A world-first: Solopress invests in two HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD machines

HP PageWide T250 HD

Solopress has invested in a new, state-of-the-art T250 digital inkjet press from Hewlett Packard, with a second machine due to be installed later this year. With the first T250 coming online, Solopress has become the first company worldwide to have this model in operation.

We’re always looking out for new technology to help Solopress improve speed, quality and efficiency. Recent advances in digital printing are particularly exciting. Prior to lockdown, Solopress had ambitious plans about how investment in high-speed digital inkjet technology could improve our offering.

HP at the cutting edge

In particular, Hewlett Packard seemed to be pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in high-volume digital printing. With the introduction of the T-series, featuring their HDNA (High Definition Nozzle Architecture) printheads, HP had made a significant breakthrough.

This new series of HP digital presses can rival offset printing in terms of speed and quality while retaining benefits associated with digital printing such as fast setup and personalisation.

Timing is everything

It was clear to Solopress MD Simon Cooper that it was a smart time to get on board with this technology. But when Coronavirus came along, we faced a decision as to whether to suspend our plans. Ultimately, we took the bold decision to go ahead.

“In the end, we were able to turn this period of suppressed demand to our advantage. We took the opportunity to remove some older equipment and move ahead with the installation of new technologies.” Simon Cooper, Managing Director, Solopress.

The two new HP T250 Digital Inkjet presses became part of this programme of investment, along with a further two new HP Indigo 7800 machines which join a pair of HP Indigo 10000s installed last year.

Group investment

Solopress is part of the Online Printers Group which has also acquired one T250 for its operation in Denmark, with a further two machines to be installed in Germany. With a total of five T250 machines, Online Printers Group can now boast Europe-wide coverage with this technology.

Impressive presses

The HP T250 is a seriously impressive piece of kit, and a genuine step-up in terms of what we can expect from large-scale digital inkjet printing. Here are just some of the facts and figures:

  • New patented HP High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA)
  • 2400 nozzles per inch native resolution
  • Uses HP Brilliant inks for unrivalled colour
  • Offset quality at print speeds up to 500fpm

You can see the HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD in action in HPs teaser trailer:

Finishing touches

In addition to the first-ever commercially operating HP T250, we’ve coupled the new press with a Hunkeler Roll-to-Cut/Stack machine. The HP T250 prints onto paper fed from a reel called a web. The printed paper is then collected onto a second web, which the Hunckler device is able to trim and stack into a pile of finished material.

This process has brought vast improvements to production speed as well as allowing us to procure paper stocks more efficiently.

New hardware, new software, new markets

As well as improving the way we supply existing markets, the HP technology offers the opportunity for Solopress to serve the publishing industry via HPs proprietary Piazza software.

Publishers can make their content available for print via the software, which then identifies which printers operating the T-series machines have the capacity to run the job.

Fast digital print with low set-up costs is popular among publishers. It allows them to print little and often on-demand, exposing themselves to less risk and achieving a lower stock holding. For printers like Solopress, it’s a fresh market and a welcome revenue stream.

A developing partnership

Simon Cooper is excited by the development of Solopress’ relationship with HP, and the technologies it opens up:

“Our partnership with HP allows us to access industry-leading technologies like high-speed digital inkjet, Indigo and the Siteflow system all from the same source. Our decision to forge ahead with inkjet makes us leaner and better equipped to head into the future.”

Leading from the front

Always keen to be at the forefront of developments in the industry, Solopress is proud to be championing this technology. The increased capacity and expanding possibilities it brings allows Solopress to reduce turnaround times and manage far greater volumes of production.