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Successful HP Indigo 7500 digital press beta testing concludes

Press release from the issuing company

Palo Alto, Calif. – HP has completed beta testing for its new HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press, which offers increased automation and exceptional productivity for higher print volumes with offset quality print.

Launched at Ipex, the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press is built on the proven success of the HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press and is HP's most technologically advanced, high-volume, sheet-fed digital printing solution. The new press was successfully beta tested at eight sites across Europe and the Americas, including Precision Printing and ProCo in the United Kingdom and Grandville Printing Company in the United States. During the three month long testing period, beta customers collectively produced more than 15 million impressions on the HP Indigo 7500 beta units.

"Our new HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press responds to market trends for higher productivity and longer run lengths," said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. "It offers low cost of ownership combined with an unprecedented range of business opportunities for print service providers. The ground-breaking print technologies embedded into the new press ensure that it provides superior print quality, maximum productivity and increased versatility."

Intelligent automation for increased productivity
The HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press features enhanced automation for maximum flexibility and to make it the ultimate sheet-fed, digital printing powerhouse.

With its ability to print at high speeds – up to 120 letter-size pages per minute (ppm) in four colors or 240 ppm in monochrome or two colors – the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press is ideal for fast-paced production environments.

The HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press is equipped with the patent pending integrated Vision System, delivering increased uptime, through automatic hands free press calibrations and highly accurate diagnostics, to eliminate time consuming and costly errors.

The optional embedded Universal Finishing Interface (UFI) enables the end-to-end automation of the entire production processes. The UFI makes it easy to integrate digital inline or near-line partner finishing systems, reducing production costs, shortening turnaround times and eliminating human errors.

This combination of high-speed and exceptional productivity enables the press to push the crossover point with conventional printing to thousands of pages.

Easy-to-integrate workflows
The HP Indigo 7500 connects with one of two high-performance, scalable HP SmartStream digital front ends (DFEs).

- HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server is a robust, scalable, versatile and high-performance print server, capable of managing large print volumes. This DFE increases productivity with automated job routing and processing, as well as detailed job and production floor tracking.
- HP SmartStream Production Plus Print Server, Powered by Creo, is designed for general commercial printers and provides added value through a full graphic arts feature set for out-of-the-box job control and editing in single and multiple-press environments.

Optimum print quality
Using HP ElectroInk and a digital printing process that emulates conventional printing, the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press is able to deliver unmatched print quality. With its advanced automation of ink charging, the new HP Indigo press breaks new ground in color consistency and uniformity.

HP Indigo offers four-, six- and seven-color printing, plus print service providers (PSPs) can use special spot colors that are either ordered or mixed on-site with the HP IndiChrome Ink Mixing System. This ensures that PSPs can meet their customers' most exacting branding requirements, accurately matching up to 97 percent of PANTONE Colors. Users can produce professional photo prints using HP Indigo's six-color photo imaging process featuring Light Cyan and Light Magenta inks, ensuring accurate replication of shadow detail as well as smoothed and enhanced skin tones.

Maximum versatility for a wide range of applications
A wide selection of applications is possible on the new, highly flexible HP Indigo press, including marketing collateral, photo-specialty printing, direct mail, transpromotional statements, books and magazines.

The HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press supports a wide range of substrates, more than 1,000 of which meet environmental standards. The press can run coated, uncoated, synthetic, transparent, colored or adhesive media, in thicknesses from 70 to 400 microns. The optional thick substrate kit extends this range up to 460 microns/18 points to enable printing on paperboard for point-of-purchase applications and folding cartons.

Using the new HP ElectroInk White facilitates full-color printing on transparent, metallic and colored media for high-value applications.

Early reactions from the beta test sites

Grandville Printing Company
Grandville Printing Company was founded in 1956 as a newspaper printer. Today, the Grandville, Mich.-based company offers end-to-end print communications solutions, from design and database management through distribution and fulfilment.

In addition to running a beta test HP Indigo 7500 unit, the company has a range of HP Indigo equipment including two HP Indigo press 3050s and two HP Indigo press 5000s.

"In our opinion, the quality of print and the high speeds offered by the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press are exceptional," said Chris Nunez, director of digital printing, Grandville Printing Company. "The productivity and reliability of this new HP Indigo press has helped us to streamline our operations and enabled us to transition to the highest possible level of digital printing."

Precision Printing
Precision Printing is based in Barking, U.K., and is a successful commercial printing business with more than 40 years' experience of delivering innovative and professional print services to an impressive portfolio of businesses. In 2009, Precision won the British Printing Industries Federation and PrintWeek magazine-sponsored Excellence Award for customer service teams.

The company has been operating the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press alongside its HP Indigo 7000 Digital Press and two HP Indigo press 5000s. In addition to its digital presses, it has traditional litho presses. Precision specialises in producing a variety of collateral including business stationery, leaflets, direct mail, brochures, reports welcome packs and photo specialty items.

"The HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press allows us to print on thick substrates, up to 460 microns, making the production of on-demand packaging a possibility for us and the addition of the new white ink ensures that our products really stand out," said Gary Peeling, managing director, Precision Printing. "We believe that the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press provides the highest quality digital printing in the marketplace."

ProCo, of Sheffield, U.K., has been an HP Indigo customer since 2001, when it installed a six-colour HP Indigo press 3000 (since upgraded to an HP Indigo press 3050). Established as The Production Company in 1996, it quickly moved into direct mail, data management and fulfillment. By 2004, the company, now called ProCo, was a fully integrated litho, digital, direct mail and distribution provider, with a commitment to investing in market-leading technological solutions.

Today ProCo occupies a state-of-the-art 50,000 ft2 facility with 95 full-time staff and operates 24/7. The company became a beta test site for the HP Indigo press 5000, the HP Indigo press 5500 and has also put the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press through its paces.

"Since we have been utilizing the HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press, we have been amazed at the speed in which we are able to fulfill jobs – it creates another dimension to digital printing," said Jon Bailey, sales director, ProCo. "For example, a variable-data job that previously took two and a half hours to RIP was sent to the new press in six minutes and produced in a single shift, rather than two. From a business angle, the fast production times combined with the lower running costs add a lot to our bottom line."

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