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Latex and Toner Taking on Wide-Format Imaging

(July 2008) posted on Thu Jul 03, 2008

Greene discusses two new technologies that might be emerging at just the right time for you to secure a better place in the market for your graphics business.

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By Tim Greene

ColorWave is primarily designed for wide-format engineering documents, but could meet the needs of the market for indoor graphics as well. This is where timing comes in. The emergence of a wide-format, color, toner-based printing technology that offers strong enough print quality to address the indoor graphics market would have a negative effect on the overall wide-format aqueous-inkjet market. So, ColorWave could offset any growth that aqueous inkjet sees because of the emergence of HP’s Latex inkjet inks. Both HP’s Latex Ink and Océ’s ColorWave technologies are reportedly quite scalable, so we ex-pect to see them in a variety of formats in the future.

Latex Ink and ColorWave technologies are extremely innovative. They mark potentially very dramatic examples of steps forward in the market for wide-format digital printing in terms of continuous improvements that enable market growth. We’ve seen a number of new products just this year that promise to maintain this cycle of continuous product improvement. Another important development in wide-format digital is the entry of some of the bigger companies, particularly Xerox and Epson, into the wide-format solvent inkjet market.


Xerox? Epson?

Yes. Using wide-format solvent inkjet engines powered by Mutoh, Xerox will push wide-format eco- and light-solvent inkjet printers into non-traditional markets. One of these is commercial printing, where Xerox’s high-speed production equipment is already located. Many of these locations serve a lot of the same customers that sign and screen printers serve, but now Xerox can offer wide-format services at a relatively inexpensive cost and still operate on one vendor platform. Many would argue that Xerox’s Versatec was one of the original wide-format digital graphics printers. Things have a way of coming back around, don’t they?


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