”, which has been on sale in the US since 2013.

Vice-president of sales Ron Bowman said: “The TrueScore-Pro system is a truly innovative product that has performed remarkably well. It really does eliminate the cracking associated with scoring and folding of digitally printed material. It has proven to be a versatile, simple solution that is faster and more economical than other products and methods.”

He added: “While litigation is expensive, the real cost is the distraction and time spent defending a case. We are glad to have it behind us.”

Now Worksop, Nottinghamshire-based Don Valley Graphic Equipment will be sole distributor of the Rosback heads in the UK. Owner Derek Wood said he would now actively sell and promote them, with a delivery expected by the end of the month.

“We have had a couple of prototype units in for beta testing and we are discussing the pricing at the moment.

“The TrueScore-Pro is a unit that goes on most paper folding machines currently out there, including Stahl and MBO. It does the same thing as the Tech-ni-Fold product but it does it in a different way.

“Most print factories have some kind of aftermarket creasing device on their folding equipment. There’s a big market out there for these things.”

But Tech-ni-Fold managing director Graham Harrison said he was not worried about the competition.

“Will I be shaking in my boots tomorrow? Absolutely not. At the end of the day people want to buy the best,” he said.

“People are free to choose what they want and we would say we work with the best manufacturers in the world, we’ve been supplying Heidelberg for 16 years and we are always developing new technology.

“If we get 99 happy customers out of 100, we develop something for the one unhappy customer. We have 500 creasing products. If someone wanted to catch up to us it would take a long time.”

He said that only 1% of sales came from the contested patent but he went ahead with the case because he felt strongly about defending his IP and printing technology.

“We are all absolutely bewildered,” he said of the judge’s decision. “I was 90% sure I was going to win and I’ve now lost faith in US law. But we decided it wasn’t worth challenging.

“I feel let down but I feel like I’ve got to let it go. I’ve got no hard feelings against Rosback. We have 70 other patents involving creasing.”

He added that the company had won five previous patent infringement cases.

Rosback said it was proud to have been awarded more than 160 patents in its 135-year history.