HP launches PageWide Advantage 2200

HP has announced a new inkjet web press, the PageWide Advantage 2200 series, a 20ins wide press that is targeted at publishing, direct mail, and commercial print.

HP’s Advantage 2200, shown here with the three zone drying configuration. Note the single arch for printing both sides of the roll.

As with the T200 series, this is a single-engined web-fed press able to print to both sides of a roll across media from 203 to 558mm wide. However, this represents a brand new, more compact design. The printbars are arranged on a single but quite wide arch, which makes for a much shorter line. There appears to be a complex paper path as the first side is printed on one half of the arch, then the paper fed through the drying area and back around underneath the arch to a turn bar that takes the roll back to the other half of the arch so that the underside can be printed alongside the first before returning back through the drying area. 

For the printheads, HP has opted to use its High Definition Nozzle Architecture or HDNA heads. These have a native resolution of 2400 nozzles per inch, which HP says includes 8x nozzle redundancy. These heads print a 108mm wide print swathe. These are thermal printheads, meaning that they will have to be replaced at regular intervals though HP has done a good job of extending the life of these heads. 

These heads can produce two different drop sizes – low and high – which can be combined together for different print modes. The Performance print mode uses the high drop weight, while the Performance HDK mode uses the high drop weight for the colours with a combination of the two drop sizes for the black ink. This gives better shadow detail and smoother images without affecting the print speed. Then there’s a Quality mode that uses both drop sizes for all four colours, which improves the image quality but leads to slower print speeds.

The Advantage 2200 can produce up to 244mpm in monochrome, which drops to 152mpm in colour for both the Performance and Performance HDK modes. The Quality mode, which uses multiple drop weights for all colours, runs at 101mpm. It’s worth noting that even though the new Advantage 2200 is using the same HDNA printheads and Brilliant ink as the T250, the Quality mode is significantly faster. These web speeds translate to a maximum duty cycle of 85 million A4-sized images per month in mono, 58 million A4 images per month in colour or 42 million A4 images per month in the Quality mode – with this last also being much higher than the T250 due to the faster speed. 

Although it will take media up to 558mm wide, the print width remains at 521mm, the same as the T200 series. For now, there appear to be five sets of printbars, one each for the CMYK inks plus the Optimiser. It uses HP’s water-based Brilliant Ink together with HP Optimizer to ensure consistent results on offset coated and uncoated media.

There’s a choice of drying configurations, which directly affects the range of media that the press can handle though does not change the overall print speed or the duty cycle. Essentially, applications that require higher ink coverage will need more drying power since more ink equates to more water on the media that has to be removed. Thus the basic model comes with a standard drying module, or High Efficiency Drying system, that’s said to recirculate up to 80 percent of the air that’s heated during the drying process. This version prints to offset uncoated, inkjet treated and ColorPro media. It will handle paper weights from 40 to 160gsm but HP recommends that customers test media between 40 and 60gsm and 105 to 160gsm for each application. 

Then there’s a Two Zone configuration that has two of these drying modules plus a passive web cooling module. This will take a wide range of standard offset coated including glossy, silk and matte, as well as uncoated, inkjet treated and ColorPro media, from 40 to 250gsm though again customers should test the lighter and heavier media for their application. 

A third Three Zone option includes three drying modules plus an active web cooling module. This will take the same media types as with two zones, but in weights up to 300gsm card for book covers.

The advantage of splitting the drying into these different configurations is that the press can handle a very wide range of jobs, with customers choosing to only pay for the drying that their particular applications require. It also means that customers can reconfigure the press as their work changes. 

Annette Friskopp, Global Head and General Manager at HP PageWide. “HP has listened to our customers, and we realize ease of use and up-time are critical success factors. This new press offers configurations to enable customers to optimize the press for their quality, productivity, versatility, and economics to grow their digital production businesses.” 

In many ways, this new press is more of an evolution of the T200 series, a Friskopp explained: “We listened to what the customers wanted, realised we had the innovation and the capability to make an entirely new platform to meet those needs.” The new press appears use the same basic imaging system – the same printheads and ink – but to have creatively rethought the duplexing architecture and the drying system to come up with a new, more interesting platform that should take up a lot less space. 

Friskopp also stated: “We will continue to support and upgrade the T200 series.” HP has not discussed the pricing so far but is likely to charge a premium for the Advantage 2200 over the T200 series, allowing the company to position the older press as an entry level model. 

The PageWide Advantage 2200 should be available worldwide from HP from October 2022. You can find more information, including a short video showing the paper path of this press, from hp.com. In addition, it will also be sold via Bluecrest.

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