Our new 3.2m wide latex!
It has been a while since I’ve written a blog, but we have some big news that I thought was worth sharing:
We’ve installed our new HP Latex 3600!
A bit of history: since we bought our HP Latex 360 four years ago through Papergraphics we’ve been very pro-latex. Luckily, we weren’t involved in the first generation of latex printers which had media / curing issues, and a lot of very unhappy printers / end users. By the time we bought our 360, HP had just started to hit their stride. The ink adhesion was much better, the curing temperature was much more sensible, and there were a lot more compatible medias. There was still a long way to go, but it was a big jump forward.
There’s a lot of printing companies out there that aren’t keen on latex printing because you still get issues with stretching / shrinking due to the curing temperatures / take up units, and there are a more limited range of medias available compared to UV. It’s a fair point but as we company we run UV, solvent, latex and aqueous (as well as dye sub which is a different kettle of fish all together), and we have always leaned towards latex because of the ease of operation (particularly with profiling), the quality and the running costs. Like with everything life there are compromises and there’s no perfect process but for us latex was the way forward.
So, we took the leap a couple of years ago to upgrade to the Latex 570 which took all of the good bits of a 360, and improved a lot of the issues on it. HP dropped the curing temperatures, reduced the loading wastage and improved the roll tension. A win: win. We were so impressed with the improvements that we added another 3 of the 570s to our plant list.
But I’ve always had my eye on the bigger latex printers.
So when the opportunity came up for a HP Latex 3600, I couldn’t turn it down!
The advantages of this machine over a HP 570 are unbelievable. Faster print speeds, a more industrial carriage and the heavy duty roll feed make a more stable printer, with the benefit of going up to 3.2m wide. Compared with our other wider printers – HP FB700 and HP XP5300 – the quality is amazing, at much faster speeds.
Print speeds don’t mean much to an end user. Their main priority is that the print matches their spec and the job turns up on time – and rightly so! But as a manufacturer, faster print speeds means:
- We can gang jobs up more effectively because we’re under less pressure with long printing times
- Machines don’t need to run all day, so operators can help with other areas of production (finishing, packing etc)
- Capacity dramatically increases, opening up opportunities for new materials / products
The heavy duty roll feed is also something we are particularly happy about. This industry roll feed solves a lot of the tension issues you get with the smaller latexs, so that was music to our ears! It also leads us onto a product we are now very pleased to offer:
This is a great product for installations because you can have a seamless graphic up to 3m high! It’s much quicker than having to perfectly line up multiple panels, and has a serious visual impact when installed. We’ve also dropped the price to make it a much more economical alternative to working with self adhesive vinyl.
I’ll post an article about our wallpaper with more information, but in the meanwhile you can order printed wallpaper online.
That’s all for now, but expect more to follow soon!
UPDATE: Here’s the blog post about our 3m wide wallpaper.