HP will be demonstrating an inkjet printer capable of printing 2200 duplex full colour A4 sheets per minute, and unlike toner based systems can do so on any stock from 45 gsm Bible paper through to 400 micron carton board. Yes that is a minute, which equates to 16,500 B1 sheets an hour; complete with variable data and it does so across a width of 72cm (30 in) and any repeat length.
The implications are significant for book printers, newspaper publishers and direct mail providers. This machine could produce 1000 A5 books each containing 240 pages, perfect bound per hour, or copies of a 16 page broad sheet or Berliner format newspaper at the rate well in excess 10,000 copies an hour, ideal for web based distribution, specialised inserts or marketing collateral.
Stephen Nigro senior vice president of Hewlett Packard's graphic arts and imaging business says, "We will be launching at drupa two new technologies; an inkjet web press that will transform publishing and mail stream printing, and a new inkjet initiative with an ink having a small drop but a huge impact."
The new ink is called Latex ink. Before the thought of being sprayed with rubber adhesive springs to mind, the term latex should really be described as a polymer, in the same way as acrylic paint and even porridge is a polymer. The great attraction of the HP breakthrough is that a polymer-based pigmented ink is water based, has virtually no VOCs, is easily recycled, and crucially is weather-resistant without laminating for around three years, longer if laminated. The manufacturing process is pretty benign and is virtually carbon neutral, an important consideration in the years to come.
Another show stopper at Drupa is certain to be the Indigo 7000. This is a complete reworking of the Indigo and will deliver 120pp A4 ppm, on any kind of stock yet use 25 per cent less energy consumption. Nigro says: "Not only are we delivering step change new technology, but we are doing so in an environmentally friendly way."