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Under the Hood

HP 700/700W & 800/800W

The new additions to the HP Latex Series come in the form of the 700/700W and 800/800W machines. Brian Sims finds out the environmental benefits as well as the performance advantages

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The HP Latex 700W and 800W come with added white ink compared to the 700 and 800

Latex leads the way with HP

We all know there is a massive drive from within the industry and client base to be more and more ecologically focused. A lot of manufacturers are driving down, or out, the use of solvent and Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs). One manufacturer, HP, has set its stall out driving this to higher levels with a water-based latex ink system, coupled with initiatives to recycle and reuse wherever possible – leading to a zero landfill claim.
  
HP has released a new group of printers using its proven Latex technology configured in both volume and white printing solutions. They are known as the HP Latex 700 & 700W and HP Latex 800 & 800W.

The 700 series both have one litre ink capacity with the 700W being equipped to print white inks. If you want to have larger ink capacity, the 800 series of printers has three litres of capacity, but again with the 800W being able to print white ink.

All four printers are the same size, same footprint and at first glance, look identical apart from the 800 series having visibly larger ink containers.

They all produce vibrant and highly coloured products for a vast number of signage, vehicle wrapping and point- of-sale applications. This can be done on a range of eco-friendly flexible substrates making it a very versatile printer.

Ink debate

There is a lot of industry discussion on the use of latex inks; are they durable enough and are they suitable for outdoor applications, and can they really be versatile enough to make them a practical alternative to traditional solvent-based printers and inks?

Well HP has put out a lot of evidence to suggest its new latex inks do tick all these boxes and the HP Latex 700 and 800 printers make the very best use of them.

The latest range can produce vivid colours for any application using latex inks


Looking firstly at the ink used, you can see the rationale for the counter claim that latex ink is actually more durable than its counterparts. The ink is water-based and in suspension is a mixture of pigment and latex. The process of applying it is not revolutionary, but once applied the ink is dried and during this part of the process the latex actually melts, and the pigments are trapped and shielded from the environment.

This latex cover stops attrition or deterioration of the vibrancy of the applied ink. This, HP claims, means the outdoor durability of the latex ink is superior to the eco-solvent counterpart. HP states the latex-based ink will provide outdoor durability of up to five years when laminated and three years without.

Eco-friendly

The inks come with Ecologo, Greenguard and Road to Zero certification ensuring they meet the highest of environmentally friendly standards. The 700W/800W printers come in nine colours; those being cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta, HP Latex Optimizer and Overcoat, and white. The 700/800 series comes with the same sequence of ink, minus white.

The inks come with Ecologo, Greenguard and Road to Zero certification ensuring they meet the highest of environmentally friendly standards


HP claims that the use of the latex inks has benefits for operators by not having solvents present that need ventilation and special storage. The client has the benefit of having odourless products that do not attract unnecessary attention or comment but mainly the environmental impact is considerably lower than that of solvent-based products.

The second claim is that latex ink is less versatile; again the counter claim is worth consideration. HP says that you can print on any substrate the competition does, and it provides over 2,000 materials and substrates to be sure you can print on – the list is comprehensive so you can be sure you will be able to find one to suit your needs.

The machine design is the same across the four printers. The machines hold the same maximum size of substrate which is a roll size up to 1625mm and a diameter of up to a large 250mm and weight of 55kg. Substrates used on the four printers are large and impressive: self-adhesive vinyl, films, fabrics, papers, wall coverings, canvas, synthetics, mesh and textiles, up to a thickness of 0.5mm.

Both the 700W and 800W come with a patented white ink recirculation and purging system. It is commonly known the major issue of printing white ink is the separation of the constituent parts of the ink. The system used on the HP Latex 700W/800W reduces the need for manual interventions and obviously significantly improves productivity.
So, what of the talk of the other eco-qualities such as the reduction of waste?

The inner part of the ink can be returned to the HP Planet Partners scheme to be recycled, while the outer carton can be recycled locally


HP claims waste ink can be minimised with the use of the integrated cartridge recycling system on the printer. Also, the HP Eco-Carton outer carton is 100% recyclable through local recycling outlets and inner materials (including the ink bag) are 55% recyclable and can be returned free of charge to the HP Planet Partners program for reprocessing of plastic parts. The aim for this is to ensure nothing goes to landfill, if the printed substrates themselves, due to the materials they are made from and the inks used, are 100% recyclable.

Each printer comes with a very user-friendly curing unit that hinges up and away from the printer, making the preparation for printing very easy and accessible. Once it is lifted the whole printer can be accessed and substrates are easily loaded to the printer. As you would expect, the printers have a slick, well designed look to them, underpinned by proven technology.

Each printer comes with a very user-friendly curing unit that hinges up and away from the printer, making the preparation for printing very easy and accessible


There is obviously a very user-friendly smart front panel screen, and this allows the control of the work processed on the printers. It can also store up to 100 previous jobs for instant retrieval.

As with anything associated with a digital driven company such as HP, the Print OS has all the whistles and bells you would expect. The system is Cloud-based, ensuring work is safe and manageable from multiple access points and comes with the obligatory app so that production can be viewed and managed from your mobile.

So, for eco-friendly, very vivid colours produced on a number of substrates with latex inks, the HP Latex 700 or 800 printers can deliver on a number of levels.


Brian Sims Principal Consultant, Metis Print Consultancy, www.metis-uk.eu


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