Plus X2 Printhead and Designjet 10000s
At its recent HP Scitex Customer Event in Barcelona, Spain, Hewlett-Packard announced a new printhead technology, several new machines, and more.
Perhaps the biggest announcement of the event was the unveiling of the company’s Scitex X2 printhead. Of "credit card" size, the printhead is highly durable and has a drop volume of 50 picoliters, allowing for the high ink flows necessary for high-speed, high-production printing. The key design element of the printhead is that all of the parts that come into contact with the inks are made of silicon, glass, and epoxy-making it highly resistant to corrosion. Utilizing expertise from semiconductor manufacturing, the head includes silicon-based MicroElectroMechanicalSystems (MEMS) technology, enabling high-tolerance manufacturing for uniformity and performance.
The printhead has a chip with 128 nozzles fixed to an integrated circuit board. Ink is ejected from each side of the chip (64 nozzles/side) at the rate of up to 30,000 drops/sec/nozzle. With 100 nozzles/in., the modules offer resolutions up to 800 dpi. The first use of the X2 heads will be in early 2007, in the yet-to-be-released HP Scitex XL2200 (which HP reports will be twice as fast as the XL1500) and the FB6500.
HP has broken into the superwide range with its new 104-in. Designjet 10000s printer. A 6-color (CMYKcm) mild-solvent machine, it can hit top speeds of 176 sq ft/hr with resolutions up to 720 x 720 dpi and can print onto a wide variety of uncoated media, including self-adhesive, vinyl, banner, backlit film, and photorealistic paper. Armed with six printheads (with 512 nozzles each), the 10000s offers dual-sided printing, dual-roll printing, and printing on unlined mesh. Speeds for the 10000s range from 322 sq ft/hr at 720 x 306 dpi, to 220 sq ft/hr at 540 x 720 dpi, to 176 sq ft/hr at 720 x 720 dpi.
The mild-solvent ink (HP 79) offers excellent lightfastness for outdoor signage, which resists fading for up to 3 yr, HP reports. Inks can be hot-swapped on-the-fly with the 1-liter ink cartridges ($359 each). HP’s Smart printing technology enables easy management and replacement of ink cartridges through proactive alerts. HP provides guidelines for installation to help users manage safety, environmental, and health issues associated with the inks; in addition, it offers a matched air-purifier system ($4750 option).
The printer allows users to load two rolls for side-by-side printing and comes with a super heavy-duty Take-Up Reel, supporting rolls up to 242 lb. Three user-controlled integrated heaters for faster drying are standard; when combined with the optional high-speed dryer ($3795), the Designjet 10000s can produce long, unattended print runs at maximum print speeds. The optional liner roll accessory ($345) allows for direct printing onto unlined mesh materials.
An Onyx PosterShop 7 RIP is optional ($2595). The 10000s also is compatible with RIPs from companies including PosterJet, SAi, Wasatch, Caldera, ColorGate, Shiraz, and AIT.
Price of the Designjet 10000s: $59,995.
With a smaller footprint than the solvent-based HP Scitex TJ8300, the new HP Scitex TJ8500 offers 6-color (CMYKcm) UV-curable printing at speeds up to 4305 sq ft/hr. Supporting media from 47 x 63 in. to 65 x 150 in., this roll-to-sheet printer produces prints up to 65 x 145 in. in size with resolutions up to a true 448 dpi or apparent 600 dpi.
The TJ8500 has 150 printheads and can print legible type as small as 8 pt. It utilizes HP UV850 Supreme ink; the company reports that its images will last up to 2 yr outdoors.
The TJ8500 offers three print modes: High-quality mode (600-dpi apparent) printing up to 1075 sq ft/hr or 26 65 x 145-in. sheets; Quality mode (448 dpi) printing up to 2153 sq ft/hr or 35 sheets; and Production mode (336 dpi) prints up to 4305 sq ft/hr or 70 sheets.
Onyx ProductionHouse RIP is the easy-to-use interface, which offers the option to work in parallel, enabling a file to be RIP’d while the operator works on the next file. In addition, the printer’s front end supports various features and options such as: tiling to columns or rows; cropping of files; an add-image option; queues and archives; and a load-file-while-printing feature.
The TJ8500 supports a wide variety of media including self-adhesive, vinyl, banner, canvas, untreated offset and screen paper, as well as uncoated synthetic materials such as Tyvek, Kovek, and Yupo.
HP also announced an inline laminator for its HP Scitex FB6700 printer and HP Scitex Color Workflow Interactive Navigator (WIN), the company’s new comprehensive color-management solution. Look for details on these in next month’s Update section.