Hewlett-Packard (HP) set its sights on the commercial print market with the introduction of the new HP Digital Press 6600. Carly Fiorinia, HP's CEO, recently determined three core initiatives for the company: to enable intelligent devices, enable Internet infrastructure and enable e-services. With these goals in mind, building a solution that largely supports print's role in these evolving market segments made sense.
The Internet profoundly changed the way humans communicate, notes Ken Cloud, HP's director of product marketing, commercial printing solutions. "We've called it the McDonald's effect, but I suppose I should really call it the 'Fast-Food Effect.' We've become accustomed to getting our food right away. We're no longer content to stand in line and wait for it. And that's the way we want information. When we need it, we want it immediately. We want it right now."
Cloud adds that with the evolution of marketing from push to pull models, the ability to digitally produce personalized/customized print materials is becoming increasingly important to HP's clients and prospective customers. The Internet supports the on-demand demand for information, and for print to continue to be viable, it must address and respond to these market demands, as well.
So why has HP only now decided to get into the digital press market? For several reasons, Cloud explains: an explosion in the availability of digital content, increasing speed of information obsolescence, improved digital printing technology and a digital infrastructure that now supports the marketplace.
The new 6600 (based on the Indigo TurboStream) is a digital offset printing (liquid electrophotographic) press with embedded digital front-end (DFE), equipped with a true Adobe interpreter that supports PostScript Level 3 and PDF. It's a two-up sheetfed format capable of 4,000 impressions per hour at 800x800 dpi (optional 800x2,400 dpi configuration available), according to HP.