HP is due to launch three new HP Latex printers at Drupa, to fill in gaps in its portfolio.
The 1.6m-wide 560 and 570 will be 30%-50% faster than the existing 360 model, while the 3.25m-wide 1500 will have most of the features of the top-of-the-range 3100 and 3500 models but for an entry-level customer.
HP global business director large-format graphics division Joan Perez Pericot said: “What we’re doing is completing the portfolio which some customers request. In the low volume-market we see more demand for higher printing capacity, especially to cope with peaks.
“The 560 and 570 are not replacing anything. What they bring is faster speeds, 30%-50% faster than the 360.”
The company said the new 500 series models, available from August, offer print speeds of up to 23sqm/hr and are more compact than other models, allowing media and ink cartridge changes to be done in front of the printer, freeing up work space.
The models also feature more unattended printing with a new spindle-less pivot table and automatic skew adjustment which HP said enables a minder to load the roll in one minute or less and heavy-duty roll handling of rolls up to 55kg as well as a status beacon for real-time production monitoring from a distance.
The 3.2m-wide 1500, suitable for printing on a wide range of materials including PVC banners, self-adhesive vinyl and textiles, caters to the many HP customers that want to go superwide, Pericot said.
“The machines in the market today are very expensive to make an affordable entry to superwide.”
It features automatic “very accurate registration” by using a small camera which accurately registrates the print using finuals for guidance, he said. The 1500 can print at speeds of up to 74sqm/hr in outdoor production mode and up to 45sqm/hr in indoor mode.
The 1500 features 1,200dpi HP Thermal Inkjet printheads, auto nozzle replacement, an optical media advance sensor as well as an embedded spectrophotometer, HP said.
Other new features include a wiper roller which homogenises surfaces, to ensure better print on lower quality substrates, which previously had caused image problems due to not being uniform enough, five litre ink cartridges, a print zone that features LED lighting to assist loading and an application that controls vapours by curing the ink, which Pericot said was good news for those working in closed environments.
A number of add-ons are also available for the 1500, including a dual roll transport of 1.6m each, in-line slitters, a roll-to-freefall device which allows users to start finishing initial prints while the job is still in progress and a double sided day-night kit that enables users to automatically print double-sided backlit applications.
These can also be retrofitted to the 3100 and the 3500, Pericot said. The printers are said to produce jobs prints that are completely dry and scratch-resistant immediately after printing.