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HP today expanded its portfolio of sign and display printing solutions to accelerate the industry's conversion from solvent-based to UV-curable and latex-based large format printing.

The company is refreshing its product line to help customers pursue profitable growth opportunities and capture a larger share of the growing digital printing market.(1)

At FESPA 2010, the major large-format printing and imaging tradeshow of the year, HP announced:

  • The new HP Scitex FB700 Printer, a versatile 2.5-metre flatbed printing solution that can load, print and collect up to six sheets of media simultaneously and offers an optional White Ink Upgrade Kit for specialty applications
  • The first public demonstration of its expanded HP Latex Printing Technologies portfolio, an innovative HP technology that is only offered by HP, which will take place at the show
  • Plans to spearhead a group of industry leaders to define open Job Definition Format (JDF) specification features for large format printing, making it easier for print service providers (PSPs) to automate printing jobs and accelerate the web-to-print process
  • The expansion of the HP Large-format Media take-back programme to include six new compatible media and seven additional participating European countries

"Since we began shipping latex and UV-curable printing systems, demand has increased steadily as our customers recognise the superb image quality, ability to pursue new

HP_FB700
HP Scitex FB700

applications and the significant environmental advantages over traditional solvent technologies," said Yariv Avisar, vice president and general manager, Scitex Large format Solutions, HP. "In just two months, we have made significant advancements to our portfolio, including the addition of five new UV and Latex printers and new workflow solutions and services offerings, that will help the entire industry to transform."

Expanded portfolio helps accelerate the conversion from solvent to UV and latex

The HP Scitex FB700 Printer helps PSPs increase their capacity to fulfill customer requests and grow their businesses with high-quality prints on virtually any rigid or flexible media.(2) The printer features efficient media loading and the ability to print on materials up to 6.4cm thick and up to 2.5m wide by 3.05m long(3) for the production of durable outdoor and indoor applications, including point-of-purchase displays, tradeshow graphics, interior decorations, banners and furniture.

Advanced features such as an onboard camera, an HP Embedded Web Server and a solid media feed system help ensure consistent results and worry-free operation. An easy-to-install White Ink Upgrade Kit also is available for the HP Scitex FB700 Printer for specialty applications, such as printing on glass or other substrates for retail window displays, creating two-sided or backlit prints, and printing on corrugated substrates for packaging applications.

With the addition of the HP Scitex FB700 Printer to its robust portfolio, HP is leading the market transition from solvent-based printers to UV-curable technologies, providing profitable new growth opportunities to customers through increased productivity and new applications, such as polyethylene billboards and high-quality backlit displays. According to analyst firm I.T. Strategies,(4) UV inkjet printer unit sales are forecast to increase 9 percent by 2014, while also opening high-volume application markets to UV solutions at the expense of solvent inkjet and screen printing.

HP's latex solutions also are accelerating the conversion from solvent and eco-solvent technologies by offering more consistent image quality while delivering comparable performance in terms of productivity, size, durability and media choices. By supporting a broader range of applications, latex-based printers offer PSPs more versatility and also help reduce the environmental impact of printing. HP's latex-based solutions have gained tremendous market acceptance since their introduction. The company has shipped more than 2,500 printing systems, which customers have used to produce more than 5 million square meters of materials.(5)

"Latex printing technology from HP is coming to be seen as a near universal chemistry with a favorable environmental impact both for users and in the print workplace," said Mark Hanley, president, I.T. Strategies. "Solvent markets in particular have been placed on the defensive since early this year by HP's initiative."

HP's solutions showcase at FESPA on the HP stand 120, hall B2, also features recently announced printers and solutions contributing to the market shift from solvent-based printers to UV-curable and latex technologies, including:

  • The HP Scitex LX800 Printer, a 3.2m solution that extends the benefits of HP Latex Printing Technology to the industrial large format market
  • The HP Scitex LX600 Printer, a versatile 2.6m device
  • The HP Scitex TJ8600 Printer, which features full and selective gloss print modes with exceptional quality and new HP TJ210 Scitex Inks
  • The HP Designjet Z5200 Printer for copy shops, quick-printing firms and other small commercial print businesses interested in entering the large format market
  • HP Scitex Print Care, a set of tools and services that anticipates technical issues, enables remote diagnosis and provides performance information to help customers maintain uptime and smooth operations(6)
  • HP SmartPlanner 3.0, a turnkey job estimation and business planning tool offered to HP Scitex customers that accurately estimates jobs, compares digital and conventional output and calculates the complete job cost

As part of HP's leadership in driving the solvent to UV and Latex conversion, the company will discontinue sales of the HP Scitex XL1500 Printer, which uses solvent inks. In its place, HP offers the HP Scitex XP Series Printers with UV inks and the HP Scitex LX Printer series, which are ideal replacements for solvent applications. HP plans to provide support, spare parts and consumables to existing customers for five years after the printer is discontinued.

