New 197-inch printer.
The first printer to use HP’s much-awaited HP Scitex X2 printhead with MEMS technology-the HP Scitex XL2200-was introduced at SGIA. Designed for 24/7 productivity, the new UV-curable printer features a native resolution of 400 dpi and is capable of printing up to 4300 sq ft/hr.
The 197-in. XL2200 employs a horizontal printhead carriage armed with 128 drop-on-demand X2 printheads. The X2 heads, first unveiled at the company’s Barcelona event in late 2006, include silicon-based Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, enabling high-tolerance manufacturing for uniformity and performance, as well as micron-scale mechanical and electrical components built on a silicon chip. The printer achieves high productivity through a combination of high-firing frequency, 16,384 nozzles, and optimized 50-pl ink-drop size, the company reports.
Primary applications for the HP Scitex XL2200 printer include billboards, building wraps and outdoor signage-all applications that require raw speed and moderate resolutions. With its 400-dpi native resolution, the top speed of the XL2200 reaches up to 4300 sq ft/hr in two-pass mode for billboards and building wraps, 2906 sq ft/hr in three-pass mode for a balance of speed and quality, and 2153 sq ft/hr in four-pass mode for high-quality outdoor signage. Additionally, it’s capable of bi-directional printing and simultaneously imaging onto up to three rolls to further boost production speeds.
The HP Scitex UV221 four-color Supreme inks offer vibrant colors on most billboard media and an outdoor durability of up to two yr. The ink’s enhanced adhesion combined with the printer’s UV-lamp technology enables output on most rolled billboard media: PVC banner, mesh, woven polyethylene, blue back paper, and vinyl. Further, the ink tanks can be refilled without interrupting the printing process.
When printing in two-pass mode, the printer’s multi-layer screening is designed to improve skin tones and overall image quality. First implemented in the HP Scitex XL1500, this process takes place in the machine’s front-end software. Instead of printing the exact same dots in both passes, the XL220 prints two different screens or patterns, with the result being a more random pattern of dots for a smoother printed area.
The XL2200 also features a temperature-stabilizing system, which keeps the temperature of the inks, the media, and the system within an optimal range to maintain color consistency and prevent media wrinkling. The media-handling system minimizes start-of-roll wastage and offers front-of-machine media loading and unloading for ease of operation and a small machine footprint.
The printer’s I-RIP for HP Scitex is based on Onyx RIP version 7 and offers enhanced color-management features to control saturation, gray levels, and color replacement.
The HP Scitex XL2200 is expected to begin shipping in March 2008.
HP also announced a double-sided printing enhancement for the HP Scitex TJ8300/TJ8500 printers. The upgrade makes it easy to switch between the TJ’s traditional roll-to-sheet workflow to sheet-to-sheet printing to produce accurate, high-quality two-sided prints through a semi-automatic printing process.
The upgrade includes a sheet-to-sheet media feeder (which replaces the roll loader). A single operator can feed and advance the sheeted media into the machine. Once the sensor-based system detects the sheet, it takes over, advancing the media onto the drum for imaging.
The new capability enables users to target applications, including indoor and outdoor displays, exhibition booth decorations, banners, and more. The upgrade is available to existing and new HP Scitex devices, and includes a combination of hardware, software, installation, and training.