Apr 9, 2015
In the run up to the ISA show taking place in Las Vegas April 9-11, 2015, we expect a range of new announcements, one of which was made today by HP. With fanfare the company revealed to the world their new portfolio of single pass, wide format CMYK printers, aimed at production and workgroup environments that produce CAD and GIS drawings, and also intended to enable migration into graphics applications.
The HP PageWide XL printers are fast wide format print solutions with up-to 75 meters per minute print speed, both in monochrome and color. This product portfolio consists of four configurations, the XL 4000, 4500, 5000, and 8000. The XL 4000 prints eight A1 pages per minute (PPM); productivity increases with each model in the series, up to 30 A1 pages per minute for the XL 8000. The first HP PageWide XL printer to be commercially available will be the XL 8000, in September 2015. In November 2015 the XL 5000 will be available, followed in January 2016 by the XL 4000 and 4500.
The XL 8000, the first commercially available product in HP PageWide XL Series, offers a 40” print width (1,016mm); the printer’s inkjet core is a line print head, itself consisting of eight print head modules, each 5” wide. The paper supply is stored in drawers with a capacity of up to 6 rolls of media, each roll up to 200 meters of media. For each of the CMYK colors the standard ink capacity is 775 ml; a Dual Supply Capacity will be available, though, which automatically switches the printer to a reserve tanks, effectively giving the user a capacity 1550 ml per color, without interrupting printing.
Product pricing is not available now, but HP claims total cost of ownership for printers in its PageWide XL Series will be “….comparable to or lower than operational costs for printers based on LED technology,” and cites for comparison monochrome LED devices under $100,000 with 22 A1 page per minute productivity.
How could this be so? HP’s Ramon Pastor, VP & General Manager, HP Large Format Design and 3D Printing briefly touched on the subject, indicating that the company takes a holistic view of production costs, including equipment, workflow efficiency, labor, and service. According to HP, by taking into account key factors, from production of individual collated documents (color or monochrome) to print head life, the workflow benefit of unattended operation, the new HP PageWide XL Series will meet HP’s claims regarding comparable total cost of ownership.
Aiding the transition that the new Series will all will be a range of accessories, including scanners, inline folder, and an integrated stacker. These will enable users in each environment to customize their unit to their needs and gain from an improved total cost of ownership
This product family is also aided by HP Smartstream large-format production workflow, which focuses on providing efficiency to the printing process. By optimizing document processing workflow using Adobe PDF Print Engine 3, HP enables users to become effective in processing mixed documents, including CAD, graphics in color or monochrome, then output them as collated documents.
Recent History, Coming Influence
In June 2014 we published our initial thoughts on what was then HP’s new technology, and how it will be rebooting digital wide format. Today we have the timeline and the details behind that technology demo. HP is ramping up production with over 60 assembly stations, over 2000 square meters of assembly space, 75 shipping containers and numerous other elements needed for a robust worldwide launch starting in September 2015 for the HP PageWide XL8000. With this product family HP is joining a group of select vendors who are offering page-wide full color systems, ones advancing speeds to new levels—up to 75 feet per minute—and offering both pigmented inks and a range of media, both paper and film.
HP PageWide XL Series is redrawing the boundaries of the market place, moving it from products dedicated to CAD and GIS drawings on to other applications, including ones rich in color graphics. This new range will in turn appeal to a wider range of users, from corporate reprographics shops and departmental enterprise users to print for pay graphic arts shops, and in-plant users.
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