(From L to R) Doug Gilbertson (managing director, CWE Solutions), Xavier Garcia (vice president & general manager, Large Format Production & Industrial Division, PPS Group, HP), Steve Nigro (SVP, Inkjet & GSB, HP) and Andy Wilson (co-director, PressOn) with the HP Latex 3000 Printer
HP has announced that following a long history of HP Latex technology investments, digital large format print specialists, PressOn, of Rochester, Kent, UK, is the first customer worldwide to invest in the new HP Latex 3000 Printer.
Currently on the HP stand at FESPA, the HP Latex 3000 Printer will be installed at PressOn's facility after the show, and be employed immediately to enable the company to meet demand for high quality, HP Latex-produced self-adhesive vinyl graphics.
"We are currently at capacity, so the new HP Latex 3000 will enable us to take on further work and utilise its increased speed and industrial design to improve customer response times," said Andy Wilson, co-director, PressOn. "Additionally, with the 3000's five litre ink cartridges, it can run unattended overnight, reducing operator costs but maximising achievable production time and increasing our revenue potential."
According to Wilson, the HP Latex technology is much more stable than any other technology, especially for self-adhesive vinyl graphics, typically used for fleet and vehicle graphics applications. Mixed with the company's ‘can do' attitude, this stability has given PressOn a huge competitive edge and the confidence to provide a customer guarantee for the durability of its HP Latex graphics.
This guarantee has enabled PressOn to expand year on year, and win work against much larger businesses and in-house production departments.
"Being water based, HP Latex technology is inherently better suited to self adhesive vinyl work, and the quick turnaround nature of our business," continues Wilson. "Where solvent technology is problematic from an environmental and scratch resistance perspective, the nature of UV baking alters the structure of the substrate, making it brittle and a problem to remove.
"Generally speaking, neither technology is as durable or versatile as HP Latex for these applications, added to which, as soon as a graphic leaves an HP Latex printer, it is ready to be despatched to the customer. In winning work, this is a huge advantage for us."
Since installing its first HP Latex printer in 2010, the HP Latex technology platform has been the backbone of the PressOn business with a portfolio including an HP Scitex Latex 600 Printer and an HP Latex 850 - last year printing roughly 110,000m2 on its HP Latex 850 alone.
Production and application versatility
The HP Latex 3000 Printer is a six-colour, 3.2m device with resolution options up to1200dpi. Printing at outdoor quality, the system can run at speeds up to 120m2/hr (1290ft2/hr), ideal for busy production environments.
The new printer also offers important versatility improvements for indoor and outdoor applications savings. Water-based HP Latex 881 Inks, developed for the printer, offer scratch resistance comparable to hard-solvent inks when printed on self-adhesive and PVC banner substrates.(1) The prints from HP 881 Latex Inks are odourless(2) and ideal for applications from indoor retail displays, outdoor advertising, vehicle graphics and interior décor. The inks also offer a 15-20 per cent wider gamut than six-colour UV printers (3), critical for corporate brand colour matching and accurate reproduction of skin tones.
The inks produce prints that are dry from the printer and ready to finish or despatch immediately, thereby accelerating throughput and response times. In addition, they are dried and cured at low temperatures, which not only offers energy savings, but extends the range of substrates that can be used with the HP Latex 3000 Printer.
"The print industry in the UK has generally been in decline, but large format digital printing continues to grow," Wilson said. "Since we began as digital printers, we haven't had to undergo the process of migrating from screen or litho, so our mind-set is purely digital, which has been a great advantage to our growth."
"The new HP Latex 3000 Printer will help us to maintain this progress and better meet the virtually on-demand customer requests for high quality print applications," concluded Wilson.
PressOn was founded in 2000 and currently employs 15 people in Rochester, and 20 at its installation centres in Manchester and Scotland.