HP Innovation Journal Issue 03: Summer 2016 | Page 22


HP ’ s priming agent invention

Accelerating the transformation of analog to digital printing

The advanced technology and platform solutions ( ATPS ) is the technology development hub driving innovation that creates and leverages key assets in print technology and physical sciences to grow imaging and printing . The ATPS team utilizes “ 5 levers ”— inks , print heads , hardware , writing system , and media — to develop technologies to meet customers ’ needs .

Priming agent technology is a great example of media chemistry innovation enabling new applications to help expand publishing and grow packaging markets for HP PageWide web presses . Similar to primer used prior to painting a wall , a very thin layer of priming agent is applied using a flood coater to the media substrate in order to enhance the print quality and durability for high-speed inkjet printing .
Typically , to meet customers ’ print quality and durability requirements , printing hardware companies would partner with paper mills to develop specialty inkjet media with optimized coating chemistry for inkjet printing . But this resulted in higher-priced specialty inkjet media due to manufacturing inefficiency , lower volume , and additional products and inventory to manage .
The desired goal in the inkjet printing industry is to be able to print directly on low-cost coated offset stock . However , coatings used in offset papers are designed to repel water , including water-based inks used in inkjet , resulting in print quality defects and drying issue at production speeds . Thanks to the out-ofthe-box thinking of the ATPS team , HP has a completely new approach to solving this classic challenge . Priming Agent , a water-based coating that is specifically designed for HP inks , is flood coated to coated offset stock with a PrimeCoat hardware , which is inline integrated with web press , prior to digital printing . This new priming solution allows PageWide web press customers to print on a wide range of standard offset media without compromising quality or productivity .
There are many challenges throughout the development process like being quick to market , having limited tools and resources , and extremely aggressive performance and cost goals , but none of these challenges stopped the team . The passion for customers , a risk-taking mentality , and persistence lead the team to success .
Customer success
The ATPS team is already putting their priming solution to great use as part of the HP PageWide T200 and T400 web presses in the publishing markets , as well as , HP PageWide Web Press T400S in the packaging market . The solution has gained tremendous interest from current and future PageWide web press customers , and enabled multiple new press deals .
According to Dr . Haigang Chen , ATPS R & D Program Manager , customers really appreciate the technology advancement , “ I love to hear the enthusiastic response of our customers . They not only love the quality , but feel it ’ s strengthening the entire offering .”
The team is not stopping there . They are working on a new generation of priming agents to further strengthen the portfolio and enhance the performance while reducing the cost . In ATPS , innovation never ends . It is the printing technology center developing the cutting edge technologies to transform the printing industry from analog to digital . Chen adds , “ I am thankful to be part of the innovative team that allows us to bring new ideas to established products that are making a real impact on the print industry . I hope someday in the future , when digital printing dominates the market and analog printing is obsolete , I can proudly tell my friends that I was part of the team that changed the printing industry , just as smart phones replaced feature phones !” •
Learn more : http :// bit . ly / IJ3 _ 10
Haigang Chen ( 5th from the left ), with team members in front of HP PageWide Web Press T400S in San Diego
22 Innovation Journal · Issue 3 · Summer 2016