5 Efficiency improvements that every print business can make
Many wide-format print production workflows have evolved over time, but their core processes are still based on what was originally in place when the business started. To meet growing demand, print businesses have responded by adding new devices to their portfolio, supported by a variety of different ink technologies, RIP software, and finishing equipment. However, layering solutions on top of core processes that were never intended for such expansion means that inefficiencies often become baked in.
Modern print businesses are now identifying the opportunity this provides to rethink their ways of working, to save cost, time, and reduce waste. Who said you need to overstretch your resources— including technology, equipment, and labor—to be more efficient and productive?
We’ve pulled together five tech-focused improvements to show how HP Latex can help you overcome these challenges:
- Choose a versatile print technology
- Get the colors right first time
- Keep top quality at high production speeds
- Make data-driven efficiency improvements
- Odorless prints that meet standards
Let’s dive in:
1. Choose a versatile print technology
When clients approach you with new and exciting opportunities, you want the power to say yes: the versatility and flexibility to produce outstanding print quality on a wide range of materials. It’s not just about how many substrates you can print to—each print needs to be sharp and vibrant to produce a saleable output. Thankfully, HP Latex’s water-based ink technology maintains excellent image quality with the breadth and application coverage to take on a range of print jobs: from vinyl stickers to banners and poster paper, to wallpaper and canvas art.
To take advantage of these versatile printing capabilities, media compatibility is a must, and HP Latex printers enable you to deliver top quality prints with vivid colors for both flexible and rigid solutions. With more than 300 recognized suppliers worldwide, we make it easy to find media certified for HP Latex Inks. Explore new substrates that perform up to your expectations—all accessible through our intuitive HP Media Solutions Locator,1 where you can even search for eco-conscious media that meets your needs.
White inks can also boost your application coverage, enabling you to print onto colored substrates and transparent materials. This makes printers with HP Latex white ink perfect for creating window graphics, vehicle wrapping, and stickers. By adding HP Latex technology to your arsenal, you can print to virtually any substrate—perfect for sharp highlights and stand-out whites. Take on signage, décor, fabric backlits, short run packaging, and more. All with a flexible ink that doesn’t crack when bent or folded. Ink flexibility is vital for certain applications that tend to crack, like canvas, short-run packaging, or vehicle wrapping.
Specific applications require certifications, like GREENGUARD Gold,2 especially if they will be displayed in sensitive spaces or used in products intended for children, where they will require Toy Safety3 certification. HP Latex Inks deliver these accreditations and more: the latest generation has over 15 certifications.
2. Get the colors right first time
When it comes to managing your color, there are two easy ways you can reduce waste and prevent re-work: producing more accurate colors and improving consistency (getting the same Pantone or standard CMYK values spot-on every time).
HP Latex printers include ICC profiles—standard sets of data that characterize how colors are reproduced by a printer on a substrate in a particular print mode—to reproduce colors in the way that the designer envisioned. No matter what industry you’re delivering in, it’s critical to match the right colors to make sure the carefully selected tones are evoking the right mood. A slight shift in the values can quickly take a print off-brand and completely distract from the intended messaging. The HP Latex printers’ automatic color calibration adjusts how much ink to use on the loaded substrate to make sure your colors are on-point when printed. Getting things right in the software reduces the opportunity for errors and minimizes material use at the approval stage, helping to cut down on overall waste throughout production.
Our on-board spectrophotometer measures color with unrivalled precisions to enable both color accuracy and consistency, and our user-replaceable printheads mean you can get day-one quality at any time by installing new ones in minutes—no service call required.
Print providers who work with large clients will produce sets of products across multiple runs. Often, they’ll be partnering with other suppliers to deliver part of a wider fit-out for a major brand. And when it comes to branding, consistency matters. It’s essential that all products in the supply chain match with each other, regardless of which printer or supplier they came from.
The latest HP Latex printers feature a unique fan system that homogenizes the temperature inside the print zone. This improves color consistency4 and length repeatability between tiles, giving you prints that are always spot-on.
With the advent of cloud-based workflow management solutions, such as the HP PrintOS Configuration Center, you can deploy media definitions for hundreds of substrates from the HP Media Solutions Locator, helping to facilitate color consistency across printer fleets and locations. Additionally, for fleet or repeat jobs, HP’s built-in spectrophotometer ensures stable color matching over time, and between printers.
3. Deliver top quality at high production speeds
When it comes to rapid turnaround, you need built-in productivity features that eliminate bottlenecks and help you keep up with a fast-paced production workflow. Let’s look at the four main steps in the production process, and how HP Latex can help make you more efficient: Print job configuration Large-format prints on different substrates require different printer configuration settings. This can often require manual set-up time, which slows down your workflow.
