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Scalable Printing Technology (SPT)

Back to HP Ink and Printhead Technologies

What is it?

Since its introduction in 2006, HP Scalable Printing Technology (SPT) has evolved and supported continuous advancement in the capabilities and performance of HP Designjets. 

SPT enables the development of new printheads and inks that deliver higher print quality, higher print speeds, and longer printhead life.  These developments are incorporated in new generations of HP Designjet printers.

Recent SPT advances

  • Long life printheads - recent advances in SPT printhead design, fabrication and materials technologies has enabled HP engineers to develop a printhead that is designed to last the life of the HP Designjet (notably the Designjet T120 and T520 ePrinters which use the new HP 711 printhead).  For users, eliminating printhead replacements means improved printing economy and ease-of-use.
  • Greater print accuracy - the HP 711 printhead used on the Designjet T120 and T520 has 1200 nozzles per inch compared with the Designjet 510s HP 11 Printheads which have only 600 nozzles per inch.  This provides greater print quality due to uniform drop volumes and better control of drop trajectories.  (The earlier non-SPT designs required a separate nozzle plate to be fabricated, aligned and attached to the silicon chip with its electronics and ink passages.  SPT printheads are built as an integrated structure with precise alignment between printhead elements.  This allows SPT to produce thousands of identical drop generators on each printhead).
  • Higher speed - the HP 711 printhead offers 1,376 nozzles per colour compared to the Designjet 510 which has only 304 nozzles per colour.  This provides higher speed.  The Designjet  T120 and T520 is also compared against printers with inks on separate printheads - since they have all four colours built together on a single silicon chip.  This reduces colour to colour drop volume variations and the nozzle for each colour ink remains in precise mechanical alignment for the life of the printhead. 
  • Excellent narrow colour lines and text - this built-in colour-to-colour registration not only offers higher speed but produces excellent narrow colour lines and colour text, where colour-to-colour registration is critical to print quality.  The HP 711 can produce a minimum line width of 0.0008 inch (0.02mm) on photo papers, and sharp details can be reproduced up to 2,400 dpi.
  • Less energy to produce a plot - the HP 711 Printhead is more power-efficient than HP 11 Printheads used in the HP Designjet 510 Printer series, so less energy is used to produce a plot.

Visual comparison of OLD -vs- NEW Printhead Technology

It's always useful to compare prints of OLD versus NEW technology - since they say a picture paints a thousand words (or a few hundred at any rate!).  The first image is the older technology and the second image is the newer T120 and T520.  Clear differences.

HP Designjet T510 SPT technology

HP Designjet T520 SPT technology

Interesting Competitor Note

All inkjet printers require some ink to be used for printhead cleaning and servicing.  The HP 711 Printhead and HP 711 inks were designed together for efficient ink use.  Based on internal HP testing, the HP Designjet T120 and T520 ePrinter series requires less than 10% of the ink used for servicing when compared against the Canon iPF606, iPF610, iPF710 and iPF720 printers.