|HP Indigo Benefits|
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Whilst offering all the usual benefits associated with digital printing, HP Indigo's patented digital offset colour technology offers some very unique benefits that other digital production technologies cannot. They are:
Unsurpassed Image QualityHP Indigo presses are unique because they use liquid ink and a genuine offset process, making them the worlds only digital offset presses. Simply put, suspending pigment particles in a liquid medium makes them controllable at much smaller sizes. The size of a HP Electroink pigment particle is about 1 micron, the same size as pigment particles in offset printing inks. So just like with lithographic offset printing, the HP Indigo process places a thin translucent ink film the substrate thus allowing the reflective properties of the substrate to show through any imaged area rather than being masked and hidden from view. Therefore, HP Indigo prints really do rival (and even surpass) lithographic offset quality, with no unsightly gloss mismatches between image and non-image areas, sharp text and bright vibrant colours.
By contrast, xerographic processes use powder toners. Being in the solid physical form restricts the pigment particle size to a minimum of about 5 - 6 microns (at best) as particles any smaller than this become airborne (like smoke) and unusable in the printing process. This relatively large pigment particle size means that xerographic processes place a thick, opaque layer (relative to offset processes) of fused toner over the substrate masking its own unique reflective qualities.
HP have even further improved the already "best in class" image quality of the HP Indigo 5000 & 7000 series presses by developing light cyan and light magenta inks to compliment the traditional CMYK inks. These new inks provide stunning continuous tones for true "photo quality" prints.
The SpencerLab report below confirms that HP Indigo is the only digital production device that can provide true photo quality images that are as good as, or better than, traditionally produced silver halide images.
Expanded Colour Gamut & Colour Consistency
Don't let other digital providers fool you with the term "full colour". In fact, the 4 colour or "process colour" printing they are referring to can only emulate about 75% of the PANTONE colour range! However, just like with lithographic offset printing, multi colour (up to 7) and spot colour printing is possible with HP Indigo digital offset presses.
Utilising HP's PANTONE licensed "IndiChrome" on-press technology, 85% of the PANTONE range can be automatically emulated. Similar to hexachrome printing, this is achieved by complimenting the base CMYK gamut with an ORANGE and a VIOLET ink and printing in up to six colours. Even more impressive, is "IndiChrome PLUS" on-press which increases the gamut that can be automatically emulated even further. Available on selected presses this is achieved by complimenting the base CMYK inks with a GREEN ink as well as the aforementioned ORANGE & VIOLET inks and printing in up to seven colours.
Need a spot or custom colour? No problem - 97% of the PANTONE range can be precisely matched using HP's "IndiChrome Off-press" system whereby 11 inks, including special colours like reflex blue and rhodamine red, are mixed using specifically designed software and equipment which is supplied as an option with any HP Indigo press. The "IndiChrome Off-press" system can even be used to create inks to match a swatch or supplied samples providing ultimate colour flexibility. The brochure below gives more details about HP Indigo's unique digital colour solution set.
Additionally, all HP Indigo presses have an in-line spectrophotometer that automatically and continuously checks colour consistency. This means that the expanded colour gamut can be accurately reproduced exactly across multiple runs and is totally consistent within a single run from the very first sheet to the last.
The Seybold report (below) independently compares the colour consistency and image quality of well known high end digital colour production devices (HP Indigo 5000, Fuji Xerox iGen3, Kodak Nexpress and Xeikon 5000) as you will see HP Indigo is best in class!
Unparalled Substrate Choice
As the HP Indigo process does not impart large amounts of thermal and electrostatic energy to the substrate (ie. the image is not fused on the substrate) a wider variety of commonly available paper stocks can be used, meaning that savings can result from not having to purchase proprietary stocks in order to honour warranty conditions. Prints exit the press dry, collated and ready to finish. A wide range of synthetic stocks is also available for use on HP Indigo presses.
Universal Printing Device
HP Indigo presses are also extremely efficient (ie. fast) when printing in one or two colour mode. On the 5500, one and two colour pages are produced 4 times and 2 times faster than 4 colour pages respectively. What's more, these speeds are irrespective of stock weight, duplexing or any other variable. Even more importantly however, a separate and cheaper click rate is applied to one and two colour pages, making HP Indigo presses the first truly universal printing devices on the market. So forget about having separate "colour" and "black and white" devices and improve your ROI with one press that can do it all!
The Infotrends report (below) independently verifies that the HP Indigo 5000 is truely the first "Universal Printing Device"!
Unifying Digital and Conventional Printing
Like it or not neither digital nor traditional offset is capable of meeting all of the needs of modern print buyers. Whilst traditional offset, flexographic, letterpress and gravure processes efficiently handle long run, static image work they are less suited to short run, fast turn around work and totally unsuited for variable data jobs. For this reason, for the forseeable future, printers and converters will require hybrid (digital and analogue) production platforms if they wish to provide the market with a truely complete service offering. To address this issue HP has developed relationships with all the major suppliers of conventional workflows (EskoArtwork, Heidelberg, Agfa, Kodak/Creo and Screen) in order to make file preparation and the decision to print digitally or conventionally as smooth and as simple as possible. Critically though only HP Indigo presses provide the image quality, colour gamut and colour consistency (through ICC profiling), and substrate choice that can match litho. So unlike with competitive digital technologies all these variables are removed from the decision of whether to print digitally or not. Therefore it is now possible to provide your customers with a truely complete print offering with no limitations!
Get a feel for how HP Indigo printing costs compare with traditional offset costs by downloading the independent Infotrends report (below). It concludes that nearly 60% of the jobs printed in the US today can be produced at a lower cost (than offset) on an HP Indigo press!