Ashford Color Press became the first book printer in the UK to install HP’s High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) printheads after installing the heads on one of its two rotary jet presses from HP T230 color ink.
Head installation has taken place over the past few weeks at the company’s 5,575 mÂ² site in Gosport, Hampshire.
The company, which primarily produces books, magazines, journals and other publications, also operates Heidelberg Speedmaster and KBA litho presses, a Ricoh sheetfed digital kit, and a Domino K630i digital booklet system, which was installed last year.
âThis investment means that we can reach out to book publishers with options at all levels to meet their needs,â said Mark Jones, sales manager for Ashford Color Press.
The HDNA printhead doubles the native print resolution of HP inkjet printheads to 1,200 dpi, delivered by 2,400 nozzles per inch.
The heads increase speeds in Performance mode to 244 m / min while in Quality mode they can run up to 122 m / min.
Native resolution of 1200 dpi achievable in quality mode is said to allow sharper text, fine lines, crisp skin tones, smoother quality transitions, improved grain, and highlight and shadow detail improved.
âThe quality will be litho comparable for certain products. This will be great for short term journals that need good quality – medical journals for example. We’re not doing any of that right now, but now we could hit those markets, âJones said.
âWe’re still testing and offering sample books that we can show to customers so that we can demonstrate the difference between normal heads and HDNA heads.
âWe’re also looking at the pricing structure because while the HDNA setting gives a much better finish, since you run the baler at half speed, it does come at some cost. “
Ashford Color Press, which has a turnover of around Â£ 12.6million and employs around 140 people, primarily serves clients in the education and training sector.