HP has announced new solutions for professional portrait and consumer photo prints using HP Indigo Digital Press technology as a replacement for traditional silver halide (AgX).
Demonstrated at photokina 2012 in the HP stand (Hall 4.1), the new end-to-end solutions offer photo labs a high-quality, economical alternative to AgX technology for low- to high-volume photo prints. Also on display are HP’s market-leading digital printing technologies for the photo market and a full range of photo applications, including sample output from the HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press, the industry’s largest-format, most productive sheet-fed digital press.
Today, 70 percent of all photo specialty products, including photo books, calendars, photo cards, are printed using HP Indigo technology.
“As the photo market leader, HP provides solutions that respond to today’s market needs, allowing photo labs to print both high-quality photo prints and merchandise,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo Division, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. “The new silver halide replacement offerings create a unique opportunity for photo labs to provide photo prints at a lower cost than traditional silver halide and with a clear environmental advantage.”
In addition to new solutions for photo lab environments, HP also announced new photo creation software and same-day creative output products that will help retailers capitalize on the growing photo merchandise market.
A digital alternative to silver halide
The new HP Indigo photo prints solution brings HP’s high-quality liquid electrophotographic printing technology to the professional portrait and 4 x 6-inch (10 x 15-centimeter) consumer prints markets with the same quality as silver-halide.
For high-volume production, the HP Indigo photo prints solution is available with the HP Indigo WS6000p Digital Press, which is already used by leading photofinishers to produce high-quality prints. The new solution includes an optional in-line GMP LAMIMASTER 34 and in-line cutting and stacking solutions from Tecnau and Hunkeler.
For low- to mid-volume printing, the solution is also available with HP’s sheet-fed digital presses, including the new HP Indigo 5600 and 7600 Digital Presses. It can be configured with an optional GMP PROTOPIC PLUS-540 laminator for professional portrait quality with luster effect or glossy finish for consumer prints and a cutting and stacking solution from Rollem.
The HP Indigo photo prints solutions support a range of HP Indigo-certified photo media, including photo paper from leading vendors, including Mohawk, Mitsubishi and Felix Schoeller.
Norway-based Fovea, a market-leading school lab company, adopted the HP Indigo WS6000p Digital Press as a replacement for its silver halide printers to combat rising costs of photo paper and improve its reputation as an environmentally responsible company. The company also wanted to expand its capacity and reduce turnaround time from photo shoot to shipment of printed photos. Fovea’s paramount concern was that the new solution had to match or exceed silver halide quality.
“We feel the quality is better with the WS6000p,” said Morten Øyås, chief executive officer, Fovea. “We get a wider color range, and we are getting better results with six-color printing compared to the silver halide machines. Plus, our costs are approximately 60 percent lower when producing pictures with the WS6000p, mainly as a result of the paper and the printing process itself.”