HP sought to increase the quality, productivity and profitability of its flagship model by introducing the 5500 as replacement for the 5000, according to Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager of HP’s Indigo Division.
High-definition dot placement technology increases the maximum output resolution to 1,200 dpi (with 2,400 dpi addressability), and a linework thinning function improves the reproduction of micro text and barcodes. Color quality is enhanced by the introduction of CMYKcm printing (and optional Photo Enhancement Server) and DreamColor color control.
Productivity enhancements include a new four-drawer (up from three) feeder, which handles 13x19˝ sheets in a wider range of substrates, and fast ink replacement system that enables extra ink colors to be changed while the press continues to print in CMYK mode. Along with coated media from 55-lb. text to 130-lb. cover, the HP Indigo press 5500 can run many standard (untreated) offset uncoated papers in weights from 40-lb. text to 120-lb. cover.
The new entry-level HP Indigo press 3500 features adjustment-free paper handling and enhanced color management, including Pantone emulations and ICC profiling. It can be driven by the built-in Production Manager DFE or the new Production Stream Server Version 1.2, powered by Creo, that also can drive the 5500.
On the finishing end, HP is looking to step into the market only where it can “create competitive advantage,” Bar-Shany said, and not to replace third-party solutions. Its first branded product, the HP Indigo UV Coater, is set for release this fall. The machine is designed for flood coating of gloss, matte and satin finishes in a near-line operation to enable support of multiple presses.
The HP Designjet Z6100 large-format (42˝ and 60˝ models) printer is an eight-color, thermal ink-jet unit that uses HP Vivera pigment inks to support indoor and short term outdoor applications. An embedded spectrophotometer and optical media sensor maintain image quality at the device’s higher maximum print speed—720 square feet per hour on coated paper. The printer has a 2,400x1,200 dpi maximum resolution and incorporates DreamColor color management technology for printing consistency.