HP targets offset work with Brilliant Inks

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HP is launching a new Brilliant Ink inkset with the new PageWide T250 continuous feed printer, that it says will enable it to compete directly for offset work.

Challenging offset: HP T250 HD with Brilliant Inks
Challenging offset: HP T250 HD with Brilliant Ink

The developer outlined the benefits of the new T250 HD with Brilliant Ink during a regional webinar from its Singapore base yesterday.

The T250 is the new upgraded version of the PageWide T240, running at 150 metres a minute and capable of producing 62 million letter-sized pages a month. The new PageWide T250 HD has expanded media options for commercial, publishing, transaction, and direct mail applications.

Launching alongside the T250 are the new HP Brilliant Inks, which mark a significant change. The new formulation is able to print directly to both coated and uncoated media without needing an extra step. The inks are specifically designed for commercial markets.

HP has replaced the primer station that was needed to run multiple stocks on the T240 with a new HP Optimizer that runs in-line with the rest of the printheads.

The new press also has an online coater capable of UV and aqueous coating, with, according to HP, a changeover between the two of less than ten minutes.

According to HP the new Brilliant Ink delivers quality print and eye-catching colour with a glossy output. A new CMYK ink set offers an extended gamut that is specifically designed to print with high quality on coated and uncoated offset media with one press.

HP says the expanded application range with the digitally printed HP Optimizer provides smooth colour gradients and fills by compensating for batch-to-batch mill variation on coated media. For offset uncoated media, it delivers high optical density with reduced show-through.

It is able to maintain quality and productivity via a built-in colour vision system and colour spectrophotometer. HP’s Quality Image Check vision system monitors print quality in real-time and provides performance insights while running the press at 152mpm.

The Optimizer is automated, and says HP, lays down the exact amount of coating needed, exactly where it is needed on a page to ensure ink adhesion every time, no matter what the surface of the paper actually looks like. HP bills it as a universal laydown to build the perfect surface for the inks every time, virtually eliminating the need to have specially treated papers, or limited options.

The inks also have upgraded colour, according to HP coming with a 30-50 per cent higher gamut than most industry standards, as well as offering a glossier look and feel, especially when printed on a glossy stock. According to HP, the HP Brilliant inks produce “deep reds and dazzling blues,” and are “designed to meet or exceed the sheet gloss of the paper."

The press uses the latest HDNA thermal inkjet printhead which the company says is more finely tuned than previous iterations, promising smoother colour transitions, with good shadows and highlights. The press will come with the Color Vision system as well, which has been upgraded to include colour cameras and a new lighting system, so “what you see is what you get,” allowing operators to see in real time what the press is doing at full speed, and manage any faults or errors on-the-fly, without needing to stop the press.

Launching alongside the HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD is the ExcelCoat ZRW Web Coater from partner Harris & Bruno. This is said to be where the T250 goes from a great production inkjet device to a full-scale commercial printing powerhouse.

The coater simultaneously runs both aqueous and UV coatings, with changeout between the two done is as little as 10 minutes. It has also been simplified and automated, making it easy for a single operator to handle the entire operation from white paper to coated stock. The gloss level can be adjusted to capture the exact look that the piece requires, from a soft touch to a high gloss, and it is robust enough to withstand the abuses of the traditional mail stream, reportedly making it perfect for capturing direct mail operations.

Everything from the cylinders to the dryers are modular, for quick change out, with tools or equipment. It can also feed directly into existing finishing lines, with the combination of press and coater working with all of the major finishing equipment, including winders, cutters, and creasers.

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