HP’s New T400 Showcased at O’Neil Data Systems

Jim Hamilton
Mar 16, 2011

At an analyst event in Los Angeles today, HP announced a new member of the Inkjet Web Press family. The T400, with a 42-inch web width and speeds up to 600 feet per minute, is capable of producing 5,236 letter-size pages per minute in color and in black & white. Going to a wider web width than the current Inkjet Web Press products is a natural extension of the product line and puts the T400 at the peak of digital print productivity. This extends a trend that has been building over the past years in which high-speed continuous-feed color inkjet products are bringing digital print into high-volume applications that have to date been unreachable with other digital technologies. The announcement of the T400 opens up new opportunities for marketers and content providers to use digital print in innovative ways. InfoTrends was briefed on the T400 in advance and has completed a white paper on product that is available at this link.

Beta unit of HP’s T400 Inkjet Web Press at O’Neil Data Systems

Note: When the market version of the T400 is shipped it will be about two feet higher than the one at O’Neil because the dryer units will fit underneath the main system.

Comparing the T400 to other members of the Inkjet Web Press family helps to position the capabilities of the product as well as the expansion of the product line.

Selected Specifications of the T200, T300, T350, and T400 Inkjet Web Press Systems

Characteristics T200  T300  T350 T400
Web speed
(feet per minute)
200 fpm color
400 fpm black
400 fpm 600 fpm 600 fpm
Throughput
(black)
1,745 letter images per minute 2,618 letter images per minute 3,927 letter images per minute 5,236 letter images per minute
Throughput
(color)
872 letter images per minute 2,618 letter images per minute 3,927 letter images per minute 5,236 letter images per minute
Print width 20.5”
(520.7 mm)
29.1”
(740 mm)
29.1”
(740 mm)
41.75”
(1,060.4 mm)
Web width 22”
(558.8)
30”
(762 mm)
30”
(762 mm)
42”
(1,066.8 mm)
Substrate range 40 to 215 gsm 40 to 200 gsmUp to 350 gsm (opt.) 40 to 200 gsmUp to 350 gsm (opt.) 40 to 200 gsmUp to 350 gsm (opt.)
Duty cycle
(black)
Up to 50 million letter pages per month Up to 75 million letter per month Up to 105 million letter pages per month Up to 140 million letter pages per month
Duty cycle
(four color)
Up to 25 million letter pages per month Up to 75 million letter pages per month Up to 105 million letter pages per month Up to 140 million letter pages per month

Note: MICR support is now available across the entire product family.

It’s been about two years since HP invited a group of analysts to visit O’Neil Data Systems. That was a year after drupa 2008 and the occasion then was to see the first Inkjet Web Press in action (this was before it even had gotten the name “T300”). We are back at O’Neill again and they now have not just one Inkjet Web Press, but the entire product family (a T200, a T300, T350, and a T400).

HP T350 Inkjet Web Press at O’Neil Data Systems

Note: This unit was upgraded from the original T300

Less than three years since HP’s technology demonstration of a web-fed production color inkjet device with a 36-inch web, HP now has Inkjet Web Press family members at 22-, 30-, and 42 inches capable of color speeds ranging from 200 to 600 feet per minute. The expanded product family underscores HP’s contention (going all the way back to drupa 2008) that its scalable printing technology (SPT) inkjet head technology was innately scalable in terms of speeds and web widths.

HP T200 Inkjet Web Press at O'Neil Data Systems

Note: This is the same T200 that was shown at IPEX in May 2010

With the T400 HP is also applying scalability to drying. The new dryers for the T400 combine hot air and infrared methods and can be installed in configurations of one to three units. In addition to these scalable features, a lot of progress has been made with substrates, workflow, and feeding/finishing solutions partners. More than a dozen HP partners are represented at this event. The progress around substrates includes uncoated HP ColorPRO stocks as well as coated stocks using HP technology. All of this builds on the ability of the bonding agent in the Inkjet Web Press products to improve print performance on standard uncoated papers. Another notable development for the T400 is the automated fashion in which paper rolls are loaded. HP has developed an optional “zero-speed splicer” that facilitates very quick roll changeovers. This feature makes it possible for the time required for a roll change to drop from an average of 10 minutes for a manual roll change to a predictable 3 minutes with the zero-speed splicer. For more information on the zero-speed splicer and other new capabilities of the T400, I recommend you have a look at the InfoTrends white paper on the T400.

Later this week after the conclusion of the HP event at O’Neil I will be following up with additional commentary on this announcement.

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