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Author Topic: New HP Designjet Z series printer coming soon?  (Read 4294 times)
Gellman
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« on: February 08, 2013, 11:27:32 AM »
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Two large dealers (B&H and DTG) have told me that the HP Designjet Z3200 printer (24 inch model) is no longer available. It has been 3 or 4 years since the Z3200 hit the market, so it must be near the end of its product cycle. I have seen no announcement from HP and no discussion on any forum. Without any inside information, I take this to mean HP is close to announcing a replacement (Z3300?) or they are getting out of the wide format photo printer business. Considering HP corporate is not exactly at the top of the world right now, either path seems plausible to me. Does anyone have any information they can share on this?
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sm906
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 12:30:49 PM »
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Not available does not necessarily mean it will no longer be produced by HP. At least here in Germany the Z's can be bought with all the dealers selling HP LFP's. I bought a Z3200 just some weeks ago. The dealer I bought the printer from told me there are no indications for the Z3200 to be no longer produced. However, there are newer Z models like the Z5200 and Z6200 -- more or less successors of the 8 ink Z2100 (much faster and 300ml ink tanks available).

If I remember correctly Ernst recently wrote in a similar thread that the PCL version of the Z3200 will come to an end, the PS version however will still be produced.

So, might be a HP mystery whether the excellent 12 ink Z3200 will have a successor one day. Last Photokina would have been the perfect time to present such a machine, but they did not.

Thomas
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 01:51:53 PM »
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Thomas, not at all clear what HP's intention are. They invested a huge amount of money developing the Z series technology mainly at their Barcelona facility, then after some years their "presence" in this market niche seems to be receding. As you may know, HP, despite its huge size and technological prowess, is a rather troubled corporation. There has been a great deal of managerial turmoil there, a lot of soul-searching about what directions to take the company in, and what market areas to specialize in, so it could be that through re-assessing their comparative advantage this niche of the printing market is being de-emphasized, if not phased-out. With Epson and Canon out there catering to the same needs with very high quality technologies, it's a difficult and rather limited market in which to get a sizable enough slice to make the overhead and manufacturing worthwhile, so perhaps they are looking elsewhere to park their investment budget.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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abiggs
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 02:10:19 PM »
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My understanding is HP has exited this market and will not be creating any new models.
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Andy Biggs
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 03:36:08 PM »
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My understanding is HP has exited this market and will not be creating any new models.

Hi Andy - not the least bit surprised. If that's the case the interesting issue for owners of course will be the duration and quality of support. I would expect they'll service existing machines for as long as they have the parts, and they'll continue to supply ink and paper for as long as there is adequate demand. That seems to be the way these things usually happen, unless of course they sell the business to another vendor who actually uses their patents to develop updated models. Then it takes on a new life.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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MHMG
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 06:30:18 PM »
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Truly sad if HP leaves the market and abandons the HP Vivera aqueous Pigmented ink set. HP has unquestionably the best ink set with respect to the engineering tradeoffs between color gamut and image permanence. If HP doesn't want to build machines for the fine art printmaking market because its accountants may have concluded the market is too small, it would be fantastic if HP found a way to continue marketing the HP pigmented ink formulation through some third party source that could let us Canon and Epson users have access to it.  Wishful thinking on my part for sure, but I just wish corporate bean counters would think outside the box for a change.

Or perhaps, wouldn't it be really cool if Epson and Canon would take the same yellow pigment that HP chose and give its users an alternate yellow choice in terms of what yellow ink we use for our fine art printmaking efforts....i.e., offering us a choice between slightly better yellow pigment color vividness and slightly more color constancy under different light sources, or better overall image permanence particularly with skin tone values that are so crucially important in many photographic prints.


« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 06:54:42 PM by MHMG » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 07:41:41 PM »
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Mark, I would be truly very surprised if they stopped making ink until nearly the last of their printers using these inks bites the dust. Firstly, ink is probably the only thing they make money from in this market niche (OK, perhaps paper too) and secondly, it would be a PR debacle if they left a large number of owners suddenly high and dry. That is most unlikely to happen. And as you say, they could perhaps sell their patents to third parties.

