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Tel Aviv HP press conference – Latex printing ink to revolutionise signage industry

Wednesday, 12 March 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

A true alternative to corrosive solvent inks in the digital wide-format industry will help usher in ‘greener’ production practices in the fast-growing market sector.

The patented ink challenges the need for solvents in order to achieve long lasting outdoor signage. The unique odourless and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) formula does not require any lamination in order to match display permanence of up to three years outdoor. This provides a tremendous advantage in the production of prints as it eliminates the need for extensive and expensive ventilation systems.

The odourless attribute also makes it a good product for on-demand, short run posters and banners for indoor point of sale sites. Solvent and low solvent inks require days to ‘cure’ in order for the toxic smell to dissipate.

HP did not release any information on what type of engine the Latex ink system would first appear, but it will use HP wide scan printing technology. It did promise an announcement at drupa, but it may likely be a Designjet–type product. Using the company’s exclusive thermal inkjet heads and its Scaleable Printing Technology, we will see Latex enabled engines across a wide variety of large formats and speeds.

Due to the combination of a new proprietary surface treatment technology, Latex ink can image on substrates that usually prove difficult for solvent inks such as Tyvek and polyethylene. The water-based Latex ink use the HP wide scan print heads, eliminating the need for daily manual maintenance.  This in itself is sure to concentrate the signage sector’s attention on the new arrival.

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