HP

HP Accelerates Analog-to-Digital Publishing Transformation

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."

The HP T230 Color Inkjet Web Press brings new productivity and cost advantages to color publishing in 22-inch production environments. Compared to the HP T200, the HP T230 model offers a 100-per cent speed increase to 400 feet per minute in monochrome and color printing, with the same high quality the HP T200 model offers in its standard imaging mode.

The new features of the HP T230, T360 and T410 presses will become available as optional upgrades to existing HP T200, T300, T350 and T400 Color Inkjet Web Press customers later this year.

HP Inkjet Web Presses also have new media options, including100-per cent post-consumer recycled coated paper from Arjowiggins and Utopia Inkjet Gloss from Appleton Coated.

In addition, paper suppliers Metsä Board/M-Real and Arjowiggins announced they are working with HP to develop papers that deliver superior performance on HP Color Inkjet Web Presses. HP also announced an expansion in the range of inkjet web press media using ColorPRO Technologies to now include coated papers as well as uncoated.

New finishing equipment includes the Epic WebCoat 350 from Epic Products International, which provides in-line UV or aqueous coating on HP T300 and T350 production lines for durability and excellent appearance in publishing applications. Expanding the range of finishing solutions available to customers, Muller Martini - a global leader in print finishing systems - has developed a new, 42-inch SigmaLine in-line digital book production system offering a faster operating speed to match the higher throughput of the HP T410.

HP Indigo accelerating publishing growth

HP Indigo digital presses have witnessed increased opportunities by leveraging disruptive business models to create and capture value in the publishing market.

In 2011, the publishing market became HP Indigo's fastest growing vertical segment as leading printers and publishers worldwide capitalised on the numerous advantages the presses offer. Traditional publishers increased the amount of HP Indigo-printed books they order, and online providers of unique and custom books, including industry leaders such as Blurb and Lulu, continued to see expansion in demand for Indigo-printed, full-color self-published books printed on demand.

The HP Indigo W7200 Digital Press, which has an installed base in excess of 60 units worldwide, is the primary driver of rapid HP Indigo publishing page growth. The majority of HP Indigo W7200 customers use their presses exclusively for publishing applications, including color-intensive cookbooks, children's books, textbooks, teachers' editions, and scientific, technical and medical journals.

HP has updated this top-performing platform in an HP Indigo W7250 Digital Press that uses an Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM) feature to boost color throughput by 33 percent.

Available in June, the press's higher full-color speed reduces the cost per page while increasing the number of pages produced per shift, factors that accelerate the offset-to-digital transformation in book printing by growing the number of high-quality color titles PSPs can economically produce on a digital press.

The new, 340-mm (13.4-inch) wide HP Indigo W7250 model is designed for printing up to 10 million full-color, A4 or letter-size pages per month and offers the exceptional quality and productivity needed for dedicated, high-volume publishing applications. Like the HP Indigo W7200, the HP Indigo W7250 model includes an in-line media primer that ensures compatibility with virtually any standard uncoated or coated offset stock.

HP Indigo W7200 users can add the new press's EPM feature and other HP Indigo W7250-model advancements through an optional upgrade that will be available this summer.

Better book printing and binding with the B2-format HP Indigo 10000

Available in early 2013, the sheet-fed HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press brings HP Indigo's true offset-quality printing advantages to a B2 press size format that supports nearly every type of publishing print job.

The HP Indigo 10000 prints 3,450 four-color sheets per hour in its standard production mode, and can provide 33 per cent faster throughput of 4,600 color sheets per hour using EPM. In addition to printing signatures or larger, multipage impositions for standard-size books, the press, with its B2 sheet size, accommodates efficient production of layflat books, coffee table books and large dust jackets.

The B2 format of the press also helps PSPs efficiently adopt "long grain" printing and binding of standard-format books to meet many publishers' binding quality expectations. The HP Indigo 10000's ability to support eight- and 16-page signature layouts also makes it compatible with the signature bookbinding methods many PSPs already use with offset-printed sheets.

HP also announced two in- or near-line finishing options for the HP Indigo 10000. One, a signature folder from MBO, helps PSPs eliminate the finishing make-ready spoilage typically required in bookbinding work and offers fully automated set-up for signature-fold work. The folder also gives PSPs a continuous productivity advantage by automatically reconfiguring to handle the different format of successive jobs printed.

The other new finishing solution, the Horizon SmartStacker, is a slit-merge-stack system that automatically produces collated, stacked book blocks ready for binding.

Faster throughput in A3 size, with new effects for book covers

Building on the success of the HP Indigo 7000-series sheet-fed solutions, HP is launching the HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press. Featuring higher productivity, increased automation and increased flexibility, the HP Indigo 7600 prints 120 A4/letter-size pages per minute in its standard production mode, and provides 33 per cent faster throughput of 160 pages per minute using EPM.

The HP Indigo 7600, which will be commercially available at drupa 2012, also helps PSPs create premium-quality book covers using new special effects features including:

  • Raised print, which uses multiple layers of ink to create images raised up to 50 microns from the sheet.
  • Textured effect, a feature that allows users to create a mold with the press in three minutes or less for on-press sheet embossing or debossing.
  • Digital watermarking, a feature that allows PSPs to create specific gloss differential effects.

For professional photography books and other projects featuring black-and-white photography, the HP Indigo 7600 press offers higher-quality greyscale imaging using standard, process-color black ink and a new, optional Light Black ink in a duotone printing process.

The HP Indigo 7600 press also offers fully automated finishing using Lasermax Roll Systems' PageReady system, an in-line or near-line cut-merge-stack system.

Upgraded SmartStream tools advance digital publishing workflows

New HP SmartStream and HP SmartStream Solutions Partner programme workflow solutions for HP Indigo presses include:

  • HP SmartStream Production Center, a new production management system that addresses the challenges of producing and delivering high volumes of short-run jobs, reducing turnaround time and increasing profitability. Available later this year, HP SmartStream Production Center unifies multiple job streams, shows real-time, detailed end-to-end production floor status and enables PSPs to manage job progress and priority.
  • HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server, version 5, a digital front-end solution that supports HP Indigo 10000 B2-format and other high-volume applications with a multi-raster image processing architecture that significantly shortens job processing, batching and streaming. The server has a web-based user interface to manage complex print server tasks, and includes new, automatic ICC substrate profiling and finishing setup features.
  • The latest versions of the HP SmartStream Director Web-to-Print solution, HP SmartStream Designer variable-data design and impositioning software, and the HP SmartStream Production Analyzer press monitoring solution.

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