Features

HP disrupts the repro print market with its new PageWide XL Series of printers

by FESPA Staff | 08/04/2015
HP disrupts the repro print market with its new PageWide XL Series of printers

The new family of HP Large Format PageWide XL printers will deliver high-quality prints at faster speed and lower costs on a wide range of media.

HP has officially unveiled today the HP PageWide XL Series, a new range of PageWide Technology printers that enables customers to print a wide variety of documents in a quicker, more cost-effective manner and crucially in colour, should they wish.

This technology is not new per se. It has been available within the SOHO and enterprise space for a while, hence the name PageWide. What is new is the fact that HP is scaling up its PageWide technology to meet the needs of the large format market.

According to the firm, the new PageWide XL models are capable of delivering pages at twice the speed and half the cost per page of lasers.

Understanding PageWide technology

When it comes to wide printing, such as the printing of posters or blueprints, there have not been that many options. Up until now there have been two major choices when it comes to wide format printing: Inkjet and monochrome LED.

Inkjet allows images to be printed in full color but can be very slow and costly. Projects can take up to one to two minutes to complete. The other option, monochrome LED, allows a user to print jobs faster but only prints in black and white.

PageWide printing changes all of that by allowing printing that is twice as fast as LED while using color. PageWide printing uses ink similar to the inkjets that are sold today. But instead of using a single moving printhead, PageWide printing uses a long row of continuous printheads resulting in no longer needing to move a printhead to deliver ink. This allows a faster and more precise delivery of ink over the method used now.

During the grand opening of their new Graphics Experience Center in Barcelona, HP displayed a 40-inch PageWide wide-format printer and explained how this new technology works.

“Simply put, HP’s PageWide technology replaces traditional left-to-right printing printheads with a stationary printbar spanning the width of the printer and housing more than 200,000 ink nozzles.”  

“It is akin to offset printing methods in as much as only the media – rather than the printhead – moves, and this then enables users to very quickly produce a variety of black-and-white and colour output, such as drawings, maps and posters,” said Thomas Valjak, General Manager and Vice President for HP Large Format Design Business EMEA.

The result of this new technology is that with HP PageWide printer, customers will be able to print a wider variety of large format documentation at higher speeds, thereby saving valuable time and money.

Ramón Pastor, Vice President and General Manager of Large Format Printing Business at HP talked to FESPA TV on the fundamentals of HP PageWide Technology.

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Leaner, Faster, Smarter – the New HP PageWide XL Series

New HP PageWide XL printers are based on a new 127.5mm-wide print module, which is the third-generation of HP scalable printhead technology. Each module uses six staggered four-channel heads with 6,336 nozzles per channel at a native 1,200 dpi resolution.

The first-generation heads, which are 4.25 inch-wide, were introduced in 2006 and are used in HP inkjet web presses and latex printers. Last year, the second generation of 8.57 in-wide heads was introduced in the firm’s Officejet Pro X MFPs.

The printer that HP demonstrated this with contained more than 200,000 ink nozzles giving the printer the ability to apply around 3.7 billion drops of ink per second. That is 18.5 times more ink than the HP T7200, which uses the moving printhead.

HP Graphic Solutions Business marketing director, Francois Martin, described the underlying technology of the new print modules as “like Lego – we have the bricks, you can build what you like”.

“It’s a scalable printing technology, it could be 20, 40 or 60 inches wide and could be configured in one, two, three or four print bars. Potentially it is suitable for a range of print applications.”

A new type of ink for a new type of printer  

Along with the PageWide printing, HP has also announced a new type of ink to be sold with PageWide printers called Pigment Inks. Pigment inks, as the name suggests, use colour pigments rather than dyes. This provides a higher color and black saturation lowering the amount of ink needed and ultimately lowering the cost of printing per page.

These pigment inks were specially designed for PageWide to promote a longer life for the printhead and are also water, smudge, highlighter and light fading resistant.

According to Thomas Valjak, “Without the correct ink, the printers would need frequent printhead cleaning cycles – as is the case with competitive solutions – which would slow the whole process down.”

“HP’s bespoke ink formulation enables continuous high speed colour printing – irrespective of the page coverage. This ultimately leads to a lower cost of ownership and a more profitable, productive solution.”

A complete portfolio

The new products of HP PageWide XL Series include:

  • The HP PageWide XL 4000 gets the job done quickly without sacrificing quality. It prints up to eight A1 prints per minute making it ideal for use by enterprises.

  • The HP PageWide XL4500 is built to enable a growing team to speed through tasks with a range of productivity and workflow features. It prints up to 12 A1 prints per minute.

  • The HP PageWide XL 5000 is a full color large-format printer built for central reprographic departments (CRDs) and reprographic houses with high-volume print demands. It prints up to 14 A1 prints per minute.

  • The HP PageWide XL 8000 is also a color large-format printer built for central reprographic departments (CRDs) and repro houses with high-volume print demands, but this model can print up to 30 A1 prints per minute.  Instead of a single printhead that moves across the page, an array of eight printheads spans the whole width, printing each line in a single burst while the paper moves underneath.

  • HP SmartStream for PageWide XL: A software program that streamlines the complete printing workflow and lets you gain total control of your PageWide XL full solution. It offers ultra-fast processing function to respond to the tightest deadlines, and native PDF management, with Adobe PDF Print Engine 3 to avoid reprints. 

Availability

The wide format PageWide XL printers will be commercially available in the second half of 2015. According the company, the HP PageWide XL 8000 is expected to hit the markets in July 2015, the HP PageWide XL 5000 in November 2015, and both, the HP PageWide XL 4000 and the HP PageWide XL4500 will be finally available in January 2016.

HP said that models will be priced competitively in comparison to other wide format production devices currently available on the market.

The company will be showcasing its PageWide XL technology and portfolio at FESPA 2015 in Cologne, Germany, May 18-22.

Register to attend FESPA 2015 today for FREE.

by FESPA Staff Back to News

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