Features COVID-19
Graphics printers mobilize globally to support public health

April 2, 2020  By PrintAction Staff

Duggal converts its facilities: Retooling to produce protective masks for hospitals.

HP Inc.’s print service providers (PSPs) are mobilizing industrial facilities worldwide to deliver print products and help in the global effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many PSPs are working with limited staff to adhere to health regulations, while retooling production lines to support the effort.

“We greatly appreciate our print partners and their employees for their unrelenting dedication and are pleased we can also play a part in supporting the huge effort taking place,” said Santi Morera, general manager and global head of HP’s Graphics Solutions Business.


In an April 2 press release, HP gave numerous examples of PSPs around the world that are stepping up to help the fight against COVID-19.

Nosco of Illinois, a subsidiary of Holden Industries Inc., a supplier of digital print solutions for folding cartons, labels and flexible packaging focused heavily on pharma and healthcare, is using multiple HP Indigo digital label press equipment 24/7 to produce packaging testing kits, drug products, syringes for hospitals, face masks, and hand sanitizer during the current crisis with the virus. “Millions of labels have already been produced and production will continue to support the needs of the pharma and healthcare market,” HP said.

Custom Label of California is a supplier with a designated “essential business” status producing products for healthcare, food and more. As a result of a spike in orders, HP has shipped emergency ink supplies the same day to the site to ensure no disruption in production. “One of the largest increases in incremental volume is for packaging for ready-to-eat food due to the shift from dining out to making food at home,” said Lars Ho-Tseung, Custom Label’s president and CEO. “Volume is also increasing for labels and packaging for over-the-counter drug products for flu symptoms.”

Ironmark of Maryland is supporting with COVID-19 related signage for nine different health care systems at over 150 locations. The new signage warns of health precautions, designates areas at hospitals including triage and repurposed space with facilities for patient care services.

Duggal Visual Solutions, a New York City commercial print service provider, has also teamed up with Kings County Distillery, a Brooklyn Navy Yard neighbor that has converted its efforts to produce hand sanitizer. The two companies are producing, bottling and labeling the products that are in short supply in the US. Duggal is printing the paper-based labels on its sheetfed HP Indigo 12000 presses. “Neighbours are helping neighbours, taking the tools you have to partner and create immediate solutions,” said Marc Lovci, vice president at Duggal. “Kings reached out at to our Indigo department to create the labels including die cutting and adhesive.”

Kirkwood Printing of Wilmington, Mass., mobilized for overnight delivery of outdoor signage printed for drive-thru testing centers set up by a locally headquartered national pharmacy. The signage, produced on HP Latex R2000 printers, helps direct people around the area. In addition, point of purchase posters are being printed on HP Indigo digital presses for many retailers to advise of store closings. “Shortly after this crisis began, we began diverting resources to COVID-19 related needs, providing materials as fast as possible for signage to inform the public,” said Mark Nappa, chief sales officer of Kirkwood.

Also in Massachusetts, Superior Packaging & Finishing of Braintree is using HP Indigo 12000 presses to create thousands of face masks to donate to local hospitals and businesses to limit the potential for exposure faced by essential, non-medical employees.

Carly Press of the UK identified the need to print free stickers for local residents to put up outside their homes, in order to indicate they are in self isolation. “Utilizing their HP latex 360 printer and some spare press capacity, Carly Press was able to print clear, bright stickers, and are experiencing growing demand for from their local area to nationally across the UK,” HP said.

Sabaté, a specialized point of sale creator from Spain, has used HP Latex technology to produce protective separation screens and floor signs in grocery stores. The protective separation screens for counters create a barrier between customers, workers and product (in this case, food). “The counters are made of polycarbonate and HP Latex printed ultra-transparent vinyl,” HP said. “The floor vinyl is self-adhesive, and it’s used to limit passage of people and keep the safety distance.”

In China, meanwhile, Foresee Images Technology of Shanghai printed labels for medical equipment, such as sterilized wet wipes. “The customer required labels in same-day turnaround, within six hours, for a print job that typically requires a week to complete,” HP said. “To ensure protective measures were also in place, the printer had to disinfect the premise and provide shielded gear for staff who were quickly resourced to complete the production of uncontaminated labels.”

And one of the country’s biggest printing companies, Beijing Indigo Digital Printing, printed virus prevention informational signage and materials for National Health Commission and Beijing National Health Commission. “HP Indigo digital printing enabled printing and supply of the materials in fast turnaround for sending materials to front-line hospitals quickly,” HP said.

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