HP is set to launch the HP Latex R Series, which will enable its water-based Latex technology to be used for rigid printing.
The announcement of the new technology was made in March this year at the ISA Sign Expo in Orlando, Florida. The manufacturer said the new product family will mark the first, true hybrid Latex technology that merges HP’s flexible printing capabilities into rigid printing.
HP said the series will bring “unparalleled speed and quality” to a wide range of rigid materials, including foamboards, foam PVC, cardboard, fluted polypropylene, solid plastics, aluminium, wood, and glass among others.
The multi-pass technology will also bring the “most vibrant colours” into the area of rigid printing, HP said, based on internal testing it carried out in January 2018 comparing the technology to other competitive printers priced under $350,000 (£248,000).
New for this series is HP Latex White Ink, which the manufacturer said incorporates a system that recirculates the white ink to avoid settling. This is said to deliver glossy, high-quality “true white” that doesn’t yellow over time like traditional UV-based white ink does.
“White ink has been a consistent problem for the industry. Traditionally it uses bigger and heavier pigment particles that frequently clog printheads, or the opaque mixture becomes separated and settles to the bottom of the ink reservoir. Until now, physically shaking the reservoirs often has been the necessary solution,” said HP chief inkologist Thom Brown.
HP said its Latex inks deliver odourless prints that are safe for both the environment and operators. Prints are instantly dry as they come out of the printer and do not require degassing.
HP said the Latex R Series will be available during Q3 2018, with a full industry debut set to take place at Fespa in Berlin, Germany in May. Further details of the printers in the series, including technical specifications and pricing, are yet to be disclosed. It has also not yet been revealed whether the machines will take the form of roll-to-roll hybrids or dedicated flatbeds.