As most of you probably know, page-wide printing has been around for 30 years but some of you are probably questioning what this form of printing is if you are used traditional HP printer products.
Well in short, page wide printing is where the print head is as wide as the paper, this means only the paper is moving allowing for a much faster process because you don't have to keep waiting for the print head to travel back and forth; and from a technical perspective in theory this should increase reliability as there are less moving parts.
Last year HP jumped on the bandwagon and introduced the Officejet Pro X model which was their first page-wide inkjet print head. With this release they taught us that the printer can output 70 pages per minute by eliminating the delay of print head movement, which clearly raised the bar in printing performance terms.
Moreover, it was announced recently that HP has engineered a new Large Format Page-Wide Inkjet Printer for the CAD industry which will help them maintain their dominant position on the CAD market place going forward.
However, this then raises an obvious question – what exactly has HP done to make this printer different from the existing Large Format printing technology that is available on the market today?
The question was quickly answered by the techies at HP.
They have figured out how to modularize the page-wide print head which means that you can place two, three or even ten print heads in a row if you wanted and these would each be approximately 5 inches wide. This is in some ways similar to the technology that helped to reduce the costs of Large Format Scanners some time ago.
You could even continue with this and have individual modules that are 20 to 40 inches wide and then have two or three rows of print heads which could allow for special coatings or colours etc. which would be of particular interest to high end media printing businesses involved in specialist short printing runs.
Furthermore, HP have said the new Inkjet printer will print as fast in colour as it does in monochrome which is a difficult thing to do, but because of this they won't be releasing a monochrome version of the printer.
This may simply be HP spin because from a manufacturing perspective this also means that HP will not have to foot the additional development, marketing and subsequent maintenance bill of having similar products sitting side by side (and competing for sales) in the marketplace at the same time.
Let's hope that HP reflects some of these savings in the market price once products are released.
Still aren't sure?
Well you have time to make up your mind on this, as those of you who want it now will have to wait for it to be shipped in 12-18 months. For a lot of us this is a massive disappointment but it will certainly heighten our expectations of what this printer will give and offer us, and also give HP the time to iron out any unexpected hiccups during the development cycle.
Nevertheless, with this delay it allows you as customers time to decide whether you want to wait for the advanced page-wide technology to be available or renew your current equipment and keep using existing LED technology for another 3-5 years.
That said, an interesting reality for Large Format printers though is if you are using a product for more than 3+ years in a highly productive environment keeping it beyond a certain time-frame can be a false economy.
This comes down to the fact that a newer products that have been released in since purchase of your existing plotter tend to be faster, more energy efficient and use less ink. So looking at all angles with a holistic overview, hanging on to old faithful may actually be costing you money.
Older Large Format Printers will also lose driver support eventually so may no longer be compatible with new CAD workstations on later operating systems as some business have found out when doing a hardware refresh.
If you want to a look at the HP printers and other products that are available now take a look at our e-store or alternatively call us on 023 8086 8947 to discuss our competitive pricing on these products.