King Printing Co., Inc. has become the first North American book manufacturer to install a new HP T350 Color Inkjet Web Press speed upgrade.
The high reliability, productivity and quality that the Lowell, Mass.-based short-run book manufacturing specialist gained with its HP T300 Color Inkjet Web Press led to the upgrade decision. Now, King Printing’s HP T350 Inkjet Web Press is 50 percent faster than the company’s previous T300 model, running at 600 feet per minute and producing up to 3,927 letter-size pages per minute.
“The HP T350 gives King Printing unparalleled productivity on a press that can produce more full-color pages per minute than competing digital color solutions,” said Aurelio Maruggi, vice president and general manager, Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions, HP. “We want to make sure progressive-minded businesses like King Printing get the most value possible from their HP investments, which is why it is very important to make the T350 platform available as an upgrade to our existing customers.”
The speed increase gives King Printing distinct competitive advantages, including:
— higher throughput to increase the breakeven point between analog and digital printing – expanding the number of titles King can move into cost-effective, low-inventory supply chain management; and
— lower costs per page in color printing, which help the firm take advantage of dramatic growth in demand for digitally printed color books.
“When we first installed the HP T300 last year, we gained a stable and very capable production platform that allowed us to manage incredible volumes,” said Adi Chinai, managing director, King Printing. “With the T350, HP used its technological leadership to make an even more robust platform, one that is helping us re-write the economics of color in short-run publishing and book manufacturing.”
Forget the forklift
On-site T300 to T350 upgrades reflect a commitment to helping customers benefit from the fast-paced development of HP solutions, mitigating the product obsolescence concerns commonly found with advanced technology. For King Printing, the upgrade helped to protect the value of the company’s initial HP Inkjet Web Press investment so it could capture additional business opportunities.
“Upgradability is a concern with any capital expenditure, so it meant a lot to us that this was not a ‘forklift upgrade’ that would require us to install an entirely new press,” said Chinai. “You lose a lot of productivity when you have to remove a press, install a new one, and then start the new press up.
“The upgrade with HP was much simpler than installing a new press and it has had great results,” he added. “It was like adding a turbocharger to your car.”
King Printing is known as a progressive provider of short-run hard- and softcover books, and operates a variety of digital and analog book production lines. The company has stayed on the forefront of high-volume digital book printing ever since it installed its first inkjet book manufacturing line 2007.
The HP T350 Color Inkjet Web Press continues King Printing’s progressive business approach, expanding what the company can offer its publisher clients.
“King Printing stands out as one of the first book printers to adopt high-speed continuous feed color inkjet printing, and have been perhaps the most progressive and innovative book printing company in North America ever since,” said industry analyst Andrew Tribute, managing director, Attributes Associates. “The update of the HP T300 press to a T350 is another example of their key understanding of the dynamics of the book publishing and printing market in enhancing their capabilities to support their customers' requirements.
“Adi Chinai and his team at King Printing have shown over the years that book printing has a major future,” Tribute added. “One that is based on adopting the best digital printing technologies.”
High-quality results on standard media
With the HP T350’s versatile Scalable Print Technology thermal inkjet imaging system, King Printing gets high-quality results on standard, uncoated paper stock, as well as on inkjet coated papers designed for high-volume production.
The HP T350 offers attractive capital acquisition and operating costs, including the ability to purchase consumables as needed without click charges. An HP SmartStream Ultra Print Server installed at King Printing moves imposed pages to the HP T350 at full-press speed. The print server also integrates with the highly automated, Adobe PDF prepress workflow King Printing uses to manage work on all its presses.