HP reinvents dye sublimation printing with the launch of HP Stitch

Signals HP entry into textile printing and soft signage applications

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HP has announced the new HP Stitch S series, a portfolio of digital textile printers that deliver fast, precise color-matching, alongside efficient, simplified processes. It is HP’s latest innovation designed to accelerate commercial digital print adoption.

“Décor and fashion application trends, on-demand production and personalization are boosting digital print growth,” says Santi Morera, head of Graphics Solutions Business at HP. “The digitally printed textiles market is experiencing double-digit annual growth, forecast to reach US$ 5.5 billion by 2023, according to Smithers Pira. We look forward to more digital print transformations being realized with the arrival of the new HP Stitch S series.”

The portfolio of printers couple HP Thermal Inkjet technology with industry-standard dyes for superior color durability. The first-ever built-in spectrophotometer enables Stitch’s fast and exact color-matching. The introduction includes three new printers from 64-inch to 126-inch wide: the HP Stitch S300 64-in Printer, the HP Stitch S500 64-in Printer, and the HP Stitch S1000 126-in Printer.

The HP Stitch S300 Printer holds the first user-replaceable printhead, resulting in reduced down-times and service costs. The HP Stitch S300 Printer was designed specifically for new-to-dye sublimation professionals, prototyping departments, and growing print providers.

“Our experience with HP Stitch S300 has been much easier and faster than other dye sub printers we’ve previously used. Most printers require manual action in terms of head maintenance and alignment,” says Teunis Roos of Color Concepts. “The HP Stitch S300 is more proactive and automated when it comes to performance. We’ve experienced a 50 percent reduction in time with the HP Stitch solution.”

HP Stitch S500 Printer enables predictable dye sublimation color and less media waste for production environments. With symmetrical 2xCMYK printhead configuration and Optical Media Advance Sensor, this 64-inch printer allows for saturated and reliable one pass mode for true top speed. The HP Stitch S500 Printer was designed specifically for high production sites.

Key HP Stitch S500 Printer features include streamlined production, services and cloud fleet management tools, HP SmartColor tools, cost savings due to lesser reprints and media waste, and new HP dye sublimation paper.

The HP Stitch S300 and S500 Printer series, as well as dye sublimation paper, are available now and were showcased at ISA 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 24-26. The 126-inch HP Stitch S1000 Printer will make its debut at FESPA 2019 in May.

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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