HP launches R2000 latex for rigids

HP has used this week’s Fespa show to launch its first rigid latex printer, the R2000, complete with HP’s first latex white ink, which was first announced a couple of months ago.

This R2000 is HP’s first latex printer able to print to rigid materials.

It’s a hybrid device, taking both roll-fed and rigid media helped by tables either side. It takes 2.5m wide media, up to 50mm thick, and rolls up to 100kg. It can print at up to 88 sqm/hr or 49 sqm/hr in six pass mode.

It has a wide platen, with 14 automatic independent vacuum chambers to hold boards in place. As with most hybrids, it uses a belt system to pull the media through the printer. However, there’s an optical sensor that watches as the media advances and can correct the movement of that media. Joan Perez Pericot, general manager of HP’s Large Format Graphics division, adds: “We have a lot of sensors that can identify how the printer is working and can predict how the printer will behave through AI.”

The latex ink has been completely redesigned to work with rigid materials as well as flexibles, including for applications such as vehicle wrapping It cures at a lower temperature which allows this printer to work with more heat sensitive materials than HP’s previous latex printers. HP says that the inks also deliver more vibrant colours.

There’s a new Latex Overcoat to protect against scratches and other potential damage. Pericot says: “We have separated some of the scratch resistance and put this in the overcoat, which has the benefit that if you print to flexible and want to laminate then you can save cost by not applying the overcoat.” It’s also possible to apply different levels of overcoat.

HP has also introduced its first white latex ink. Pericot says: “It’s a true white, very glossy, very shiny and will stay white over time and not turn yellow.” There is an interesting option to remove the white printheads when not in use and store them in an offline rotation chamber. Pericot says there’s no waste as the heads don’t need to keep ‘spitting’ to avoid clogging. It takes a couple of minutes to remove or replace the white heads

The printer has automatic maintenance, with a recirculating feature also added to the heads and in the chambers between the heads and the ink tanks, which is essential for printing with white ink as the heavier particles can settle in the bottom of the tanks or clog the heads. HP estimates that the printheads should be good for printing around 40 litres of ink.

HP didn’t want to put a price on the R2000 other than to say that the price would be close to £200,000. The R2000 will be commercially available from next month. Further details from HP’s website.

HP has also announced a new Latex 3800 Jumbo Roll, which should be available from the beginning of July. This is in response to customer requests for the ability to handle bigger rolls, which is mainly to do with more industrial applications such as vinyl flooring and window blinds. It will hold rolls up to 1.2 tons and up to 3.2m wide.

There are also new additions to the Z-series DesignJet printers, which I’ll cover in a separate story.

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