HP Unveils Digital Printing Technologies For Graphics Arts Market

One of the new products, HP's Inkjet Web Press, is capable of printing in full color on rolls up to 30 inches wide at 400 feet per minute.
Hewlett-Packard on Monday introduced digital printing technologies aimed at expanding the company's presence in the graphics arts market.

The new technologies stem from what HP calls its Print 2.0 strategy, which aims to grab a bigger share of the growing digital printing business. HP offers consumer printers and online services, such as SnapFish, for printing photos taken with digital cameras, and also sells technology for commercial and industrial printing.

Among the new technology unveiled Monday was the HP Inkjet Web Press, a high-speed color digital printing platform. Capable of printing in full color on rolls up to 30 inches wide at 400 feet per minute, the HP Inkjet Web Press can be used on a wide range of uncoated paper used in direct-mail marketing, book publishing, and newspaper production. The new product is scheduled to ship in the second half of 2009.

For the production of large-format outdoor signage, HP introduced a water-based latex ink for its thermal inkjet technology. The new ink is capable of maintaining sharp, vivid image quality on unlaminated signage for up to three years, HP said. The company plans to unveil printers using the new latex ink in May.

Finally, HP unveiled new models in its Indigo line of digital production presses. The Indigo 7000, W7200, and WS6000 offer faster speeds than current models. The Indigo 7000, which runs at speeds of 120 four-color pages per minute, is set to ship in June. The W7200 and WS6000, both Web-fed digital presses designed for industrial and commercial applications, are set to ship in 2009.

HP is the largest printer company in the world. The company's imaging and printing division generated $1.2 billion in operating profit on $7.3 billion in sales in the first fiscal quarter, reported last month.

Nevertheless, the division appeared to be feeling pressure from increased competition and slowing growth. Earnings were only slightly more than the $1.1 billion reported a year earlier, while the total number of printer shipments increased just 1%.

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