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HP Indigo Ink Mixing Services

HP Indigo has partnered with the Printing Applications Laboratory to provide HP PANTONE and custom color HP Indigo Electro-ink for HP Indigo Digital Printing Presses owners and their customers.

Orders & Ordering

  • All Pantone and Custom color orders must be placed through HP’s My HP Indigo web portal
  • Once orders clear HP’s billing process, they are released to RIT/PAL for fulfillment, and shipment directly to the address identified on the order form.
  • PAL fulfills all orders placed by companies in the US & Canada; HP maintains a separate facility in Israel for orders from the rest of the world. Both facilities employ the same process and align and support each other.
  • Please note: PAL is a development & fulfillment facility and cannot accept orders directly or answer questions related to cost or billing.
  • Currently Series 4 inks (for the 10000, 20000, and 30000 model presses) are only produced in Israel, contact HP for more information. 

Formulation Process

  • Colors requiring formulation may take up to 10 business days to arrive at the customer’s facility.
  • Formulation of PANTONE matching inks
    • There are over 10,000 possible formulations of the standard PANTONE libraries with the HP IMS system.
    • Formulations can only be performed on a compatible HP Indigo press, and in general require an average of 4 hours of on-press time to set up and complete the formulation. In some cases, formulation can require days on press and multiple attempts/installs to complete.
    • Formulation is considered completed when the results printed from the press fall within 1ΔE(94, 10°, D50) from the obtainable targets defined by the HP IMS software, based on the current printed PANTONE standard color library. In most cases the results in a color where ΔE as well as individual Δ’s for L*, a*, & b* are also less than one.
    • Formulations may also only be completed when conditions within the HP Indigo  press fall within an acceptable operating window for: (1) Density within the ink tank; (2) Conductivity within the ink tank; and (3) Relative Bid Voltage (RBV) of the bid unit for which the ink is installed.
    • Formulations for standard PANTONE orders are completed on defined control stocks for: glossy coated, matte coated, and uncoated grades.
  • Formulation of CUSTOM color matching inks
    • A formulation is defined as a custom color when it exhibits one or both of the following conditions:
      • The target color is not within the STANDARD PANTONE library. This could apply to colors in the extended PANTONE color libraries, or to any other color that can be defined and measured in the LAB color spectrum. For these cases a target color swatch or LAB color definition must be provided to PAL for color matching.
      • The target printing condition requires the match to be completed on a specific substrate, especially in cases where the substrate’s color or surface may influence the color match. For these cases, a defined minimum amount of the target substrate must be provided to PAL to complete the formulation.
    • To facilitate a custom color match on a special substrate the customer is required to supply a minimum of 200 12x18" sheets(preferred) or 2000 linear feet of roll (12" wide). If the match is to be performed on standard stock in house at RIT, no additional paper is required.
    • To facilitate a match to a particular color target the customer is required to provide a printed swatch to match or LAB target numbers. It is encouraged to also provide measurement contitions for color accuracy. If no conditions are supplied PAL uses D50 Lighting, 10 Degree observer angle, and Delta E94 for the measurement conditions. If the color to be matched is in the standard Pantone library, no additional target info needs to be provided.
    • Custom color formulations still target a match of 1ΔE to the agreed-upon measurement conditions, depending on the performance requirement of the color match and the color itself. The obtainable color match may not be able to achieve a final ΔE of <1.0
    • Samples from the final match condition generated by the press will be mailed to the customer for approval. Upon approval by the customer, HP issues a special part number for future orders of the ink, and the original order is produced and shipped to the customer.

Production Process

  • If a formulation for the color ordered is already on-file, the ink is moved into production. On file inks may take a total of 5 business days to arrive at the customer’s facility.
  • Production of an on-file formula follows the formula that produced a match on press, to the accuracy of 1/10 of a gram.

When production of an order has been completed it is shipped via FedEx Express to the customer. A calibration can for setup in the press is included with every box shipped under normal conditions. The shipment will also contain a flash drive with the on-site mixing file (OSM file), a PDF of the installation instructions, as well as the MSDS/SDS sheets for the base library of colors and materials used in the production of all HP IMS inks.


PAL offers support for all HP Indigo PANTONE and Custom color inks it produces, as well as limited support for other U.S. & Canada HP customers using HP’s IMS system.

For support, please contact us at We will be happy to answer any questions you have and work towards resolving any issues that arise related to orders you have placed or colors we have produced.

Additional Information 
  • PAL also offers HP Indigo IMS customers support and IMS related information through its online IMS Mixing Team online database:
    • This website offers general information and FAQ documents and resources related to PANTONE and Custom Colors for HP Indigo presses.
    • General order history and information is also available for companies who have ordered ink through the HP My HP Indigo web portal. To access information related to your order you must know your company’s HP ID as well as the e-mail under which the orders were placed.
  • HP also provides a calculator to estimate how much ink you will need to order to complete your job based on estimates of the job and color properties. You can find the calculator here