Insight installs more than 90 HP latex printers since 2020
The distributor of HP in India Insight Print Communications has installed more than 90 HP Latex printers since the lockdown last year. Despite the ongoing pandemic that did not bode well for the sign and graphics industry, Insight saw a growing demand for HP latex printers.
Citing the reasons for this, Ashish Save, director of West, Insight Print Communications, says that sustainable printing, user-friendly workflow and the ability to diversify in new business segments are among the main reasons for increased interest in latex technology.
He says that more than 50 percent of the installations of latex printers were done for indoor printing applications where the water-based latex inks make for a safe print. The company has installed latex machines at leading brands in the interior décor segment including Marshal Wallpaper and Spin Décor.
‘There is an emerging need for eco-friendly products in the market and HP’s Latex machines score with their water-based inks and environmental certifications like Greenguard Gold and Ecologo.’
Latex technology has enabled print service providers to diversify into new print segments that were doing well despite the pandemic. ‘Our Hyderabad-based customer is doing well with polycarbonate label printing while another customer purchased the machine for short-run digital label proofing application,’ Save adds.
He points out that rest of the installations were done for printing on canvas, transit and window films.
‘HP Latex machines are versatile and produce high image quality on any printable substrate. They allow our customers to diversify their offerings and meet the challenging needs of their customers. Interior decor segment has seen a new level of awareness and customization, and our machines give PSPs the confidence to explore this profitable business.’
HP has added new products to its latex portfolio – HP Latex 700W/HP Latex 800W. These machines add a new latex white ink to print on glass film, colored and metallic media, over-flood, under-flood and three layer constructions.
The new printers come with an enhanced curing system and HP’s 4th generation latex ink. Media such as polycarbonate labels, glass films and coated and uncoated paper can now be cured at a lower temperature. The new latex inks offer high pigment composition and more vivid colors, says HP.
HP’s R2000/R1000 models, launched in 2020, offer HP Latex ink quality on rigid media while complying with strict environment regulations.
Customers self-maintain their latex machine
Save says that HP Latex machines are so stable that Insight has not received any complaints during the lockdown.
‘We have instructed our customers to follow certain simple steps to maintain the machine. In other technologies like eco-solvent and UV, there is a need for manual maintenance and head cleaning. HP latex printers offer inbuilt auto maintenance.’
He explains that this technology is user-friendly and requires less service intervention. Customers were kept informed with ‘How to Maintain’ messages and as a result were able to take off the printheads from the machine during the time it stayed idle and store them. As soon as lockdown ended, they could replace the printheads again and switch on the machine and be ready to go.
‘Other technologies would have required extensive service support and the printhead could have been damaged, which is an expensive part and heart of (a print) machine,’ Save points out.
Safe and sustainable printing
Save explains that the carrier in latex inks is water. They are odor-less, non-toxic, non-flammable and non-combustible.
‘They produce zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and require no special ventilation or handling. HP Latex inks are designed to be compliant with the most demanding environmental, health and safety regulations. Latex prints are safe to use in sensitive environments like schools, hospitals, homes and offices. This is the only large format printer that has EcoLogo certification.
‘HP’s newest latex technology carries a broad set of credentials addressing the full spectrum of environmental concerns; from ink chemistry and indoor air quality—for both print production and display—to lifecycle considerations.’ He adds that latex inks have a long shelf life.
Unlike UV inks, the same set of latex inks can be used for all applications including thermoforming and vehicle wrap because of their high degree of flexibility.
‘Another important trait of HP latex inks is that it merges with the substrate and helps to preserve the look and feel of media, meaning HP Latex is an ideal platform to print on reflective media widely used for road signage. Other print technologies may create a layer on the reflective media causing it to lose its reflective property which is dangerous in case of road signs,’ Save concludes.