HP has announced new digital press solutions that offer greater flexibility and higher productivity to help print service providers (PSPs) and publishers meet growing market demand for customised, shorter-run and personalised publications.
The solutions, which HP will showcase May 3-16 at the drupa tradeshow, Düsseldorf, Germany, include:
- HP T360 and T410 Color Inkjet Web Presses, offering faster monochrome speeds (244 metres/800 feet per minute), and an HP T230 Color Inkjet Web Press offering faster color speeds (122 metres/400 feet per minute), for higher-volume book manufacturing.
- The HP Indigo W7250 Digital Press, a high-volume, roll-fed device offering 33 per cent faster throughput for one-off and short- to medium-run production of high-end color textbooks, journals, manuals and trade books.
- The HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press - the first offset-quality digital press in a B2 size format (750 x 530 millimetres [mm] / 29.5 x 20.9 inches) suitable for printing a very broad range of publishing applications, including book signatures. Available next year, it offers HP Indigo's unparalleled print quality and extensive media flexibility.
- The HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press, a sheet-fed press offering greater versatility and productivity, improved automation and exclusive special effects for book cover printing.
From niche publishing to mainstream production
The technology developments highlight print's important, evolving role in the publishing industry transformation. As e-books and tablet-edition magazines reduce demand for hardcopy volumes, digital printing is becoming a mainstream solution for cost-effective publishing applications.
Publishers increasingly use digital printing to extend the number of backlist titles they can profitably offer in print. Plus, digital printing meets growing demand for personalised and niche publications, such as personalised children's books ordered online.
The trends collectively drive significant growth: According to industry research firm INTERQUEST, digital book printing is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent annually through 2015.
"The publishing industry is undergoing an undeniable transition, accelerated by continued innovation in digital print quality, productivity and breadth of capabilities," said Christopher Morgan, senior vice president, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. "The companies thriving in this changing market are finding new ways to add value for their customers - from reducing print and supply chain costs to creating new business models."
Less risk, more reward for publishers in title management
HP's installed base of more than 60 inkjet web presses worldwide includes top book manufacturers, such as Courier Corp. in North Chelmsford, Mass.; CPI Group in France; and Webcom in Toronto, use multiple HP Inkjet Web Presses to help their publishing customers increase profitability.
With their faster, 800 feet per minute monochrome printing speeds, the 30-inch HP T360 and 1,066-mm (42-inch) HP T410 Color Inkjet Web Presses help book manufacturers shrink their turnaround times and reduce unit costs without sacrificing quality.
"Turning up the speed of mono printing to 244 meters per minute makes inkjet printing even more compelling for book manufacturers," said industry analyst Noel Ward, president of Brimstone Hill Associates. "It's all about productivity and controlling costs and the added mono speed is a welcome addition for these machines."