There have been a few exciting changes happening over the last couple of months. In our drive to provide better quality and more sustainable printing, we’ve added two brand new shiney printers, HP Latex 360’s to be precise. They're pretty cool… HP latex technology provides all the durability qualities of solvent inks (the mainstay ink for tough durable prints), but without all the environmental nasties the solvent inks provide as a trade off for toughness. Better still, the latex system is odourless and far more reliable than the solvent systems we have owned in the past. The printers are more consistent with quality output and less prone to nozzle blockage issues we suffered in the past with our solvent printers.
We continue to follow our path of innovation with the installation our our newest printer. This HP Latex 3000 is the third generation of HP's industrial line of latex printers and has just been released worldwide. It has exceptional speeds and the odourless latex prints are ready to go straight off the printer making them perfect for sensitive environments like office and retail spaces. It's exciting to have a machine of this calibre right here in Christchurch.
We'd like to introduce a recent addition to our line-up. HP in recent years have been pushing more environmentally conscious large format digital printing solutions. One of their biggest drives has been latex ink printers. Surprise surprise, the picture above happens to be one. The environment is not exactly being kind to us at the moment here in Christchurch, but we are still looking to improve our stance towards it. The HP Scitex LX850 uses waterbased latex ink, yet the finished prints are comparable to mild and eco solvent as far as scratch reststance and durability goes. It's our second latex machine. Without boring you to death with details, we get high resolution prints (truly stunning), with brilliant colour, durable for indoor and outdoor use including vehicles and then add to that the fact it does a great job on fabrics which is enhanced by it's ability to image on material up to to 3.2 metres wide (that's billboard size!!!).
In previous articles, I covered how we control colour with software and hardware using design programs and the printers. There is another important piece of hardware too. It's a colour matching booth. Not a weird device that you climb inside and lock the door, but rather a station that has special fluorescent tubes that illuminate vertically mounted prints and proofs from above. The big problem to overcome with manual hardcopy matching of colour is the lighting conditions. There are so many different conditions, fluoresecent warm to cool tubes, halogen, daylight sunny and cloudy, incadescent blubs and now led lighting which all emit different colour. There is no easy solution but a good start is an industry standard, which just happens to be D50 or more commonly known as daylight.