At drupa 08, HP targeted the multi-billion dollar graphic arts market with a raft of new digital printing technologies. Those technologies are sold and serviced in Australia by Currie Group.
At drupa 08, HP announced significant advancements in technology that extend the reach of its digital print capabilities allowing customers to enter new markets, confidently build their competitive advantage and achieve profitable growth.
Philip Rennell, general manager Digital at Currie Group, HP’s Australian distributor, says, “The advancements HP have made in digital printing really show us their commitment to the graphic arts market. We were very excited to see the new products, particularly the HP Indigo 7000, ready for market and we are very excited to bring this press to Australia for its launch in early August.
Highlights among HP’s drupa digital product launches include:
• An expanded portfolio of HP Indigo presses, including the new HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press designed for high-volume print service providers and enhancements to the market-leading HP Indigo press 5500;
• The company’s first-ever graphic arts workflow portfolio – the HP Smart-Stream Digital Workflow Portfolio - which offers customers greater flexibility with specific solutions to address a broad range of market segments and application needs; and
• A high-speed 762mm inkjet platform for high-volume production of books, transactional/transpromotional mail, direct marketing materials and newspapers.
The new offerings span high-speed inkjet production, offset and photo-quality liquid electrophotographic printing as well as large-format printing. These solutions and others bolster HP’s efforts to target the estimated $663bn print production page value opportunity projected for 2010 according to HP internal estimates.
Increased production and profits
At drupa 08, HP showcased a new generation of print engine that uses its industry-leading liquid electrophoto-graphic process, which produces the true offset and photo-quality results.
Three new HP Indigo models all offer faster speeds and greater productivity than current models to deliver significant improvements in break-even costs compared to analogue print methods.
• HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press:
The HP Indigo 7000 will be the high-end product in the HP Indigo family of cut-sheet commercial products, joining the HP Indigo press 5500 and 3500. Its 120-page per-minute four-colour speed is nearly double the speed of the HP Indigo press 5500;
• HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press:
The 240-ppm HP Indigo W7200 joins the w3250 as the high-end product in HP Indigo’s roll-fed duplex commercial product family. Together, the HP Indigo 7000 and the HP Indigo W7200 will be known as the 7000 Series; and
• HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press:
The 100-foot-per minute HP Indigo WS6000 will be the high-end product in the HP Indigo family of roll-fed
simplex industrial products, joining the HP Indigo press ws4500 and ws2000.
The HP Indigo WS6000 is referred to by HP Indigo as the 6000 Series.
One key attribute of the new HP Indigo 7000, W7200, and WS6000 is that they do not have an integrated onboard print server, as was the case with all earlier Indigo products. For these earlier products, users were able to add an external print server, but did not have to. For the new products users must select an external print server. The removal of the onboard print server has important workflow and productivity implications for the new products from HP.
HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press
THE first of the new presses available to the market will be the HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press in June 2008, which cost-effectively and efficiently produces large numbers of static jobs with run lengths ranging from one copy into the thousands. It also produces variable-data work requiring the ‘every page is different’ capabilities of digital.
A key enhancement to the HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press is the faster printing speed of 120ppm (3,600 A3s per hour).
This improvement has addressed the primary weakness of the Indigo 3500 and 5500 devices. In addition to being able to print up to 120ppm in colour, the HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press will also be able to print up to 240ppm (7,200 A3s per hour) in monochrome or two-colour mode, and will have a duty cycle of more than 3.5m four-colour A4/letter impressions per month. Says Rennell, “The HP Indigo 7000 really brings us into the highest volume ranges in digital print, with speed, productivity and total cost of ownership enhancements that will suit all our customer segments.
“We see real advantages created with the combination of our digital offset colour capabilities, PMS spot colours and the productivity enabling our customers to really grow their businesses.”
Choice of external print servers
A choice of three external print servers will be available. It supports Pantone emulation with four, six, or seven colours including Pantone Goe. The HP Indigo Ink Mixing System allows users to match up to 97 per cent of Pantone colours. A Job Definition Format (JDF) architecture simplifies integration into print management information systems (print MIS) as well as JDF enabled workflows.
HP Indigo ws6000 & w7200
The HP Indigo WS6000 and W7200 models are highly productive, web-fed digital presses designed for industrial and commercial applications, respectively. The WS6000 model, a label and packaging press expected to be available in early 2009, offers twice the productivity of the successful HP Indigo ws4500 press and is targeted at labels and packaging converters with significant volumes of medium- and short-run jobs.
The HP Indigo WS6000
Digital Press will print labels and packaging on label stock, film, and folding cartons at up to 30m per minute, approximately twice as fast as the ws4500. In addition to the improved productivity that the new print engine will enable, the WS6000 will also feature a significant increase in image area from the 308x450mm of the ws4500, to the 317x980mm of the WS6000, more than doubling the maximum length of the ws4500 image area. This is accomplished through a double-diameter blanket drum. The blanket drum was half the size of the imaging drum in previous devices; they are now the same size. This means that WS6000 users can print a seamless image 980mm long. The larger repeat length of the WS6000 allows for expanded impositions accommodating more images.
The w7200 model is positioned for high-quality dedicated publishing, direct mail and transactional/ transpromotional offerings: it is a high-volume commercial press expected to be available in the second half of 2009. It will have a top speed of 240 A4/letter images-per-minute (ipm) for four-colour duplex printing, 480ppm for two-colour duplex, and 960ppm for monochrome duplex.
Additionally, the HP Indigo press ws4500, the world’s leading digital label press, is now offered with an EskoArtwork digital front-end to enhance both quality and productivity.
In addition, the HP SmartStream Labels & Packaging Security Manager places unique identifying 2-D barcodes or colour tiles on pharmaceutical labels to enable E-pedigree and track-and-trace.
Workflow for range of scenarios
HP Indigo presses will be the first hardware devices to employ the HP SmartStream Digital Workflow Portfolio, an open environment designed to meet a broad range of market segments and application needs and provide workflow management from job creation to fulfillment.
Combining HP SmartStream and third party partner components results in greater flexibility, with specific solutions that are customisable and scalable to the unique business needs of print service providers operating
in key market segments, such as general commercial printing, direct marketing, publications printing, photo merchandise and labels and packaging.
The HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server and HP SmartStream Production Plus Print Server, Powered by Creo, for example, provide print service providers with capabilities to increase efficiency, adapt to emerging markets and discover new growth opportunities.
World first 30” production inkjet
Being developed by a new division of HP called “Ink Jet High Speed Production Solutions” (IHPS), the new HP Inkjet Web Press, a high-speed digital printing platform, increases productivity and lowers the cost of printing for the high-volume commercial market. The Web Press, which is expected to be commercially available in 2010, is designed to revitalise wasteful, low-margin, analogue-driven printing processes by offering an unprecedented combination of print width, colour quality, productivity and cost for graphic arts industry professionals in the direct mail, transactional and transpromotional printing, book publishing and newspaper industries.
Capable of printing in full on rolls up to 30-inches wide at 122m/min, the HP Inkjet Web Press is compatible with a wide range of uncoated media to enable efficient printing of book signatures, full broadsheet newspapers and