Thursday, March 17, 2011

HP's new T400 wide-format digital color press - faster than a speeding bullet - print A/E plans FAST

So, who will be the first enterprising reprographer to figure out how to “print”:

- 100 sets of 500 “full-size” 36 x 48 A/E plans, printed “in color”, in 5.6 hours?

- 100 sets of 500 “full-size” 30 x 42 A/E plans, printed “in color”, in 3.5 hours?

- 100 sets of 500 “full-size” 24 x 36 A/E plans, printed “in colorin 2.8 hours?

Caution: after printing, sets will not be ready to roll, wrap and deliver/ship; you will need to “slit” and “sheet” from a “web-roll”.

All I can say is that it is too bad that we’ve reached a time when A/E/C customers may no longer be issuing “high-volume” orders for full-size (or even half-size) sets of A/E plans, for, the other day, HP introduced a fully-digital 42” wide digital press - the HP T400 - offering full variable printing.

And, this wide-format digital press prints in color, not just in black & white (frankly, I don’t think anyone would order b/w prints if they could get color prints for little more than they pay for b/w prints.)

I’m not suggesting that you run out and buy an HP T400. I don’t know the cost of this new system, but I suspect it costs a BUNCH! This press is so long that it would not even fit in our first store (which was 20 ft wide by 60 ft long.)

But, why not contact the printing company near you that gets one of these beasts? Does the term, “sub-contractor vendor” mean anything to you?

Years ago, Bryan Dyer and Pat Brumfield, of Lellyett & Rogers in Nashville, TN, figured out how to print “half-size” color sets of A/E drawings, by offset printing, in such a manner where quality was highly controlled and where production was set up as a “system”. They sold ½ size color plan sets to A/E/C firms around the country, not just in Tennessee. Bryan is now retired. If he were not retired, I can only envision what he would be thinking about HP’s new wide-format digital color press.

HP Introduces T400 Color Inkjet Web Press

Size (w x l x h)

14.5 ft x 68.5 ft x 9.6 ft

Print Technology

HP Thermal Inkjet

Native Resolution

1200 nozzles/inch

Web Width

42 inches

Print Width

41.75 inches

Print Speed

600 feet-per-minute



It can also be ordered as a 400 feet-per-minute print-speed system.

Here’s a video showing this new press in operation (click on link):

Here’s HP’s data-sheet for this new system:

Here’s where I figured out the time that it would take to produce printed A/E/C plan sets: (my calculations could be wrong, and probably are):

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