Wider, Faster, Better…HP Rolls Out New Inkjet Domination Tool

I was leading a breakout session at a conference a few years back, talking about ways to improve throughput on digital presses. I asked which was more valuable—speed or print width. The participants, who were print business owners, nearly all agreed that wide is more important as more multi-up is a good thing.

Equipment vendors are quick to agree, but rush to point out the technical and manufacturing limitations of making electrophotographic (EP) print engines wider, and how there is ultimately a real limit to how fast toner can be stuck to a page. As it happens, we’re hitting those limits in both cut sheet and continuous feed devices which is why the fastest EP presses are now giving up ground to inkjet systems that offer not only speed and full color, but do so at a lower cost per page.

Wider, faster
At O’Neil Data Systems (ODS) in Los Angeles this week, HP rolled out the T400, the newest member of its growing family of high-speed inkjet presses. With a 42″ print width and 600 fpm throughput, it delivers width, speed, MICR capability and a generous helping of print quality that targets the needs of numerous transactional, direct mail and publishing apps.

The big machine is ensconced in what ODS staffers call “the HP building,” a substantial structure also containing a T200, T350 (an upgraded T300) and the blade-filled server room that provides these and other presses at the site with full-color, often variable content as fast as the presses can print. The T400 stretches over 80 feet from unwinder to rewinder and runs with a steady whirring hum as paper streams through it at almost 7 mph, devouring a 50″ web of paper in about 45 minutes. [There is another HP web, a T300 model, in the main plant on the property.]

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Noel Ward is Managing Director of Brimstone Hill Associates, which specializes in marketing communications in the printing industry, including video production. He can be reached at 603-672-3635 or via email at noel@brimstonehill.com. His website is brimstonehill.com, and he has a YouTube channel.
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