Star product: HP Designjet L28500 Printer
By Tim Sheahan Friday, 25 May 2012
A wide-format digital device that boasts durability and speed
What does the HP Designjet L28500 do?
The 2.64m, super-wide HP Designjet L28500 Printer is the latest model in the manufacturer’s range of wide-format digital inkjet machines running water-based latex inks.
The machine had its international trade launch at Fespa alongside the 1.54m-wide L26500 model. It is aimed at the sign and display print business – specifically the soft signage market – but its versatility and ability to print on fabrics means it is also a good fit for the consumer market, with posters, soft furnishings and wall coverings all potential products.
The printer is compatible with over 500 substrates, including vinyl, fabrics, paper, film and low-cost uncoated papers for both interior and exterior applications
How does it work?
"The L28500 uses the company’s thermal inkjet technology and runs six water-based HP latex inks," explains Designjet and Commercial Sign & Display UK country manager Phil Oakley. "It is suitable for the production of POS, posters, light boxes, wall coverings, soft signage and vehicle graphics, as well as a range of outdoor signage that offers better durability than eco-solvent inks."
It can print at resolutions of up to 1,200dpi, which the manufacturer claims will offer outdoor display permanence for up to three years if unlaminated or five years if laminated.
How does it differ from the manufacturer’s other models?
"The L28500 is between 34% faster (on the same print width) and 70% faster (when printing at full width) than the L25500, due in part to a faster carriage speed," says Oakley.
The maximum print speed of the L28500 is 40sqm/hr in four-pass mode, versus 22.8sqm/hr on the L26500; in 16-pass mode the print speed falls to 8sqm/hr and 6.3sqm/hr respectively.
What is the USP of the L28500?
According to Oakley, one of the machine’s key USPs is its ability to handle a broader range of indoor and outdoor signage applications with better durability than eco-solvent inks. Another is its higher productivity through increased speeds.
"The L28500 features HP’s new double-sided printing workflow; allied with an Optical Media Advance Sensor (OMAS), this enables double-sided printing with minimal operator intervention," adds Oakley. "The OMAS controls registration automatically by locating a registration mark when the printed media is reloaded to print the reverse side."
The machine features a more robust take-up reel than the original L25500 model – which has now been discontinued – with the L28500 capable of handling up to 100kg. This makes way for longer unattended operation, says HP.
Ashley points out that a key USP across all HP Latex printers is the company’s water-based latex ink, which combines "the best characteristics of eco-solvent inks and water-based inks".
He claims users can obtain the outdoor durability and versatility on low-cost, uncoated papers that they would traditionally associate with eco-solvent inks, together with odourless prints.
What training and service support is on offer?
HP UK has a network of certified Designjet resellers that can assist on installation and various training options depending on the end-user’s requirements.
"In addition, users of the L28500 can benefit from the recently-introduced HP Latex University," says Oakley. "This is a complimentary initiative that enables users to access a broad set of resources and training materials to help boost competitiveness. They can also use it to market their green credentials."
How much does it cost?
The UK list price is £45,000. Under the HP trade-in scheme, customers can currently receive up to £4,000 cashback on a new L28500 when trading in an old printer.
Although HP will not disclose sales targets, the firm sold over 50 of its new latex Designjet L28500 and L26500 printers following a successful ‘golden ticket’ promotion to raise awareness of the platform.
The manufacturer ran the initiative at Sign & Digital 2012, where it offered £1,000 cashback for customers investing in the new HP Designjet machines.
Print width 2,640mm
Speed 70 sqm/hr (two-pass, bi-directional), 40sqm/hr (four-pass, bi-directional)
Colours Six (CMYK, light cyan, light magenta)
Contact HP UK 0845 605 6013 www.hp.com
Launched earlier this year, the 1.6m specification JV400-160LX features Mimaki’s new latex ink, offers a maximum print speed of 18SQM/hr and can output at a top resolution of 900dpi.
Print width 1,610mm
Speed 900dpi: 18.1sqm/hr; 900x1,200dpi: 14.2sqm/hr; 1,200dpi: 11.9sqm/hr; Colours CMYK, LC, LM, white
Contact Hybrid Services 01270 501900 www.hybridservices.co.uk
Ricoh Pro L4000
The brand new Ricoh Pro L4000 was unveiled at Drupa 2012 and can print up to 18.1sqm/hr. There are two print widths available: 1,371mm or 1,620mm.
Print width 1,371mm or 1,620mm
Speed Up to 18.1sqm/hr
Colours CMYK, LC, LM, white
Contact Ricoh UK 0845 744 5565 www.ricoh.co.uk
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