HP has announced the launch of its third generation of latex printers, the Latex 300 series, alongside two new additions to its Designjet Z-series portfolio. The Latex 300 series comprises three new printers, the 1.4m Latex 310 and the 1.6m Latex 330 and Latex 360, that will target low-volume users with an average monthly print volume of 500sqm in a bid to convert more of the eco-solvent market to latex.
They join the top-of-the-range 3.2m Latex 3000, the mid-volume 3.2m Latex 820 and Latex 850, and the previous entry-level machine, the 2.6m-wide Latex 280.Maximum output speed for the 310 and 330 is 48sqm/hr and 50sqm/hr respectively in two-pass billboard mode, while the 360 can print at up to 91sqm/hr in single-pass mode. All three use HP’s new 831 Latex ink, which is 10% cheaper than previous HP Latex inks. HP has also addressed one of the major concerns with its earlier Latex printers by redesigning the curing system to dramatically reduce the temperature at which the inks are cured (from 110C to 80C), slashing the printers’ power consumption while enabling a wider choice of media.
HP’s Latex Optimizer is a transparent seventh ink that is laid down before the other six colors (CMYK, lc, lm) to enable both the lower energy curing and more consistent print quality. It consists of positively-charged polymers suspended in a colorless, water-based ink vehicle, which react with the negatively-charged ink pigments to rapidly immobilise them on the print surface.
This is said to produce sharp text and image detail by suppressing feathering and color bleed, especially at high productivity levels. HP is claiming scratch resistance “equivalent to hard-solvent inks on SAV and PVC banner” material.