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Last month at a press event in Tel Aviv, Israel, HP announced that it will introduce no fewer than 10 digital printing systems at drupa, including a trio of higher-speed, wide-web inkjet presses featuring advanced ink and print-head technology as well as the new high-speed imprinting solution. "With the extraordinary scope and scale of [these] announcements, we are fueling an unstoppable industry transformation from analog to digital printing," said Christopher Morgan, senior VP of HP's Graphics Solutions Business. "Our new digital solutions strike at the core of the printing market and are able to meet the toughest requirements of world-class brands, publishers, and print service providers [PSPs]."
The new high-speed HP T410 and T360 Inkjet Web Press systems offer increased print speeds of up to 800 feet per minute (fpm) in monochrome—up to 25 percent faster than previous models—while continuing to offer color print speeds of up to 600 fpm. To achieve this improved performance, the presses feature new advanced print-head technology and nanotechnology pigment inks that can support higher speeds with no compromise in image quality. The T230 model incorporates the new heads and inks to increase print speed up to 400 fpm for both color and monochrome, with full color density for maximum quality. The HP T360 and HP T410 are expected to be available this fall as new systems or as upgrades from the HP T350 and HP T400, respectively. The HP T230, expected to be available by the end of 2012, also will be offered as an upgrade from the HP T200 press.
Such improvements can help PSPs reach new markets and increase profitability for high-volume applications such as mass-market book publishing, direct marketing, and transpromotional mail, where the HP inkjet web presses have produced more than 10 billion pages since the first system was placed in 2009, the firm reported. HP has installed more than 60 inkjet webs worldwide and has invested more than $1 billion in the research and development of new graphics solutions. (See also "Inkjet Rises Higher")
Inkjet "Your Way"
Kodak, too, will introduce exciting new equipment at drupa, under the umbrella of its "Digital Your Way" exhibit theme. Highlights include the aforementioned high-speed Prosper S30 Imprinting System as well as the new Prosper 6000XL model, a four-color press capable of delivering monthly print volumes of up to 160 million A4 pages. Commercial print, direct mail, and publishing customers can benefit from the industry's fastest digital throughput on a proven inkjet printing platform, Kodak said.
The 6000XL, which prints at a maximum screen of 175 lines per inch (lpi) at 650 fpm and 133 lpi at 1,000 fpm, is up to 45 percent more cost-effective than high-volume, thermal drop-on-demand (DOD) presses and up to 31 percent more cost effective than the Prosper 5000XL Press. Its 1,000-fpm speed functionality will be demonstrated along with the Prosper Image Optimizer Station (IOS) paper pretreatment solution and Optimizer Agent. The IOS provides users with a high degree of paper flexibility and paper cost savings by enabling the use of commercially available regular coated, uncoated, and glossy papers between 45 grams per square meter (gsm) and 300 gsm. The flexibility in speed and substrates, as well as the ink saver mode, make the device extremely versatile, added the manufacturer.
"The power and scalability of the Prosper platform make it an ideal solution for all kinds of applications, and this new model brings lower cost, increased flexibility, and improved productivity," said Doug Edwards, Kodak president of Digital and Functional Printing. "With the game-changing capabilities of our Stream Inkjet Technology, we are able to meet the evolving needs of our customers—delivering tools that drive growth and profitability."
In the hybrid print arena, more than 400 Prosper S-Series Imprinting Systems have been installed on six continents over the past three years, according to Kodak. Offering the highest speed in the industry at 3,000 fpm, the new S30 delivers 600x200 dots-per-inch (dpi) output, giving customers a higher-performance choice for hybrid printing applications such as direct mail, inserts, gaming, advertising, and package labeling. The Axel Springer newspaper printing plant in Ahrensburg, near Hamburg, is beta- testing the Prosper S30 Imprinting System in cooperation with offset press manufacturer manroland Web Systems. Axel Springer owns one of Germany's largest newspapers, Bild. The S30 System is mounted on the printer's manroland offset press to imprint variable components such as consecutive lottery numbers, variable QR codes, and changing artwork, across a width up to 4.16 inches at full production speed. These systems create gaming products that are integrated into the newspaper.