A previous version of the HP Latex printer

No, this is not a mis-print. HP will be coming out with new technology called the HP Latex R Series that will print in white. The difference is that this machine is not for paper, but other surfaces that HP calls “rigid.”

The production of white latex ink is being called an industry breakthrough by HP and will be odorless as it will employ water-based inks.

For the channel, HP believes this will enable managed print services providers to expand their offering into new markets.

In a call with the media, Joan Perez Pericot, General Manager of HP Large Format Graphics Business, said the HP Latex R Series will be a new market entrant and will address an area of need in the marketplace that HP was not touching.

“This is a new generation of inks designed to print on rigid surfaces and its very revolutionary. It does not replace anything in the portfolio today. We will keep selling the same products as before. But, this is a new market for us that we were not covering,” he said.

The HP Latex R Series is a hybrid latex technology that introduces new colours into the rigid printing environment. Examples of rigid printing surfaces are foamboards, foam PVC, cardboard, fluted polypropylene, solid plastics, aluminum, wood and glass.

One of the differences HP is showing with the Latex R compared to the more common ultra-violet or UV digital printing system is that HP’s water-based latex inks preserve the look and feel of the media, while UV printing the UV lights takes time to cure and dry the ink on the surface.

The system behind producing the white latex ink has the machine recirculate the white ink to avoid settling. According to HP, for the first time, white latex ink can deliver glossy, high-quality “true white” media that doesn’t yellow over time.

Perez Pericot added, the HP Latex R scanning device technology will be used across the HP portfolio. There were no details released on cost, but Perez Pericot did say he understands that customers have pressure on cost and Latex R will not be lacking in price competitiveness.

The new HP Latex R Series will be available later on this year.