HP has used Print 17 to unveil the Indigo 12000 HD B2 digital press and launch its Indigo 50000 to the global market.
An upgrade on its existing Indigo 12000 B2 press, the new 12000 HD digital press, which is not yet commercially available, uses new high-definition writing heads to double image resolution to 1,625dpi, surpassing offset printing, according to the manufacturer.
“It makes this perfect for the fine art and photography markets – it delivers super high quality and opens up so many possibilities for print service providers,” said UK and Ireland marketing manager for HP Indigo and HP Pagewide Web presses, Andy Pike. “We are really starting to get deeper into these markets and with the B2 sheet size we’ve opened up a whole range of applications that previously weren’t possible in digital.”
The new high definition imaging system, which incorporates new software and writing heads, will also be available for retrofitting onto most HP Indigo 10000 and 12000 presses. The four-colour Indigo 12000 was launched at Drupa 2016 and can print at speeds of up to 4,600sph on sheets up to 750x530mm.
“We want our customers to be successful, we don’t want them to have to invest millions every time they want something new, so we offer an upgrade path and with a Value Pack they can effectively increase the options available to them on their existing equipment,” Pike said.
Pricing and commercial launch date for the new Indigo 12000 HD press and retrofit option are currently not available, but a late 2017 or early 2018 date is expected.
Additionally at Print 17 in Chicago this week, HP launched its Indigo 50000 B1 digital device to the commercial market after a successful beta test at Creel Printing in the US. The oversized duplex roll-fed press can print 42m/min in colour and 142m/min in mono on virtually any type of paper and is designed for ‘high-coverage’, high-volume printing.
Pike said that while no orders were on the books in the UK, there was a lot of interest. “We are delving into whole new levels of speed in digital at this size that has never really been achieved before so this is a huge leap for digital. I think in the next 12 months we will see this device hopefully in the UK and certainly in Europe and I think it will make a really big impact,” he added.
Alongside the press launches, HP announced that its new Performance HDK mode for High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) printing is now available on its HP PageWide Web T240 HD. The technology can output at 152metres/min and improves quality in mono and colour at full press speed, an improvement that would be particularly attractive to the direct mail, publishing and commercial print markets, Pike said.
“Again it’s about performance enhancement and pushing print to a superior quality – particularly in publishing people are looking for images to jump off the page and this technology can deliver that,” said Pike.
Meanwhile HP said that sales of its ‘series 4 large format platform’, which includes the Indigo 10000, 12000 digital presses and the Indigo 20000 for labels and flexible packaging and 30000 for folding cartons and plastics, have now hit 600 worldwide. Installations of the Indigo 30000 have hit 50 worldwide, with Kalas Packaging in Lincolnshire becoming the first UK business to install one in November 2016.
“B2 has been a market that the big digital players have really invested in. It’s exceeded our expectations and it is continuing to grow,” said Pike.
“We have seen a huge change to the way the market is now – we have a very strong focus on B2 digital because it has opened us up to so many applications and if we look at litho migration this is enabling people to do things completely differently and gives them so many options like personalisation and variable data that they just couldn’t do before.”
"So much of what we do is about taking feedback from our customers and from the market and putting that into our new technology. It's about where the demand is and what people are asking for and that is where, for example, the HD technology that has been announced this week has come from," Pike said.