HP Power of Print Highlights Workflow, Security, Digital Disruption, Contractual Business

At its Power of Print Conference led last week by Tuan Tran, president of HP Inc.’s Imaging, Printing and Solutions group, HP executives focused on how it’s continuing to make print relevant in the office, home, and industry, as well as security, workflow, sustainability, and shifting to a contractual business via managed print services (MPS),and Instant Ink.

Among some progress for HP in strategic areas is: over 20-percent Instant Ink enrollment; over 10-percent managed print services (MPS) growth; and over 10-percent graphics page growth.

HP Security Monitoring Analytics Service

HP also announced a new security solution, Security Monitoring Analytics Service.

Developed with input from a  financial-services company, the solution monitors unusual log data coming from HP printers, and identifies potential threats.

Under the program, HP-trained experts will secure the client’s print fleet,  improving attack awareness, decreasing customers’ time to remediate attacks, and ensuring printer endpoints are a defender in the company’s
recovery arsenal.

Workpath SendStation App

Also at Power of Print, HP demonstrated new apps based on its cloud-based Workpath platform that it had introduced in October 2019.

Workpath and HP Command Center together enable HP partners and customers to create, manage, and deploy applications that make time-intensive business processes, such as submitting expense reports or digitally archiving records, easier and faster.

HP said that in just two months since launching Workpath, over 350 developers have enlisted and more than 70 apps have been created

One interesting new Workpath app is the SendStation app, an automated shipping system using an Internet-connected HP printer or MFP and a Pitney Bowes weighing scale. Here’s how it works: after logging in, at the printer’s touch screen, the user selects SendStation, and “shipping.” The user selects a shipping method, such as U.S. Postal Service or UPS. The user verifies then origination address; selects or enters the destination address; selects a shipping option, such as First Class; and weighs the package or letter on the connected Pitney Bowes scale (or enters the package weight at the touch screen). The app automatically displays the cost of shipping based on the options selected, and the HP printer prints the shipping label on label stock. The user affixes the label to the package, and then a carrier either picks up the package, or it’s delivered to a shipping center.

With Workpath, HP says its partners can create new applications or access existing apps and install them directly on the MFP, where they run using Android Studio. The platform replaces HP JetAdvantage Apps and JetAdvantage Link.

For more information on HP Workpath, visit HP here.

HP Commercial, Production, and Manufacturing Disruption

While enhancing its home and office offerings, HP also continues to move outside of these markets to pursue disruption in other industries – including industrial and commercial 2D printing, and industrial 3D-printing, the latter of which it entered in 2017, and in which it aims to disrupt the giant traditional global manufacturing industry. It’s also disrupting the traditional industrial and commercial print market with digital printing solutions, announcing, for instance, at the conference, a $200 million investment in inkjet water-based print solutions for corrugated packaging and textile printing applications.

For instance, the product box and packaging pictured below were printed using an HP digital inkjet press:

While this vehicle wrap was produced using an HP Latex printer:

HP is currently number-two in the industrial 3D-printer market. Among the advantage of industrial 3D printing are faster time to market, easier customization, lower cost, and more design freedom.

Among its newer 3D-printing initiatives is Project Captis, an HP and Adobe initiative focused on digitizing objects, and rendering and printing 3D objects with high-quality materials using HP workstation technology. 

HP 3D printing technology is currently being used to produce everything from industrial parts with movable parts to custom-made eyeglasses, the latter of which is demonstrated in the video below:

HP will also be targeting the microfluids market, the market for which it says will be over $200 billion in 20 years. The firm says it will a “major player in multiple application segments,” providing not only the microfluidic devices but also the integrated sensing controls, system integration, and data architecture required.

Smart Tank Plus Refillable Ink-Tank Inkjet Printers

HP continued to note the growth of its Instant Ink automatic ink-replacement service, which currently has some 5 million users, and also demonstrated its new refillable ink-tank inkjet printers that are now available in the United States, and which it introduced earlier this month: the HP Smart Tank Plus 551 ($399.99) and Smart Tank Plus 651 ($449.99 MSRP).

HP joins competitors Epson and Canon, which have both entered the U.S. market for refillable ink-tank printers – otherwise known as continuous ink supply system (CISS) printers. With refillable ink-tank printers, the printers use bottles full of liquid ink, not ink cartridges. When ink runs low, the user opens the ink reservoir, and refills it with the appropriate color ink bottle. The systems address a big user beef: that ink is too expensive. The new CISS printers are priced more, but ink costs are much less expensive. This year, HP will also be introducing a new inkjet business model consisting of new higher-cost inkjet printers that are compatible with third-party ink supplies, and new lower-cost printers that are compatible with only HP supplies.

The HP Smart Tank Plus 551 ($399.99 MSRP) is an All-in-One with print, scan, copy and WiFi wireless connectivity, and is rated at up to 11 (black)/5 (color) ppm. HP says it includes up to two years worth of ink – or approximately 8,000 color pages or 6,000 black pages. Cost per page for black or color is about 1 cent. The Smart Tank Plus 651 is the same as the Smart Tank Plus 551, but adds a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF).

Visit HP here for more information and complete specifications on the Smart Tank Plus 551 series


HP has traditionally focused on sustainability and eco-friendliness. Among some key achievements for HP in environmental conservation have been:

  • In one year, HP’s leadership in sustainability helped it win over $900 million of new revenue, a 35 percent year-over-year increase.
  • By 2025, HP Instant Ink and Managed Print Services will be carbon neutral, and HP aims to achieve a goal of 30-percent recycled
    plastic across its entire print portfolio.
  • Over a five-year agreement, HP will partner with the World Wildlife Fund to protect and restore more trees than those used for the paper that goes through HP’s consumer printers during that same time frame.

With the HP Sustainable Forests Cooperative, HP is taking steps to make printing with any paper more sustainable, not just its own. The new initiative is designed to conserve an area of forests and increase the supply of FSC fiber, enough to cover the amount of paper (even non-HP branded paper) that runs through HP printers, according to calculations by HP and the WWF.

The initiative covers two forest conservation programs. One is a restoration project in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.. The other will increase the area of responsibly managed forest in China, which produces and consumes more paper than any other country.

HP noted that every package of HP paper is sustainably sourced, carrying an FSC label.

Ultimate Strategy in a Nutshell

With the print market continuing its gradual slowdown, HP is taking these measures to protect and increase its growth:

  • Maintain and grow home and office printing market share by enhancing ease-of-use, security, and with new ways to integrate printing, such as with the Workpath Send Station.
  • “Lock-in” customers with subscription-based services such as Instant Ink and MPS.
  • Establish foundation for growth now and in the future by entering new markets that include packaging, label-printing, decor printing, etc. with “2D” digital printing,  and enter global manufacturing with 3D industrial printing.

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