As for corporate bean counters - I think we both know that these companies are in business to make profit and keep their shareholders loyal and happy and their managements handsomely paid. That is the "name of the game". You wouldn't want to be running HP at this juncture of its corporate survival. It may be one of the world's largest technology companies, but it is facing massive fundamental challenges. It is purported to be the biggest PC maker in the world, but where is the PC market going? It is purported to be the biggest printer manufacturer in the world (all types, not the ones LULA folks use for fine art printing), but where is the printer market going? These are life-threatening issues - it is well beyond bean-counting, and if you were trying to manage a behemoth like this you would be poking into every nook and cranny of the enterprise and the external environment it faces to see what's holding its own and what isn't, where economies can be made, and what the strategic direction of the company needs to be if it is survive into the next decade.

All that said  - you're right - it won't be the first time nor the last that good technology gets sacrificed to economic realities and financial interests - and people who don't control these decisions lament them.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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MHMG
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 08:45:51 PM »
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Mark, I would be truly very surprised if they stopped making ink until nearly the last of their printers using these inks bites the dust. Firstly, ink is probably the only thing they make money from in this market niche (OK, perhaps paper too) and secondly, it would be a PR debacle if they left a large number of owners suddenly high and dry.
Right, but if HP decides not to introduce new machines that use this outstanding aqueous pigmented ink set, then it's only a question of time supporting the existing fleet of printers that use this ink to halt production.

Hence, I hope for 1) a new HP machine, 2) Canon or Epson to deliver a new inkset using Hp's choice of yellow pigment (there are only a couple of commercially available yellow pigment choices: Hp chose the one with higher stability, Canon and Epson chose the  slightly more vivid one), or 3) a third party giving us a comparably stable inkset as HP, and that might but not necessarily involve a licensing agreement with HP if HP is otherwise abandoning the technology.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 08:51:23 PM by MHMG » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 03:53:17 AM »
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The Z6200, Z5200 are still around. In many aspects equivalent to the Epson 11880 and 9890. The same yellow is used in their inksets. In larger carts if someone thinks he could improve an Epson that way. HP will not stop ink production yet. There are no true art papers left in the catalog but HP made it easy to use third party papers on the Zs  so may have cut in their own art paper market that way. In all the other paper ranges HP is still present. While one could argue that printers go the way of the dino, both HP and Canon are the big companies in the Sign, CAD and Office market. If there are companies that could keep a niche market supplied with spin-off technology, they are. And Sign + CAD may not feel that shift to electronic media so badly. I see signs that Epson diversifies its products with less attention to the art and photography market. This market is not big enough and is now a replacement market with a wide format on every corner in town. HP may have left for the moment but which one will be strong enough to reenter this niche again when the price is right and competition weakened. Right now Canon looks to be the healthiest and it has a strong position in photography too (though should get its DSLR range at the top again).

Ernst, op de lei getypt
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 04:48:51 AM by Ernst Dinkla » Logged
johncustodio
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 10:05:20 AM »
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I just contacted HP and spoke to someone on their chat service. The Z3200ps 24" is available and lists for $4900. They wanted to know if I was ready to buy it and would email me a better price quote with free shipping. So as of right now at least, it's available. I have a Z3100 that's almost 6 years old that is in very good condition. I get a service contract on it every year. But I'm concerned about the avaibility of parts and service if they discontinue this line. Or if my Z3100 should completely die or not be repairable I would buy a Z3200.
-John
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Greggw
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 10:32:03 AM »
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I just got a z2100 direct from HP and expressed the same concerns. I was told that they had no
plans to end this line of printers and that when printer are discontinued they offer ink & replacement
parts for 10 years from that date. (Beautiful prints very under rated printer) also I am amazed at
how little ink it uses compared to my epson.
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