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1971 Benny Landa, began his interest in printing after working in his fathers photo shop. He exhibited technical and creative talents as a teenager, and a friend suggested that he study cinema, which would incorporate both his talents. He obtained a job at Commercial Aid Printing Services (CAPS), a company offering printing services and developed a solution that won a contract with Rolls Royce. In 1971 the owner of CAPS, Gerald Frankel, founded a company with Landa called Imtec. This became the largest European vendor of micrographics equipment. Landa invented the company’s core imaging technology. At this time he created a new method of high-speed image development that would eventually lead to his invention of ElectroInk.

1977 Landa then decided to move to Israel and established Indigo in the town of Rehovot. For financial purposes the company later reincorporated in Netherlands. Indigo now focused on pure technology research, development and selling licenses of its technology to other manufacturer. During the early 1980’s ElectroInk, a liquid ink that when heated was transformed into plastic, was unveiled. Indigo continued to invest heavily in its research and development activities and by the early 1990s the ElectroInk technology was ready to compete head to head with xerographic imaging, but also with traditional short-run printing techniques. Indigo was now a full-scale printing equipment manufacturing company and during 1991 Indigo generated a profit of $440,000.

1993 Indigo launched the E-Print 1000 at the IPEX exhibition. This machine eliminated the expense and labor of the plate-printing setup process by printing directly from a computer file. This enabled inexpensive short-run color printing, images now could be changed from page to page with no additional setup nor pauses in the print run. Instead of printing to metal plates, the E-Print created an image on the Imaging Plate through the use of an elecrostatic charge. The charged area attracted the ElectroInk, which would be transferred to the blanket, and then transfered to the paper. A different image and color could be printed with each rotation of the press because 100% of the ink is transfered. Indigo’s ElectroInk-based color inks marked a crucial turning point in the printing industry.

2001 Hewlett Packard bought 14.8 million of Indigo’s common shares, a 100 million dollar investment. On September 6, HP announced that it would obtain the remaining shares of Indigo. Benny Landa then became a strategic advisor to HP CEO, Carly Fiorina.

“Our vision has always been to lead the printing industry into the digital era and to see Indigo technology pervade the commercial printing market. Now, as part of HP, that goal is in sight.” -Benny Landa

TODAY HP made a million dollar investment in a new production site in Kiryat Gat, Israel. This factory is responsible for manufacturing HP Indigo ElectroInk. In 2007 an adjacent hardware center was opened, this facility assembles frames, feeders, and other components with imaging engines into finished presses. As of August 2009 more than 5,000 HP Indigo digital presses are in operation around the world. The workforce in Israel reached 5,500 people in 2010, making HP the country’s second-largest private sector employer after Intel. HP Indigo is now the world leader in digital commercial presses. The company is ranked #1 in the US for high-volume digital press market.

Advantages to HP Indigo The ink technology is based on HP ElectroInk. This uses small amounts of color particles that are suspended in Imaging Oil (Isopar), which is attracted or repelled by a voltage differential. The ink forms a very thin and smooth plastic layer on the paper surface. Since these particles are so small, the printed image does not mask the underlying surface roughness or gloss. This is what distinguish the HP Indigo process. HP provides the option for users to mix their own ink colors to match Pantone references, which is common with non-digital offset litho presses. Users can also order special pre-mixed colors from HP Indigo, for example fluorescent pink. HP Indigo presses are in configurations supporting four, five, six or seven colors.

HP Indigo 5000 Digital Press

HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press

HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press

HP Indigo  

a look at the history of HP Indigo digital presses

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