September 30, 2014

First Look: HP PageWide Printing for Wide Format Printers

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This week in a special first look in San Diego, HP demonstrated innovative new technology that makes the printing of large drawings, maps and posters faster and cheaper on a per page basis. It applies HP’s PageWide technology,  introduced in 2006, to wide format printers used by printing companies and in other production settings. (Another innovation in its day, HP’s InkJet printer turned 30 last year.)

Small Business Trends was there to give the small business community a first look into how this new technology works.

When it comes to wide printing, such as the printing of posters or blueprints, there have not been that many options. Up until now there have been two major choices when it comes to wide format printing: Inkjet and monochrome LED.

Inkjet allows images to be printed in full color but can be very slow and costly. Projects can take up to 1 to 2 minutes to complete. The other option, monochrome LED, allows a user to print jobs faster but only prints in black and white.

PageWide printing changes all of that by allowing printing that is twice as fast as LED while using color.

pagewide printing

How Does PageWide Printing Work?

PageWide printing uses ink similar to the inkjets that are sold today. But instead of using a single moving printhead, PageWide printing uses a long row of continuous printheads resulting in no longer needing to move a printhead to deliver ink. This allows a faster and more precise delivery of ink over the method used now.

The printer that HP demonstrated this with contained over 200,000 ink nozzles giving the printer the ability to apply around 3.7 billion drops of ink per second. That is 18.5 times more ink than the HP T7200, which uses the moving printhead.

A New Type of Ink for a New Type of Printer

Along with the PageWide printing, HP has also announced a new type of ink to be sold with PageWide printers called Pigment Inks. Pigment inks, as the name suggests, use color pigments rather than dyes. This provides a higher color and black saturation lowering the amount of ink needed and ultimately lowering the cost of printing per page.

These pigment inks were specially designed for PageWide to promote a longer life for the printhead and are also water, smudge, highlighter and light fading resistant.

Here’s a look at the technology in action:

When Will PageWide for Wide Format be Available?

HP has said that PageWide for wide format printers will be available in the second half of 2015 and will be available in four different models. Prices for the four models will be announced halfway through 2015.

So what does this mean for small businesses? Well, if you’re in the printing industry, it might mean lower costs, higher quality and quicker turnaround times for printing larger documents. If you’re not in the printing industry you may get those benefits passed through.

Also, remember that this PageWide technology has already been applied to desktop multi-function printers.

Image Credit: Small Business Trends

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Leland McFarland


Leland McFarland Leland McFarland is the Chief Technology Officer at Small Business Trends. He is responsible for all technical aspects of the Small Business Trends network of websites. Leland is responsible for programming, design and maintenance of the sites, as well as server administration. He has performed work for Small Business Trends since 2010.

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