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B2-Format HP Indigo Steals the Show

April 2012
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(This article is a greatly expanded verion of the Digital Digest item that appeared on page 36 of the April 2012 edition of Printing Impressions magazine.)

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL—When the Indigo E-Print 1000 was introduced almost two decades ago as a new digital printing platform, the first question asked by most people was, “When is a larger version going to be available?” If for no other reason, it’s impossible not to see the introduction of the 29˝ HP Indigo 10000 digital press as the big news from HP’s recent pre-drupa briefing, even though by its count the company launched 10 “new” digital printing systems.

One of the development goals reportedly was to make this digital press offset-like in production, which is part of the reason why the long side of the 29.5x20.9˝ maximum sheet size is fed into the imaging unit. Another factor was that the wider imaging system provides a platform to address other markets, starting with the HP Indigo 20000 continuous-feed (29˝ wide with 21.6˝ to 44˝ repeats) model designed for flexible packaging and the HP Indigo 30000 sheetfed (29.5x20.9˝) press for folding cartons, supporting substrates up to 24 pt.

Set for commercial release in 2013 with a likely price range of $1.2 to $1.5 million, the up to seven-color HP Indigo 10000 has a maximum 1,219-dpi resolution and handles coated and uncoated stocks from 45-lb. text up to 150-lb. cover. It prints in four-color at 3,450 sph, or 1,725 sph with the built-in duplexing, and Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM) boosts its maximum output to 4,600 sph.

EPM, which is also the cornerstone of the HP Indigo 5600, 7600 and W7250 press model updates, uses just the cyan, magenta and yellow IndiChrome inks to simulate four-color printing. HP contends that its three-color printing can be “good enough” for a large portion of color work because of the presses’ ability to precisely control dot placement. That is said to even produce crisp black text, while reducing clicks per sheet by 25 percent and boosting productivity by 33 percent.

If four-color pages are being printed at 120 pages/minute, for example, that means the press is actually completing 480 impressions (4 x 120). Since EPM only uses three colors, that means a total of 160 color pages (480 ÷ 3) can be output per minute, or 33 percent more (160 − 120 = 40; 40 ÷ 120 = 33 percent).

Another offset-like feature of the HP Indigo 10000 is a pallet feeder supporting a 33.4˝ pile height, supplemented by two media drawers that come standard and two more that can be added as an option. The grippers are said to be more sophisticated that their offset press equivalent to support the different prints speeds required for printing in various numbers of colors. “Tornado” vacuum systems separate the sheets, with a double-sheet sensor backing them up.
HP pre-drupa, the Video

Bob Neubauer, editor of PI’s sister publication In-plant Graphics, also attended the HP pre-drupa briefing and shot video of the event and Jerusalem tour. Here’s the first installment of the video he shot:

 

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