RIT Elevates Education and Industry Programs with New HP Digital Printing Equipment
Success of HP Indigo media certification and ink-mixing services continues
April 21, 2008
by Paul Stella
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Rochester Institute of Technology continues to reinforce its longstanding relationship with HP with the addition of a fourth digital press accessible to students, faculty and industry partners for education and applied research opportunities.
The HP Indigo press 5500, recently installed at RIT’s Printing Applications Laboratory, replaces an HP Indigo press 3050 press model that the company consigned to RIT in 2003. The new technology joins other HP systems currently used at RIT, including the HP Indigo presses 1000, 5000 and ws4050.
“Our students are being exposed to the rapidly evolving integration of print and new media,” says Pat Sorce, chair of RIT’s School of Print Media and co-director of the Printing Industry Center at RIT. “Print services providers leveraging digital printing technology, such as that from HP Indigo, are at the leading edge of this evolution. The opportunities students gain from working with this technology provides a rich and unique educational experience.”
Through its Printing Applications Laboratory, RIT operates a media certification program for third-party manufacturers developing substrates for HP Indigo presses. The certification program continues to expand the number of substrates that provide excellent results, and HP Indigo presses now print on the industry’s widest range of certified media, with more than 1,400 media solutions worldwide approved for use. The Printing Applications Laboratory also mixes custom spot-color HP ElectroInks for HP Indigo customers.
Bill Garno, director of RIT’s Printing Applications Laboratory, states the new presses provide added support to an expansion of services RIT is delivering to HP and the company’s media suppliers.
“The range of substrates that you can successfully print on HP Indigo equipment is significant and continues to grow,” explains Garno. “Today the majority of papers that RIT evaluates and certifies are increasingly standard commercial papers, supported in digital sizes, or are products optimized during the manufacturing process. We see significant activity with paper manufacturers and suppliers expanding their product offerings in response to the significant increase in page growth of digital printing. Suppliers are not just responding to demand, but are also developing new and different solutions for their customers. HP Indigo product offerings are high on the list of priorities for the 100 or so manufacturers and suppliers we have worked with. Having the 5500 here, along with other presses in the lab, enables these companies to certify their product on HP Indigo’s flagship technology.”
“HP and RIT have worked together in a process that helps print service providers achieve profitable growth in digital printing,” says Haim Levit, North American supplies and media business manager, Indigo division, HP. “This latest press installation and our continued support for RIT reinforces HP’s commitment to education in the digital printing community.”
Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. Nearly 16,000 full- and part-time students are enrolled in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs at RIT, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.
For nearly two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review features RIT in its 2007 Best 361 Colleges rankings and named the university one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses.” RIT is also featured in Barron’s Best Buys in Education.
As the industry’s most comprehensive facility for printing, paper and material evaluations, the Printing Applications Laboratory (PAL) provides the industry with practical, measurable information to control and improve the quality of their products. Industry suppliers depend on PAL for accurate, confidential evaluations of paper, ink, plates, fountain solutions, blankets and other printing consumables. RIT has a comprehensive, dedicated collection of full-scale contemporary printing equipment, from conventional processes to state-of-the-art digital printing technology, and a variety of instrumentation used to characterize both raw materials and printed output, all staffed by professionals with industry experience.