HP showcases fourth generation latex printers at MediaExpo

Front-runners in sustainability applications

Vitesh Sharma, HP’s country manager for the inkjet device business with the HP Latex 2700 W printer at the company's stand at MediaExpo 2023 in Mumbai. Photo IPP

This time around at the recent MediaExpo show in Mumbai, HP showcased a new product that the company had launched worldwide just about a month back– the HP Latex 2700 W printer.

Vitesh Sharma, HP’s country manager for the inkjet device business, explained that the HP Latex 2700 W uses fourth generation latex inks. “HP has been investing in latex technology for more than a decade, and been evolving ever since. Now we have reached the fourth generation. The HP Latex 2700 W printer’s USP is that the fourth generation inks provide a much larger gamut of colors. The vibrancy of the fourth generation colors is also much higher, about 30% more than the third generation inks,” Sharma said.

HP also showcased the HP Latex 700 W printer that uses white inks. Sharma said this one also uses fourth generation inks and was launched in the India market about a year and a half back. “The applications on display are for signage such as backlits, frontlits, and vinyls, and some decor applications such as window blinds, wallpapers, and canvas.”

In addition to the Latex ink printers, HP showed a couple of aqueous ink printers by the name of designjet Z-series, which are mostly used for photo applications.

He said they want more customers to get to know about the new launch, especially the 3.2-meter Latex 2700, he said. “There has been a lot of curiosity among visitors. A lot of customers came over to see the Latex 2700, especially because we have launched a 10-feet printer at the MediaExpo platform after almost seven or eight years. It’s been a long gap and so there’s a lot of buzz around the Latex 2700. It can help us reach out to segments beyond signage as well,” he added.

The HP Latex 2700 W on display was already booked for a customer and it would be the first installation in India, he said. “We have just launched it and you will hear about more installations in the times to come.”

Sustainable solutions in signage

Sharma said, “We at HP believe the industry is going through a lot of transition – a technology shift from solvent to UV/latex when it comes to print and also a shift towards digital signage. I think the industry is evolving and gearing itself for a new way of doing business. What used to happen before the Covid-19 pandemic perhaps will not work now. Our industry will need to evolve to keep up with the changing times.”

In the signage industry, he said, there is a lot of consciousness in terms of the environmental aspect – the kind of inks and media in use. “You will see a shift towards more sustainable, green, and environment-friendly modes.”

“HP has always been a leader when it comes to sustainable products. When the world was still thinking about sustainability, HP decided to invest in latex technology more than a decade ago. Since then, we have been launching different generations of latex printers. Now we are at the fourth generation of latex printers. Our competition is slowly catching up with that,” he signed off.

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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