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HP woos wide format world at the year’s best industry party

Thursday, 21 September 2006
By Print21

Billed as the 2006 HP Scitex Customer Event, the week-long get-together drew more than 1,000 customers from around the globe for a spectacular demonstration of digital wide format printing technology.

As well as wooing new and existing HP Scitex customers, the event was also an opportunity demonstrate the company’s serious intent in the large format market and, in particular, highlight new developments made since the acquisition of Scitex Vision by HP last year.

“We are really happy with the progress we have made with the integration of Scitex Vision,” said Enrique Lores, vice-president and general manager, inkjet commercial division, HP. “The feedback we are getting from customers is that they are really impressed with the technology but also with the seriousness of HP.”

Technology highlights on display in Barcelona included the new HP Scitex TJ8500 printer based on the proven solvent-based TJ8300 system but now available with UV-curable inks. The first of these printers is already up and running at Cactus Imaging in Sydney with a second due to be installed soon at Look Print, also in Sydney.

According to Patrick Turner, sales and marketing manager for HP Scitex in Australia and New Zealand, the rapid uptake of the TJ8500 reinforces its suitability for use in the local market.
“The Australian marketplace has aggressively adopted UV technology using flatbed systems but when it comes to printing on flexible material, the TJ8500 offers the right combination of quality and productivity. This is the solution that people have been waiting for.”

Looking further ahead, HP also unveiled a new generation piezoelectric printhead called the X2. This development marries HP Scitex technology with the manufacturing strength of HP to offer a highly durable, reliable new printhead system designed specifically for high speed, industrial inkjet printing.

The printhead is manufactured using MEMS technology (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) as used in semiconductor manufacturing of which HP is a world leader. This ensures no adhesives are used in the manufacture of the printhead, making it extremely durable, while the only materials that come into contact with the ink – silicon, glass and epoxy – are highly resistant to corrosion.

HP claims that the high tolerances and accuracy of the printhead manufacture also makes the X2 ideal for use in high speed applications combining hundreds, even thousands of printheads in a single array. Each single printhead features 128 nozzles delivering ink at a rate of 30,000 drops per second per nozzle.

Away from the technology briefings, the mammoth event climaxed with a huge party held at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya overlooking Barcelona. There, as the champagne flowed freely, customers and HP staff donned coloured wigs and danced the night away to the beat of a local Spanish percussion group.

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