With HP PrintOS,5 you can automate your printer configuration settings. Skip repetitive manual configuration before every print job by pre-setting configurations for various substrates via the HP Configuration Center application.
HP Latex printers enable you to speed up the production of high-quality prints. You can deliver high-speed prints at 1,200 DPI—perfect for sharp, eye-catching products.
Achieve high image quality at high productivity thanks to the HP Optimizer. This technology Interacts with HP Latex Inks to rapidly immobilize pigments on the surface of the print to deliver outstanding quality without sacrificing speed.
You can also enjoy a range of usability features, including easy media loading, an intuitive and effortless front panel interface, and the ability to take on multi-copy jobs straight from the front panel.
When printing jobs that require lamination with an eco-solvent printer, you must consider the recommended degassing time between printing and finishing. Large-format prints created with solvent-based inks require extended dry times of up to 24 hours post-printing, before undergoing additional finishing processes such as lamination.
When you choose HP Latex, you get a solution that does not require degassing time. HP Latex prints dry inside the printer and are ready to laminate instantly. They also offer up to three years of unlaminated scratch resistance,6 allowing you to skip this step for some applications.
Maintenance and support
With HP Latex printers, you can enjoy automatic maintenance with no user intervention and ease-of-use across your operations. HP Latex printers can sit quietly over weekends, or even stay dormant during periods of long downtime, and still bounce right back and print perfectly with virtually no maintenance or ink loss—no cleaning or purging needed.
The smart tools we provide with HP Support Services allow us to identify and remotely diagnose issues, triggering immediate service and maximizing your uptime. You can also optimize your operations with smart diagnostics and remote monitoring.
Knowledge is also a key tool and can help you be more productive. Our HP Learn training programs help you grow and make the most out of your devices.
4. Make data-driven efficiency improvements
Of course, sometimes mistakes happen, but has your business tacitly accepted a level of built-in loss for preventable errors? Such acceptance means mistakes are more likely, and frequent minor errors can become a weighty cost.
It’s time to re-think how we work. As digital print production begins to exceed the capabilities of existing workflow techniques, print providers want greater efficiency and control—from start to finish.
By choosing HP PrintOS, increase management control, gain productivity, and inspire innovation:
- Stay on top of production even when away from your printer
- Get data-driven insights for better decision making and continuous improvements
- Gain visibility over your HP connected printers and eliminate repetitive, time-consuming set-up procedures: backups are automatic, and you can easily restore printer and substrate configurations.
In addition, HP PrintOS provides online access to both historical and real-time print job information, direct from your printer to a cloud-based interface on your mobile device. This helps you to better manage your resources, facilitating hybrid working opportunities.
5. Odorless prints that meet standards
HP Latex is designed with safety in mind, delivering multiple environmental credentials and labels. The health and safety of your workers and customers is our biggest concern, which is why we’ve developed a water-based technology designed for operator and customer safety, and with the environment in mind. We’re continually seeking out more stringent standards to incorporate into our products.
Be a smart print business
As digital print businesses evolve, new products and technology require ongoing review and adjustment of print production processes. By taking a magnifying glass to your production methods, and following a job through its entire workflow, you’ll undoubtedly identify areas of improvement.
 For more information, please see https://www.hp.com/uk-en/commercial-printers/floater/mediasolutionslocator.html
 GREENGUARD GOLD Certification to UL 2818 demonstrates that products are certified to GREENGUARD standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage. For more information, visit ul.com/gg or greenguard.org
 Fourth generation HP Latex Inks have been tested and demonstrated compliance to the following toy safety
methods and protocols: EN713, EN 719, ASTM F96317, US 16 CFR 1303, US 16 CFR 1307, SOR 201117, and SOR 201883. HP does not recommend using the inks for toys intended to target children under the age of 3
years. It is the responsibility of the toy manufacturer to ensure toys comply with the relevant regulations and testing.
 Compared to the previous models (HP Latex 300 and 500 Printer series).
 For HP’s Large Format printers, HP PrintOS is compatible with the HP Latex 100, 300, 500, 1500, 3000 and R-series, HP DesignJet Z6 and Z9 Printer series, and HP Stitch Printer series. HP PrintOS is also available for Indigo Digital Presses and HP PageWide Industrial presses.
 Scratch resistance is measured according to test method ISO 1518-2:2011. Based on internal HP testing in January 2018, demonstrating scratch-resistance performance comparable to representative hard-solvent inks on self-adhesive vinyl and PVC banner