HP Accelerates Growth Opportunities for Graphic Arts Customers with Expanded Digital Printing Portfolio

HP introduces new digital presses, large format printers, workflow software and finishing solutions

BIRMINGHAM, U.K., 18 May 2010 - HP today expanded its graphic arts portfolio to help its customers print top-quality, high-value materials and capture a larger share of a global digital printing market that the company expects to reach €96 billion ($124 billion) by 2014.

Delivering on its strategy to drive growth in digitally printed pages, HP introduced a high-speed HP Color Inkjet Web Press for large-volume production, an HP Indigo digital press with intelligent automation features for increased quality and productivity and new HP SmartStream workflow software solutions that improve processing times.

For the large format printer market, HP announced additions to its HP Scitex and HP Designjet portfolios that improve performance and extend into new application areas. HP also launched new photo-market and entry-level commercial Indigo digital presses, partner finishing systems, the HP Color Print Module imprinting solution, media and services - all aimed at helping customers profitably grow their businesses.

HP is demonstrating the new solutions at Ipex 2010, the major graphic arts tradeshow of the year. The company has the show's largest stand and broadest display of digital printing technologies, including a simulated production floor and customer presentations that showcase its extensive range of real-world applications.

The announcements build on HP's success at drupa 2008, where HP introduced a broad range of presses and solutions. HP has delivered all of these to market over the last two years, helping its customers grow in the midst of an industry downturn. For example, HP has installed more than 350 of its flagship HP Indigo 7000 digital presses and added the new HP Indigo W7200 model for photo specialty applications. In addition, the HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press unveiled at drupa 2008 is now in full operation at major customer sites, handling peak print volumes of up to 2 million 4/0 pages per day.

"In the last year, the industry experienced double-digit percent growth for digital colour production pages, while analogue pages declined,(1)" said Christopher Morgan, senior vice president, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. "This is a clear sign that the market has shifted, as print service providers and other graphic arts professionals are moving to digital systems so they can produce more targeted and creative materials while also improving quality and productivity."

HP T200 press extends high-volume inkjet portfolio

With nine completed customer installations of the HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press, HP has become a technology leader in the emerging high-volume production colour inkjet market for book, transactional/transpromotional(2) and direct mail printing. Building on this success, HP is unveiling the 521-mm (20.5-inch) wide HP T200 Color Inkjet Web Press, a full duplex four-colour press in a single engine for high-speed, high-volume production printing.

The HP T200 press extends reliable HP Scalable Printing Technology to a broader set of customers with a more compact machine designed to fit existing production environments. It also easily supports the addition of full variable colour capabilities in two-up production mail and short-run or on-demand publications.

Expected to be available in 2011, the HP T200 prints 821 four-colour duplex A4 pages per minute and has a 23 million page monthly duty cycle. Its innovative new paper path makes the press small enough to fit in nearly the same space as a monochrome digital web press, enabling experienced digital print service providers (PSPs) to upgrade to full-colour high-volume digital printing while eliminating less efficient, offset shell imprinting workflows.
The new press offers 1,200 x 600-addressable dots per inch (dpi) imaging with HP Bonding Agent to improve image quality on standard uncoated media. Both the HP T200 and T300 support the new Utopia Inkjet coated media from Appleton Coated and media featuring ColorPRO Technology - a quality standard for colour excellence in digital printing. ColorPRO media is available from Georgia Pacific as well as new ColorPRO licensees AbitibiBowater, International Paper and Stora Enso.

To help PSPs pursue opportunities in the high-volume transactional print market, HP is developing a new Magnetic Ink Character Recognition printing solution. The company also introduced workflow and finishing products from partners CMC, EMT, Hunkeler, Lasermax Roll Systems, Magnum, MBO, Muller Martini, Tecnau, Timsons, Ultimate Technographics and Videk.

On its Ipex stand, Pitney Bowes will show technology from the T200 and T300 Color Inkjet Web Presses as part of its IntelliJet™ Printing solution for transactional and transpromotional printing.

New HP Indigo 7500 and 3550 Digital Presses: expanding the sheetfed portfolio

The HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press is a highly automated solution that elevates sheetfed digital printing to new levels of quality, reliability and productivity. The press's innovative automation and print quality improvements make it ideally suited to replace small and midsize analogue offset presses and to handle high-value applications, such as variable-data-driven marketing collateral, photo books and personalised direct mail.

The enhanced HP Indigo 5500 continues to be the mainstream production solution for PSPs with volumes up to 1 million colour pages per month, while the new entry-level HP Indigo 3550 delivers offset quality at a low initial investment for customers taking their first step into digital print applications. The HP Indigo 3550 offers improved productivity and ease-of-use, supports a broader range of media, and reduces environmental impact with an on-press oil recycling system.(3)  All three models are available for immediate delivery.

