HP at Photokina 2010
The company states that, according to research, their Photosmart Minilab ML2000D is the fastest dry minilab on the market. It is capable of printing borderless single-sided and also borderless double-sided photo products, allowing retailers to offer a wide variety of creative merchandise, including photobooks and greetings cards. It can deliver up to 55 photobooks (335 duplex sheets) per hour, and 10 x 15 cm prints at a rate of up to 1500 prints per hour. Manufacturers say the photolab will provide retailers with higher-margin revenue streams, through reduced labour and maintenance costs.
HP’s dry printing solution is odour-less with no potentially hazardous chemicals involved. According to the company, the new minilab is a green technology, with an up-to-33% smaller carbon footprint and 26% less total energy consumption over a typical operating period. In addition, the system consumes only one third of the electricity that silver-halide systems need and can be placed anywhere because it does not require any water supply. It uses ink cartridges made from recycled plastic and produces dry-assembly photobooks that do not use glue in the binding system.
Also on display was the Photo Centre Compact Instant Print Solution; ideal, say developers, for retailers with limited floor space and relatively low print volume needs. It is a small, scalable, unattended self-service system that enables consumers to place orders for instant pickup of photos, enlargements, cards, calendars, single-sided photobooks and photo CDs. Besides the print sizes 10 x 15 cm, 13 x 18 cm bordered and 15 x 20 cm, an optional enlargement printer is also available, which can offer 20 x 30 cm pages.
In a ‘hub and spoke’ setup, the solution serves as a ‘spoke’ from which consumers can send orders to the central high volume ‘hub’ store. This allows retailers to set up small units in every store, which all connect to a minilab in one central store. This is intended to increase photo centre traffic and revenue by making high-margin products, such as posters, banners, greeting cards, double-sided photobooks, canvases and bound calendars, available in all stores.
Finally, the company has designed Photo Creations software, which can be used by the customer at home to transform photos into professional-quality photo creations. This can then be sent to an in-store photo centre for printing and collection. The software application is pre-loaded and distributed with HP consumer PCs and printers. It can also be customised with the retailer logo for in-store distribution.
“The retail photo publishing landscape has never looked stronger. Retailers now have a choice to invest in innovative, creative technologies that place them at the centre of a rapidly growing industry that is anticipated to be worth €56 billion worldwide by 2013.” said Michael Diehl, Director, Retail Publishing Solutions, EMEA. “HP is driving this dynamic market forward with revolutionary solutions that bring to market unique creative products as well as traditional photo printing.”