7 May 2009
HP's inkjet web press unveiled during printer open house
LOS ANGELES—An open house at O’Neil Data Systems unveiled the first installation of the HP Inkjet Web Press in a production environment to a group of editors and analysts earlier this week, including PrintCan. The press has been in Beta testing there since the fall.

O’Neil was founded in 1973 to produce investment research publications. Since then, it’s grown into a national supplier of data-driven publishing and marketing services with a range of digital and offset presses, and finishing equipment. With about 350 employees, and almost 200 programmers, it caters primarily to the health care and financial communities, as well as retail and manufacturing, and is transitioning to a fully digital operation.

One of its mainstays is O’Neil’s Database, a thick, weekly report of stock performance. It has now moved that job to the inkjet press, adding colour and reducing overall production time. It also plans to produce short-run newspapers on the press.

It was this data processing capability that made O’Neil an ideal Beta site, says HP. The shop also caters to the sectors that the press is primed for: transaction printing, books, newspapers and direct mail. As an example of what the press can do: each of us participants received a personalized newspaper printed with the inkjet technology.

During the open house, HP also announced several other orders for the press, which will be commercially available this fall. Consolidated Graphics, a large commercial printer, and Courier Corporation, the third-largest book manufacturer in the U.S., are joining the pilot program.  O’Neil reps said they intend to keep their press permanently.

The Inkjet Web Press, introduced at Drupa last year, prints in four colours at 400 ft. per minute, at a resolution of 1,200 x 600 dpi. The 30” press width features two print engines. Each engine has five print bars—four colours, plus a bonding agent—with more than 73,000 ink nozzles per bar. It prints on a variety of coated and uncoated stock, and it’s built on a modular design, so that it can be scaled to smaller or larger formats.

The HP Inkjet Web Press in operation at O’Neil Data Systems

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