HP’s Strategic Move to Compete for Roll-Fed Inkjet Market Leadership
Will addition of the PageWide Advantage 2200 help push past the competition?
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HP just announced its new PageWide Advantage 2200 22" roll-fed inkjet press, which allows the company to cover more ground to gain more market share in the roll-fed inkjet space. The HP PageWide division utilized the best of its T-200 and 400 series’ history and experience to offer a new platform with improvements that link to the natural evolution of inkjet.
The PageWide Advantage 2200 fills a gap for HP between the T-200 and 400 series to provide better solutions to a larger variety of prospects that have different monthly print volumes and, therefore, require the right productivity and cost. This means that HP has made a strategic move to increase their chances to better serve a larger number of print service providers (PSPs).
Even though the press has the same speed as the T250 (500 fpm) in the performance mode, the company says that productivity increases 33% to 333 fpm in the quality mode. This increase in productivity will not only shorten print buyers’ delivery times for quality commercial jobs (a strong part of buyers’ criteria), but it also could reduce the cost per job due to the increase in productivity, which is also a very relevant part of such buyers’ criteria. This is good news for the overall digital printing market as productivity and cost also contribute to additional shifts from offset to digital.
The improvements on this new press, which link to market demand, go hand in hand with the natural evolution of inkjet (i.e., quality, versatility, productivity, and sustainability while trying to reduce costs or even better increase ROIs):
- Even though quality is expected to be the same as the T-250 with the same resolution and brilliant inks, the new PageWide Advantage 2200 can print on a larger variety of substrates—including 300 gsm offset coated glossy, satin, silk, and matte. This improves the overall quality of the finished printed product.
- Color productivity in” the quality mode” has increased 33%, which has significant advantages for PSPs. The monochrome speed has also increased 60% from the T-250 to 800 fpm, which helps black and white applications such as books. Last but not least, it is expected that uptimes will be improved by the new press due to less moving parts and simplicity from previous generations; even at the beta sites, it was mentioned that the time to full production has been shorter than expected.
- Even though the capital investment is expected to be greater than the T-250, due to the better productivity, it should bring the cost of print down for the PSPs that have the right print volumes. The new drying and cooling system of the Advantage 2200 is expected to consume less energy which will not only reduce the cost of high electricity bills but will also help with challenges related to potential energy shortages in Europe while (in general) being more environmentally friendly.
- HP PageWide is known for their upgradability initiatives, which are also present on this new press, protecting PSPs’ investments by allowing dryer modules to be added based on PSPs’ application requirements and changes during the life of the press.
- Real estate could also be another cost factor for some. The new press looked compact (246" x 568" x 90"), but it is wider than other 22" presses as its duplex paper path run parallel to the simplex. It is also shorter depending on the configuration. Still, the new design might benefit some.
- Sustainability has also become a relevant part of many PSPs’ buying criteria. Thus, besides the upgradability options and the expectation of lower energy consumptions, HP is also working on de-inking to enable more paper to be recycled.
|Example of simplex and duplex paper paths (left), and dryer configurations (right)|
HP announced two beta sites (O’Neal and SG360); both customers praised the new press in some of the points mentioned above, but they also appreciated the user-friendly nature of the press. This is another very relevant requirement in the market today due to labor disruptions and shortages also increasing the overall opportunity for additional shifts from offset that require a larger number of skilled operators.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
The introduction of the HP PageWide Advantage 2200 increases the number of roll-fed inkjet offerings in the market and closes a gap for HP, allowing PSPs to choose the press that better fits their requirements of quality (which includes versatility), productivity, sustainability, and ROI. This launch will make HP more competitive as they face tough competition while wondering how other OEMs will react to this.
HP is expected to start order taking for this new press in the first half of 2023.
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