By Jane Rixon, Signage and Decoration Business Development Manager, HP Large Format Printing
This March, HP upgraded the HP Latex R Series – its most advanced wide format digital printer range to date – for 2020. These three hybrid printers enable print service providers (PSPs) to explore a greater range of flexible and rigid substrates than ever before, with HP’s water-based Latex inks coming into play to deliver stunning and easily replicated colours across a graphics portfolio.
The HP Latex R Series can transform any rigid or flexible substrate with incredible colours, helping PSPs to set themselves apart from their competition. The ability to print direct-to-substrate is itself a major advantage. The process of printing on vinyl, applying it to a board, mounting and then trimming it, is totally removed – saving time, materials and ultimately money. The updated HP Latex R Series printers are compatible with a long list of rigid substrates: paper and plastic foamboard, PVC foam, corrugated board, acrylic, polycarbonate, compressed cardboard, honeycomb board, aluminium composite panel and wood. Thanks to the hybrid design, R Series devices can also print to roll substrates including PVC banner, self-adhesive vinyl, coated paper, polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyester, textiles and canvas.
Kent-based PressOn chose to replace its UV printer with an HP Latex R-Series, in part for its material versatility. A key project was for Dulwich College in London, who took the opportunity to turn hoarding around a building site into an informative timeline display. PressOn printed the graphics – which included very small text, which had to be precise – directly to aluminium composite. This was then laminated for outdoor protection and adhered to a plywood hoarding.
Direct-to-substrate printing also has environmental benefits in terms of material choice. Andy Wilson, Managing Director of PressOn, says the ability to print to alternative, more sustainable materials such as fabric, wood, polyester and repurposed and recycled media is a boon to his business.
“The market is actively demanding more environmentally conscious products,” he comments. “Direct-printing with HP Latex gives us a competitive edge to retain existing and attract new customers, while limiting our own impact on the environment.”
UL ECOLOGO-certified HP Latex inks are 70% water, making it easier to recycle printed substrates. They are non-hazardous and safe for standard disposal together with non-printed substrates, including paper-based materials which can be recycled locally in a carton/mixed-paper stream. This makes life easier for the consumer, while the water-based chemistry also offers crucial benefits to printer operators. Latex inks have no odour, making print rooms a pleasant space in which to work without special ventilation such as air filtration systems (but users should refer to the site preparation guide). The newest HP Latex inks require no hazard labels, which are generally applied to UV, UV gel, solvent and eco-solvent ink products.
The extensive material compatibility of HP Latex R Series 2020 edition helps PSPs to diversify into new applications and markets, such as custom short-run packaging, POP corrugated displays and, thanks to HP Latex ink’s elongation capabilities, printed thermoforming. HP Latex is also ideal for interior decor applications, in domestic, commercial and public environments, thanks to its low VOC levels that have achieved GREENGUARD GOLD certification for unrestricted coverage.
Announcing the launch of the new portfolio, Guayente Sanmartin, General Manager, HP Large Format Graphics Business, HP Inc, comments: “With the new HP Latex R Series 2020 Edition printer, large format print service providers will benefit from new levels of performance. They will also be able to expand to fast-growing applications, such as short-run special packaging and printed thermoforming for which HP Latex inks technology delivers top-quality performance.”
It’s not just the ability to print onto an incredible variety of substrates that sets HP Latex R Series apart, but the amazing colours it achieves: a vibrant new colour gamut for 2020 helps to increase profitability with higher value applications such as luxury decoration and durable outdoor signage. HP has made further advancements with White ink for the R Series 2020 edition – a glossy, high-quality ‘true white’ that doesn’t yellow over time like traditional UV-based white ink and performs excellently on transparent and coloured media. There’s no waste between white jobs thanks to removable HP Thermal Inkjet printheads, stored in an offline rotating chamber, and automatic recirculation and printhead cleaning eliminates manual purging. These improvements mean PSPs can always be ready to print rich, glossy white, as soon as an order comes in.
The latest HP Latex R Series features advancements to increase productivity, such as more efficient multi-sheet media loading and handling to significantly boost output. Across the whole R Series portfolio, including on pre-2020 models, software has been updated and now includes expanded queue management capability and automated updates. All R Series users can also take advantage of HP PrintOS, HP’s revolutionary cloud-based print production operating system. Already used by 26,000 print professionals and counting, its functions including automated colour control, a searchable database of certified media and integration with the HP Applications Center suite of design tools that can help businesses produce exceptional work. However, it is PrintOS’s remote management functionality that has attracted more and more users throughout the first half of 2020. Via the PrintOS web platform or dedicated mobile app, operators can track a job on the print room floor, check job completion, add new jobs to the print queue, receive notifications of technical issues, and monitor media and ink usage, all from a remote location. This helps businesses with several branches, teams working to social distancing guidelines, PSPs who run their printers unattended overnight and anyone else who needs updates anywhere, at any time.
The R Series printer portfolio includes three models for 2020. The HP Latex R2000 Plus printer has been designed to deliver the highest capacity and productivity, feeding materials in roll-fed or sheet-fed configuration up to 98” (2.5m) wide and printing with high-capacity 5 litre cartridges with white ink printing capability. The HP Latex R1000 Plus printer handles media up to 64” (1.64m) wide in a roll-fed or sheet-fed configuration with 3 litre ink cartridges and white ink printing capability. Finally, the HP Latex R1000 printer is an entry-level solution at an attractive price, able to handle media up to 64” (1.64m) wide with 3 litre ink cartridges. It is provided in a sheet-fed configuration with white ink printing capability, with roll-fed functionality available as an accessory.
With exhibitions and trade shows cancelled or postponed this year, HP has embraced the opportunity to replace traditional demonstrations of its new systems with a modern, internationally accessible webinar. On June 17th 2020 at 11am, Terry Raghunath, HP’s Business Development Manager for Graphics Solutions Business, will present an interactive and informative session on the HP Latex R Series 2020 edition. The webinar will focus on the latest R Series updates and the applications and business opportunities they could enable for PSPs, with case stories on R Series customers around the world. The online event will conclude with a Q&A, so attendees can have their queries answered by HP experts there and then. Print professionals should book their place now via the HP Virtual Booth, www.hpvirtualbooth.com, or contact HP for more information on the HP Latex R Series 2020 edition.