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Tel Aviv HP press conference – High-speed inkjet web press to gatecrash transpromo party

Wednesday, 12 March 2008
By Print21
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A $1.4 billion investment by HP in Scaleable Printing Technology (SPT) pays off with new digital inkjet press to challenge Kodak and Fuji Xerox in high-speed transactional market sector.

In an eagerly awaited announcement at the pre-drupa press conference in Israel, HP unveiled its new Inkjet High-Speed Production Solution (IHPS) division.  Its first product is directly aimed at the emerging use of digital colour engines to commercialise such items as utility bills, bank statements and insurance documents. The so-called ‘transpromo’ market is set to be a strategic battlefield between the three big players with the Fuji Xerox toner-based 980 systems already in the field in region and the new generation Kodak Versamark inkjet expected to be launched in time for drupa.

HP is claiming the patented advantage of its SPT will allow the press, to be shown at drupa, to print a 762 mm (30 inch) wide web that will allow it to also address the full broadsheet newspaper market. The San Diego-based IHPS is predicting production volumes in excess of five million double-sided sheets per month. Printing at speeds of up to 122 meters per minute (400 feet) it is the most ambitious gambit yet of a digital engine to break through the offset speed and productivity advantage.

A unique bonding agent technology that is laid down before the ink allows the inkjet web press to print on just about any uncoated paper. The bonding agent is dispensed through the same inkjet heads as the pigmented ink and only covers the area to be printed, not the whole sheet. The press is rated to print at a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi producing an image quality that appears to be more than acceptable if the samples at Tel Aviv are anything to go by.

Cost per page is predicted to run at one cent or below for a full-colour US letter page and less than .0015 cents for black and white. This underwrites a serious challenge to the whole high-speed production market. The press will be on the market in the latter part of 2009.

More info on www.hp.com/go/inkjetwebpress

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