Based on the HP Indigo 7000 platform, the top-of-the-line HP Indigo 7500 introduces Intelligent Automation, a major factor in increasing press productivity by up to 10 percent. A new Vision System entirely automates manual calibrations and diagnostic troubleshooting wizards to save time, reduce waste and limit the dependency on operator skill level. The Vision System infrastructure allows customers to add new functionality in software, offering a growth path that preserves their investments. HP also is demonstrating real-time early-defect-detection technology that identifies print defects and notifies the operator. It will be available as an option at a later date.

The HP Indigo 7500 also surpasses the print quality of the HP Indigo 7000, which recently gained top recognition at the "DIMA Shootout." For example, the HP 7500 improves color consistency and uniformity by up to 20 percent and offers new screens that improve print quality for certain image types. The press also consumes up to 10 percent less energy per printed page and uses less imaging oil.

New options available on the HP Indigo 7500 support white ink, light-cyan/light-magenta for photo applications and thick substrates up to 400 gsm/460 microns. To protect customer investments, the majority of enhancements to the HP Indigo 7500 are planned to be available in 2011 as upgrades to the HP Indigo 7000.

"We believe that the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press provides the highest quality digital printing in the marketplace, with productivity levels that a conventional offset printer in its heyday would be proud of," said Gary Peeling, managing director at Precision Printing.

Innovations in intelligent automation for HP Indigo presses

HP also will demonstrate new finishing capabilities at Ipex that eliminate manual intervention and lower production costs, improve turnaround time and enhance document integrity. A new Universal Finishing Interface (UFI) connects the press and its workflow to an automated in-line or near-line finishing environment. HP collaborated with Lasermax Roll Systems for two key building blocks in this new finishing environment:

  • PageReady™ - a fully automatic cutter/slitter/merger/stacker that has the potential to revolutionise the production flow for books, photo, direct mail and transpromo. With JDF-enabled fully automatic job setups, PageReady enables virtually unattended operation with no intervention required between jobs.
  • FinishReady™ Controller - a central interface that integrates the HP Indigo digital press with both in-line and near-line finishing solutions.

FinishReady manages and tracks the status of every job through each finishing step, confirming absolute document integrity.

The fully modular finishing architecture will be shown with the HP Indigo 7500 and additional finishing equipment from partners, including the Duplo/IBIS Alpha Saddle heavy-duty saddle stitcher and GMP's inline COATMASTER-IN3752UV for UV coating.

HP SmartStream solutions increase production efficiency and profitability

Complementing the HP Indigo presses is a full portfolio of HP SmartStream workflow solutions, including the new 64-bit HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server Version 4.0 - a digital front-end solution that improves workflow performance processing times by an average of 18 percent.(4) It adds valuable features for HP Indigo presses, including transparency in variable-data elements with support for Personalized Production Markup Language (PPML) version 3.0, as well as greater flexibility and productivity in variable-data printing(4) with support for the Adobe® PDF/VT format. To address customer needs for efficient offset/digital hybrid workflows, the HP SmartStream Production Plus Print Server, Powered by Creo, connects to the Kodak Prinergy Workflow.

On display for the first time in Europe, the new HP SmartStream Production Analyzer monitors and analyses HP Indigo production operations in real time, providing a central console for fleet management and optimum press operation.

New solutions for packaging applications and photo markets

The new HP Indigo portfolio can support an expanded range of applications, including flexible packaging, folding cartons and photo portraits. To help PSPs enter new packaging markets, HP offers an extended range of solutions with partners, including AB Graphic International, Brausse Group, Epic Products International, Kama GmbH, EskoArtwork and Kompac Technologies for folding carton production on HP Indigo WS6000 and 5500 and 7500 presses,(5) and ACPO, Charter Films, D&K Group and Innovia Films for flexible packaging printing on the HP Indigo WS6000.

Since its release in September 2009, the HP Indigo W7200 has been installed at multiple publications and direct-marketing/transpromo PSPs. At Ipex, HP is launching enhanced capabilities for the HP Indigo W7200 with light-cyan/light-magenta inks, in-line lamination and full-speed monochrome printing, bringing increased productivity for the photo merchandise and publishing segments. A new HP Indigo WS6000p Digital Press with in-line GMP LAMIMASTER-34 laminator addresses the market for book-cover production and high-value photo applications. In addition, HP is displaying the HP Indigo 7000 and the HP Indigo press 5500.

New HP Scitex printers introduce HP Latex Inks for the signage market

HP also introduced its first HP Scitex large-format printers using HP Latex Inks: the 3.2-m (126-inch) HP Scitex LX800 and 2.6-m (104-inch) HP Scitex LX600.

As the largest, most productive HP Latex Ink device to date, the HP Scitex LX800 Printer sets a new image-quality standard for the industrial large-format market. It features roll-to-free fall, roll-to-collector and dual-roll (up to two 1.52-m/60-inch rolls) capabilities. The LX800 also produces high-quality output with 1,200 dpi resolution at production speeds up to 88m²/hr. (947ft²/hr.) for outdoor billboards and 45m²/hr. (484ft²/hr.) for indoor applications.
"The benefits of the HP Scitex LX800 to our bottom line have far outweighed the investment," said Vicente Verdu, sales manager at Barcelona-based Verdúdigital. "We have attracted many new customers by achieving outstanding image quality while satisfying our customer demands to cut costs."

