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 user 2005-09-02 at 11:44:00 am Views: 44
  • #12827

    HP begins production of ‘scalable’ inkjet printers
    HEWLETT-PACKARD has begun
    manufacturing inkjet printers using its new Scalable Printing
    Technology (SPT) platform which the company hopes would tilt the
    printer market landscape in its favor.

    After doubts have been raised about the company’s strategic direction
    following a change in CEO and the layoff of 10 percent of its
    workforce, HP laid out its long-term strategy for the inkjet printer
    business which revolves around SPT.

    “SPT is a technology platform that encompasses multiple parts of our
    business,” said Christopher Morgan, senior vice president of HP’s
    imaging and printing group for Asia Pacific and Japan. “The design is
    part of a long-term business strategy and is the product of a five-year
    strategic investment which cost 1.4 billion dollars in R&D.”

    Simply put, SPT is a new technology design for HP printheads that,
    combined with new HP Vivera ink and HP-manufactured paper or media,
    would result in lower-cost yet faster and higher-quality printers.

    “SPT is a printing technology platform, and off that platform we would
    develop a series of products,” added Stephen Nigro, senior vice
    president and general manager of HP’s graphic and imaging business.
    “It’s a fundamental building block we hope would address the
    difficulties of this market.”

    Nigro was referring to the inkjet printer market being fiercely
    competitive. Manufacturers Lexmark, Epson and Canon have cut their
    profit forecasts this year, blaming rising costs and falling profits.
    Now HP hopes to address those two problems by using SPT which promises
    the production of cheaper yet more efficient printers. HP’s printer
    division has profit margins of 12.5 percent. The printer division is
    considered HP’s crown jewel because it is the most profitable business
    for the company.

    “Since SPT is a technology platform, we can bring down the benefits to
    volume manufacturing,” said Morgan. “Scalability will bring the costs
    of our products down. We expect a large return on revenue with SPT.”

    Morgan claimed that cheaper products from HP will not sacrifice
    quality. SPT-enabled printheads are fabricated as one unit using a
    completely photolithographic process rather than being welded from
    several components during post-production. This results in the precise
    alignment of the chamber, nozzles and heating element which then
    improves accuracy of ink drop placements. A larger swathe and more
    nozzles on a single printhead results in greater paper area covered,
    increasing print speed and quality.

    This scalable architecture allows HP to manufacture printers with
    bigger swathes as well as more nozzles and more number of inks per
    printhead. Using SPT, the company can thus in the future manufacture
    printers that address the home market, the SMB market, commercial
    markets all the way to the enterprise.

    “This is important for customers in the Philippines,” said Morgan. “The
    Philippine market is color-sensitive. They want low-cost but
    high-quality color. SPT printers will benefit customers who want
    high-volume and high-speed printing, as well as the consumer and home
    photo printing market.”