HP leads committee to establish new JDF features for large-format printing

HP has been selected to chair the Wide Format Workgroup of The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press, and Postpress Organization (CIP4) with the goal of defining open JDF standards for wide format printing workflows. The initiative is designed to resolve interoperability shortfalls between web-to-print tools, production devices, raster image processors and digital front ends so that they work together to streamline wide format printing workflows for increased productivity.

"We are honoured to lead industry-wide efforts to define open JDF standards for the large format market and address our customers' needs for improved operability," said Avisar. "With the proliferation of digital printing, we need to look beyond system performance as the key metric for productivity and work to improve the entire large format printing workflow for our customers."

In conjunction with the creation of JDF features and specifications for wide format applications, HP is rolling out a new certification programme that allows partner workflow solutions to be "HP Certified for Wide Format Printing JDF Exchange." HP certification assures that workflow solutions exchanging JDF will interoperate properly with each other, allowing PSPs to easily build an e-storefront to market their services, take advantage of production automation tools to reduce costs and differentiate their service offerings through automated customer relationship management tools.

"At Gardners, we strive to remove as many operational inefficiencies as possible so our employees can concentrate on high value activities for our customers and our business," said Richard Gardner, managing director at Gardners, a large format digital print shop based in Cardiff, UK. "The leadership role HP has taken to improve workflow interoperability for digital wide format printing will provide print service providers with more opportunities to streamline and automate their operations."

Alliance partners collaborating closely with HP in the certification programme include Caldera, ColorGATE, EFI, EskoArtwork, Four Pees, GMG, ONYX and Printable Technologies. HP and these partners are working to improve the wide format printing experience for customers by using HP-certified definitions in their products.

Continued growth in large format recycling efforts

The HP Large-format Media take-back programme for recyclable printing materials(7) - which provides free return and recycling of eligible media - has added six new media compatible with HP Designjet printers: HP Durable Banner with DuPont Tyvek®, HP Clear Film, HP Matte Film, HP Premium Vivid Color Backlit Film, HP Matte Polypropylene and HP Everyday Matte Polypropylene. These media join the five signage materials compatible with HP Designjet and HP Scitex Latex Ink printers already included in the take-back programme.

Seven additional European countries - Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Poland and Portugal - have recently joined the HP Large format Media take-back programme, bringing the total to 17 European countries. In North America, Canada is scheduled to join the United States in the take-back programme this month.

The HP Large format Media take-back programme is now part of the HP Planet Partners programme, which has been expanded to support free consumables return and recycling efforts for HP inkjet printheads compatible with HP Scitex LX Series printers. The printhead cleaning cartridge and printhead cleaning container for the HP Designjet L25500 Printer also have been added to the programme.

More information on HP activities at FESPA 2010 is available at www.hp.com/go/fespa2010 and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hpgraphicarts.) HP expects the global digital print market to reach $124 billion (€96 billion) by 2014. 

(1) HP expects the global digital print market to reach $124 billion (€96 billion) by 2014.
(2) Flexible media printing with an optional HP Scitex FB700 Roll-to-Roll Upgrade Kit.
(3) HP Scitex FB700 Extension Tables are required for long materials. Two sets are required for printing materials up to 120 inches (3.05 m) long.
(4) According to a May 2010 report from I.T. Strategies.
(5) Based on HP internal estimates.
(6) HP Scitex Print Care is currently available with the HP Scitex LX600 Printer, HP Scitex LX800 Printer and HP Scitex FB500 Printer.
(7) HP offers the HP Large-format Media take-back program in the United States, Europe and Canada, through which most HP recyclable signage media can be returned; availability varies. Some recyclable papers can be recycled through commonly available recycling programs. For details visit www.hp.com/recycle. Aside from this program, recycling opportunities for these products are currently only available in limited areas. Customers should consult local recycling resources for recycling these products.

HP Australia
www.hp.com/go/fespa2010

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