HP also expanded its range of UV-curable printers. The HP Scitex FB500, a new UV flatbed printer, enables digital and screen printers, sign shops, converters and large repro houses to bring rigid-printing capabilities in-house. Featuring a 163-cm (64-inch) print width and optional white ink capabilities, the HP Scitex FB500 Printer addresses a wide range of applications. Additionally, it allows remote monitoring via the HP Embedded Web Server and an onboard camera.

For the high-volume sign and display market, HP's newest TJ-series UV printer, the HP Scitex TJ8600, features full and selective gloss print modes with exceptional quality and new HP TJ210 Scitex Inks. It supports an expanded range of applications, including most fleet graphics and point-of-purchase applications, due to higher elongation, improved flexibility and reduced odour compared to HP TJ200 Scitex Inks. An upgrade kit - including hardware, software, on-site installation and training - will be available for existing owners of HP Scitex TJ8500/8550 Printers.

Low-volume users can take large-format printing opportunities in-house

A new HP Designjet Z5200 PostScript® Printer making its debut at Ipex is a simple, affordable device for small commercial print businesses interested in entering the large-format market. Suited for a broad range of applications, the 112-cm (44-inch) printer includes new HP Instant Printing Pro software that offers fast, easy file preparation and automates production tasks. The printer is compatible with new ColorPRO papers that produce striking, cost-effective everyday prints.

"The HP Designjet Z5200 PostScript Printer gives our copy shop image quality and complete printing tools with a high printing speed," said Rubén Navarrete, graphic designer and production manager for Barcelona-based Copymark. "We earn a higher margin per print from large-format printing and we can also add design and production to the services we offer."

HP also introduced two printers for technical design professionals. The 61-cm (24-inch) model of the HP Designjet T770 Printer series includes an easy-to-access top-loading roll, expandable memory and fast speeds. The HP Designjet 111 Printer, the company's most affordable and compact large-format printer, delivers high-quality, cost-effective prints - including posters and presentations for less than $1 each.(6)

Expanded service offerings backed by the world's IT leader

HP has expanded its Print Care portfolio to support the HP Indigo 3550 as well as the 5500, 7000 and 7500 digital presses. HP also launched Print Care offerings for the HP Scitex FB500, LX800 and LX600 models. Print Care is a set of tools and services that anticipate technical issues and provide performance information to help customers maintain uptime and smooth operations. Features include enhanced diagnostics and guidance tools, remote assistance and production information.

The Print Care offerings are among the first solutions from a new, consolidated HP Graphics Solutions Services organisation serving all HP graphic arts customers. Making its debut at Ipex, the organisation extends the expertise of HP services engineers worldwide to help HP Designjet, Indigo, Inkjet Web Press and Scitex customers achieve maximum reliability and stability.

"As the world's leading supplier in printing and IT, we have the expertise to help customers integrate new digital systems with existing analogue presses, optimise their value chain and adopt new digital-based applications such as variable-data-driven printing and vehicle wraps," explained Morgan.

Affordable, high-impact digital colour for direct mail and offset web applications

The HP Color Print Module is a process-colour imager based on HP Scalable Printing Technology and available in the new Color Envelope Finishing System from Pitney Bowes. On its Ipex stand, Pitney Bowes is showing high-volume personalised envelope printing with the HP-driven Pitney Bowes Color Envelope Finishing System integrated with the leading-edge Mailstream Productivity Series Inserting System. With the ability to print high-quality logos and on-envelope messaging, high-volume mailers can improve efficiency by eliminating the need for pre-printed envelopes and also increase the value of the mail piece.

On the HP stand, technology demonstrations will highlight more of the HP Color Print Module's capabilities in full-colour, personalised web imprinting applications.

Capture Business Success - HP's expanded customer business development program

HP has expanded its worldwide Capture Business Success business development program to include new business education seminars, in addition to tools and networking communities to help HP's graphic arts customers succeed. Many components of the programme will now be available through a new, easy-to-use web experience launching today.

Another HP Capture Business Success offering is the HP Indigo Digital Printing Contest, which honours the best commercial printing produced on HP Indigo presses. Contest entries are on display in HP's Ipex stand in Hall 12, and contest winners will be announced at a May 19 gala dinner in Birmingham.

More information on HP's Ipex announcements and demonstrations is available at www.hp.com/go/IPEX, at the www.hp.com/go/HPatIPEX2010 online press kit or through the HP Graphic Arts Twitter feed.

(1) Based on internal research and multiple industry reports.
(2) In some cases, solutions based on the HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press platform will be available through an HP authorised reseller or systems integrator.
(3) Compared to the HP Indigo press 3500.
(4) Compared to previous versions of the HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server.
(5) Folding carton production on HP Indigo 5500 and 7500 models requires purchase of optional Thick Substrate Kit.
(6) Figures may vary from country to country depending on local ink pricing.