Digital Printing in Sussex
HP Indigo 7600 (B3), 7800 (B3) and 12000 (B2) Digital Presses
Newman Thomson’s HP Indigo 7600 is still an industry leading press. Installed in 2014, this is some of the latest technology in digital printing, and many consider HP Indigo to be one of the finest quality digital presses that money can buy. HP’s patented “ElectroInk” technology is much finer than traditional digital inks and toners, and does not mask the underlying surface of the material, which makes HP Indigo print almost indistinguishable from traditional offset lithographic print.
The tail end of 2018 saw us finish up the year with some additions to increase our digital firepower. We had been looking to increase our capacity within our digital department for a while, and after careful consideration we decided to invest in a second HP Indigo 7 colour B3 press to compliment our existing Indigo, this model (an HP Indigo 7800, the original being a 7600) was installed and commissioned in November 2018. Our digital press-room had originally been designed with running two machines in mind, so disruption was kept to a minimum with the original machine continuing to operate virtually throughout the install. Having upped our printing capacity, we needed to look at our finishing workflow as well, the decision was made to purchase a Morgana Documaster Pro saddle-stitcher (with square backing) to compliment our existing Documaster.
Having only recently installed our second B3 HP Indigo 7800, our strong investment in digital technology continues with the purchase of a B2 HP Indigo 12000. This seriously capable press can produce nearly 5,000 sheets per hour, print in 7 colours including white and fluorescent and on heavy substrates, up to 450mic. It perfectly complements litho in terms of quality with the large sheet size ideal for short run posters, folders and packaging to name a few. The HP Indigo 12000 offers all the capabilities of it’s B3 siblings, but with an increased capacity putting us bang in the sweet spot for quoting jobs which sit between our current B3 digital offering, and our current B2 Litho. The press will be up and running by the end of August and we’re happy to quote on any projects in the interim.
Digital Special Effects
One of the stand out features of the Indigo is the ability to create some truly stunning special effects, these include;
Generally the white of the paper is used for any white that’s to appear in the print, and colours are added on top of this. This works great for almost all projects – until you have a specialist material which isn’t white. Surprisingly difficult to achieve before, Newman Thomson can now print white onto any Indigo approved materials. This can be combined with colour print over the top or just left white; enabling the printing of high quality pages on specialised materials – including transparent, metallic and coloured paper.
Exactly as it sounds – completely transparent ink. This can be used with stunning effect to create watermarks or other very fine subtle details. It can also be layered up to create areas which are slightly glossy – similar to a Spot UV. Finally, if we really pile on the layers, it can be used to create raised effects.
By applying 20 – 50 layers of clear ink, we can now create raised print (sometimes called 3D ink or dimensional print). This adds a unique, tactile effect to your print which makes it really stand out.
By layering dozens of layers of ink on the main drum of the printing press, and then letting it dry before running sheets through the press, the area with the ink will create an small impression on the paper. This effectively means we can create small deboss effects, in line, on the press, without the need for expensive blocks required on longer run embossing and de-bossing projects.
Newman Thomson have used Kodak’s Nexpress technology for 10 years. In 2014 we installed the latest upgrade to this family – the Nexpress S3000. Equipped with a long sheet feeder, we can now produce short run jobs that wouldn’t fit on a traditional SRA3 digital press. 6-page A4s, pocket folders, landscape booklets and long folded leaflets can all be produced economically in our digital studio saving time and money – whereas previously the size of these items would have required them to be produced lithographically, thereby bringing the associated longer runs, and set-up costs.
Our digital studio is equipped with specialist finishing equipment designed for the needs of digital print. Specific creasing, folding and binding machines handle digital jobs with the care and attention to detail that these projects require.