HP unveils Latex R-Series printers at Media Expo

First R-Series installed at Bengaluru

Spectrum stand at In-Store Asia 2019
Spectrum stand at In-Store Asia 2019

At Media Expo Mumbai, HP Inc. launched the Latex R Series – the first hybrid latex technology that merges HP’s flexible printing capabilities into rigid printing. The Latex R Series also pioneers white ink capabilities with the introduction of HP Latex White Ink. With the Latex R series, HP brings high speed and quality to a wide range of rigid materials, such as foamboards, foam PVC, cardboard, fluted polypropylene, solid plastics, aluminum, wood and glass among others. Unlike UV printing technology, which creates a thick layer of ink that completely covers the material, HP’s water-based Latex inks preserve the look and feel while delivering odorless prints that are both safe for the environment and the customer. The water-based ink introduced also opens up a new line of creative ideas and design, giving the opportunity of mixing vibrant colors without damaging the look and feel of the material.

HP believes that the Latex R series will help commercial printers in delivering a glossier and smoother image apart from reducing the turnout time. The variety of creative options tagged with these innovations will also help the customers in delivering over-the-edge results to the consumers. “With the new HP Latex Rigid Technology, our customers can expand their offering into new, highvalue applications while also opening fresh creative ideas and concepts for sign and display that provide their users greater value. Also, 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 has been the necessary solution. Through HP’s investment in innovation around chemistry and engineering, the white ink solution with the HP Latex R series is an industry breakthrough,” said Vitesh Sharma, country manager, Large Format Production Business, HP Inc.

Key innovations on display

The new Latex R series ink opens a new line of creative ideas and design for the consumers. The ink has the highest gamut and gives the opportunity of mixing vibrant colors without damaging the look and feel of the material.

The R Series Print Head Innovation feature introduced by HP helps in ensuring a color consistency in prints with a step-to-step guide process. It also ensures color repeatability along with printhead life and printhead (CLC). The Latex R Series with its new White Latex R Series Ink has the widened capacity of giving truly glossy prints which stay white for a longer period. The product will address the problem of white prints which go yellowish over time. The technology has the capability to bring creativity into businesses such as retail, outdoor signage, window graphics, events and exhibitions, decoration and car wrapping. The flexible and durable ink gives odorless ecofriendly prints, which is the most preferred option by most consumers. Addressing one of the biggest roadblocks in the printing industry, Latex R Series retains the smoothness of the prints, keeping the signage closer to its original weight by ensuring the recirculation of the white to avoid settling. Now available in India, the HP Latex R Series is specially designed to give customers a rich experience along with increased revenues.

HP shows R Series applications at In Store-Asia

After debuting the R-Series at Media Expo Mumbai, HP showed various applications that can be performed on the recently launched HP Latex R-Series at In Store-Asia 2019, which was also held in Mumbai.

All the samples on display at the HP India stand were printed on the R-Series printers at HP’s Singapore demonstration center.

“This is the first time white ink has been introduced in Latex technology and this opens up new avenues for customers,” says Anil Tayshete of HP India at In Store-Asia. The innovations introduced by HP in the Latex R Series will help in delivering a glossier and smoother image apart from reducing the turnout time, he adds. The R-Series has two variants – R1000 and R2000. While R1000 is designed to accommodate materials up to 1.64 meters/64 inches wide and up to 5 cm/2 inches thick, the R2000 prints up to 2.5-meters/98 inches wide and up to 5 cm/2 inches thick.

The first R-Series, the R2000, in India has been bought by Bengaluru-based signage printer SSR Enterprise, says Tayshete. “The machine is under installation at Bengaluru and is expected to be commissioned in another couple of weeks,” he shares. According to him, HP India is in talks with a few more customers and more installations are expected to happen in the coming months.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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