|Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP DesignJet 8000sr, HP 8000s, and HP 8000sf, but now are being phased out|
HP has moved forward on their goal to introduce screen printers, sign shops, and digital print shops to the new standard in mild solvent ink printers. The Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 8000sr, HP 8000s, and HP 8000sf lite solvent printer will first be shown at ISA 2006, but were officially introduced today, January 24th.
HP also introduced the Designjet 9000s and 9000sf.
We do not use PR photographs of the printers so can't illustrate this until we have access to the printers, but we have seen examples of the output on HP substrates: very impressive color gamut, as you would expect from a Seiko ColorPainter 64S-based printer.
The HP Designjet 8000s is the entry level in price and speed, as compared with the HP Designjet 9000s which is faster. Both models were shown at the Dubai Middle East trade show in February. At the Miami Graphics of the Americas show a few days earlier only the model 9000s was shown to the public. The HP Designjet model 8000s was in a private viewing room upstairs.
The HP Designjet 8000sr includes Onyx PosterShop RIP. Onyx makes a good RIP, albeit complex.
The HP Designjet model 8000sf has Onyx RIP plus a charcoal filter air purifier.
Now Seiko has taken the identical chassis as the HP 8000s and turned it into a dye-sublimation printer, the Seiko ColorTextiler 64DS.
I don't see or hear much about the HP Designjet 8000s or 8000sf. I see mainly the Mutoh ValueJet or Mimaki JV33. Later this year the major competition for the HP Designjet 8000sf will be the Mimaki CJV30 series of print-and-cut machines. These Mimaki printers may also edge out the Roland VersaCamm SP-300V and SP-540V, VersaCAMM VP-200, VP-540, SolJet Pro III XC-540, with Eco-Sol Max ink.
By early 2008 Seiko was already showing other printers based on the identical frame and body structure as the HP Designjet 8000s, namely a Seiko dye-sublimation printer. This product was never offered by HP, which so far, even in early 2009, still lacks any kind of textile printer.
By early 2009 Seiko and HP finally made a public press release about what every industry analyst had known since Day 1, that the solvent printer program of HP did not reach the sales records that HP had predicted. Since I am an analyst and consultant on solvent printer marketing, I have the basic information on why solvent printers within the HP corporate structure were not able to compete with Mimaki, Mutoh, or Roland. Not that these competitors were perfect (each has corporate issues on how the European vs American vs Japanese regional headquarters are handled). HP had other issues which are best discussed in person, since if you are a sign franchise owner what counts is which printers will function for you today and tomorrow, not why did Company X totally fail to reach market expectations after they bought the rights to rebrand the fastest growing solvent printer of its time, the Seiko ColorPainter 64s.
For 2009 HP will concentrate on its $100,000 latex ink printer in an attempt to replace solvent ink all together. But in a world recession, it will be tough to sell a printer that costs so much when you can get a Seiko ColorPainter H-104s that uses ink which costs less than latex ink.
We have also heard that Seiko is working on a new entry-level solvent machine, to replace the HP Designjet 8000s, and to compete with the Mutoh ValueJet, Roland VersaArt RS series and with Mimaki solvent printers as well.
The public announcement that HP will not work further with Seiko on solvent printers has been a bonanza for Mutoh, Mimaki, Roland, and Seiko. Not many printshops want to buy a printer that is obsolete. Plus a discontinued printer will have less resale value in a few years.
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