HP ups commitment to graphic arts

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In what HP is calling its most extensive push into the graphic arts arena to date, the company recently unveiled a series of technologies and products intended to improve the speed and reduce the cost of digital printing.

Spanning high-speed inkjet production, offset- and photo-quality liquid electrophotographic printing and large-format printing, the new offerings support HP's Print 2.0 strategy, which was introduced last year and is intended to capture more digital pages from the analog print market and enable printing customers to take advantage of new market segments and business opportunities.

As a group, the most recent announcements “further cement HP's leadership in the graphic arts market, accelerate the analog-to-digital conversion and propel digital technology as a mainstream product offering,” said Stephen Nigro, SVP, graphics and imaging business at HP, in a statement. “These new technologies and products will change the digital printing industry in terms of value, volume and environmental footprint.”

The introductions include a high-speed 30-inch inkjet platform for high-volume production of books, transactional and transpromotional mail, direct marketing materials and newspapers. The HP Inkjet Web Press, which is expected to increase productivity and lower the cost of printing for the high-volume commercial market, will be available in the second half of 2009. It is capable of printing in full color on rolls up to 30 inches wide at 400 feet per minute and is compatible with a wide range of uncoated media. 

The company is also introducing an expanded portfolio of HP Indigo presses, including the new HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press designed for high-volume print service providers and enhancements to the market-leading HP Indigo press 5500.

The first of these new presses available to the market will be the HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press in June, which cost-effectively produces large numbers of static jobs with run lengths ranging from one copy into the thousands. It also produces variable-data work. The press runs at speeds of 120 four-color pages per minute.

HP's best-selling digital press, the HP Indigo press 5500, has been enhanced with options allowing greater productivity with an additional feeder, an in-line connection to the HP Indigo UV Coater and a kit for enabling printing on thicker media.

Other announcements include new HP Latex Printing Technologies that offer an environmentally responsible large-format printing alternative for a wide variety of outdoor and indoor applications and the company's first-ever graphic arts workflow portfolio — the HP SmartStream Digital Workflow Portfolio — which offers customers greater flexibility with specific solutions to address a broad range of market segments and application needs.

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