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HP delivers latex stocking filler

Monday, 15 December 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

An early Christmas present arrived from HP last week in the form of a sneak peek at the first wide format printer to use its new latex inks. Simon Enticknap was an enthusiastic recipient.

HP chose a disused digital print factory at Artarmon in Sydney as the venue for the first showing of its Designjet L65500 wide format printer which uses specially-developed latex inks.

There are only a handful of these particular printers in operation worldwide, and the one on show in North Sydney is the only one currently in Asia. It was unveiled before a small group of invited customers at the ad hoc demo centre where it will remain for the next few weeks.

The 2.64 metre roll-to-roll printer is the first to use the HP latex inks introduced to the public at drupa. Latex inks have been developed to offer users all the benefits of a water-based ink (no emissions and lower cost) with the durability of solvent-based inks. HP claims output using latex inks has a three-year lifespan outdoors, unlaminated, as well as being scratch and water resistant.

Latex inks are also fast-drying and can be used on a wider range of substrates compared to solvent inks. The samples on show in the temporary demo centre were able to be printed and installed almost immediately in the short timeframe between the arrival of the printer and its launch.

The L65500 (pictured below) is also claimed to be faster than comparable solvent-based printers with speeds in the five-pass production mode suitable for indoor prints of 34 m2 per hour, rising to 70 m2 per hour for outdoor prints.

Shane Lucas, HP’s graphic arts director for the South Pacific, said there had been great interest from businesses wanting to get hold of this first printer, even from people unable to make it to the launch. Over the next few weeks, HP will use the temporary location to conduct demos for local printers before finalising a distribution channel though a local reseller.

The unveiling of the L65500 printer capped off a busy day for HP which also included an open house by its local HP Scitex reseller, Anitech. Held at the company’s head office in Rydalmere, Sydney, the open house featured demonstrations of the UV wide format HP Scitex XP2700 printer and the UV flatbed FB950 printer.

Presentations during the day included an introduction to Anitech from Fleming Poulsen, NSW branch manager, details about the XP2700 and the FB950 printers from Bruce Caldwell and Jeremy Brew from HP, and an overview of Anitech’s support and service from Clare Burden, general manager for IT services at Anitech.

Highlighting the fact that Anitech has a team of 55 engineers around the country, including 20 that are HP product trained, Burden said the level of support for the wide format market was unprecedented.

“Grand format has never been so well covered and has not previously seen this level of commitment with the combination of HP and Anitech,” she said.

Gopi Jayachandran from HP Financial Service was also on hand to outline the types of financing options for new machinery that are available through HP. In the current uncertain economic times, Jayachandran said the financial strength of HP meant that local printers could be confident that their technology supplier and credit provider will be around in the years to come and always have their best interests at heart.

Pictured: The HP Scitex FB950 flatbed UV printer impressed attendees at the Anitech open house by printing four separate rigid boards simultaneously.

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