Young patients enjoy a space voyage with HP Latex Technology
Combining the expertise of its employees, its technology, and through partnerships, HP makes an active contribution to communities around the world. Improving lives and expanding opportunities for customers and communities is core to HP's values and business strategy. Sant Joan de Déu-Barcelona Children’s Hospital project exploited HP Latex Printing Technologies to create a more positive hospital experience for children and their families with attractive printed decorations in the ‘Diagnostic Imaging’ department for CAT and MRI scans. Sant Joan de Déu-Barcelona Children’s Hospital, Spain, is a teaching hospital specializing in the fields of pediatrics, gynecology, and obstetrics. Its facilities cover an area of 70,000 square meters and, in the pediatric department alone, serve over 200,000 outpatients per year.
“HP has a long tradition of contributing to the community. Sant Joan de Déu-Barcelona Children’s Hospital project epitomizes how HP Latex Printing Technologies, that are developed at our world-class Research and Development center in Barcelona, contributed to improving the experience of patients and their families in the most sensitive of environments,” explains Eva Blanco, head of Communications at HP Barcelona.
The outer space theme of the designs has transformed the changing rooms and diagnostics machines; the children preparing for their medical visit enter a space decorated to look like an area where crew members prepare to enter a spaceship. To help make this all possible HP turned to two local HP Latex printing partners that were more than happy to contribute to the project, and print and install the decorations: Demibold, renowned for its vehicle wrapping expertise, was invited to wrap the machines, and PrintZone printed and installed the wall and ceiling decorations.
PrintZone used the HP WallArt solution to share and review the personalized designs on the portal, offering the customer an accurate visualization of the decoration using actual location images.
The easy-to-use design tool allows customers to use photos of their own or from the library to create print-ready files, in preconfigured printed panels that envisage all the power outlets and openings defined. Installation instructions are also supplied if customers wish to order the printed decoration and install it themselves.
Creating a child-friendly experience the kids love
“As a large pediatric hospital, we want to make the environment child and family-friendly as much as possible. The CAT and MRI machines are absolutely painless but can create significant stress for children when they enter them,” explains Lola Crevillén, head of Hospital Services and Facilities, Sant Joan de Déu-Barcelona Children’s Hospital. “The decorations printed with HP Latex Inks and installed with minimal disruption to services, have allowed us to create unique, attractive designs that the kids love and that are compatible with our sensitive environment.”
Quick and easy installation of printed decorations with environmental credentials
“The Latex Inks are odorless and the decorations were very easy to install, and the HP Latex Printing Technologies environmental certifications are reassuring. That’s very important in a hospital environment,” says Crevillén. “Our patients visit the ‘Diagnostic Imaging’ department from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm non-stop, so we needed an installation process that was fast, easy, and odorless. The MRI machine decorations were installed by 8:30 am, it took just three hours. There was no smell and the only waste was the backing paper on the prints. It was a very clean process. We were able to start visits at 9:00 am that same day and we managed to handle all the visits booked so there was no disruption to our schedule."
Achieve resistant and durable results on the substrate of your choice
“The finished decorations are not only functional and attractive but washable and resistant to scuffing which is important as they have to endure extremely intense use. The hospital also uses special cleaning products so their durability is important too. Time constraints, disruption to services, and a limited budget exclude hand-painted decorations as an option,” underlines Crevillén, adding, “Painted environments require airing, especially in a hospital. If any part of a printed decoration gets damaged or scratched it can be simply replaced. You ask the printer provider to bring in a new strip to replace the damaged part, remove the backing, and simply apply it to the surface.”
Eugenia Manzotti, marketing and sales manager at Demibold, explains that the elasticity and flexibility of the HP Latex Inks on the substrate simplify application, particularly over curves or in wells, and helps avoid image cracking on transfer. Additionally, Demibold can choose the best laminate for the specific substrate whereas their choice of the compatible laminate was limited using solvent inks.
For the ceiling and wall decoration the other printing partner, PrintZone, used an Avery Dennison® adhesive vinyl that was finished with a matte laminate. Demibold tested a number of substrates to wrap the machines and finally chose MACtac WW100 wall film as the most suitable for wrapping the particularly rough surfaces of the machines.
“Thanks to HP and its partners we’ve transformed this hospital experience into one with positive memories for the kids and their families. The most frequent comment is that it’s like being in a theme park. Now the kids don’t want to leave!” says Crevillén.
Substrate versatility is multiplying applications and business success
“The combination of high image quality and substrate versatility offered by HP Latex Printing Technologies is attracting international brands to use it for their sales campaigns on paper and textile. This is allowing us to enter these high-end markets, such as fashion and perfume, where customers are looking for even higher impact images with bright and vivid colors,” Manzotti says.
“Vehicle wraps represented 90 percent of our business with solvent ink technology. With HP Latex Printing Technologies it has grown but represents 70 percent as our other sectors have grown. Thanks to the applications we can offer with HP Latex we are splitting the company organization to cater to the new business opportunities. Demicar will continue with the core vehicle wrapping activity, Demidecor will develop the decorations market for events and tradeshows and Demiprint will target decorations for large spaces, such as floor decorations, column wraparound, and escalators. Outsourcing represented 10 percent of our business two years ago. Today it is negligible,” Manzotti says.
PrintZone is experiencing similar success. “HP Latex Printing Technologies offer us application versatility, given the vast range of substrates that are supported. This offers our customers an infinity of options to attractively decorate spaces and objects, including creating wallpapers, printed textiles, decorating rough surfaces, glass, and floors. It also brings the ability to use a different variety of substrates for the more traditional high image quality commercial applications.”
"Add to that the technology’s outstanding environmental credentials and its productivity, achieved by combining high print speeds with prints that are dry straight off the printer, which allows us to finish and install products immediately if needed. Its reliability and color consistency are also valuable assets, particularly when decorating large surface areas,” explains Marisa Arnaiz, general manager of PrintZone.
Investing in printing technology with a future
“With the limited number of applications offered by solvent ink technology and the ever shorter turnaround demanded by customers, solvent ink technology is becoming increasingly irrelevant. For one solvent job, we printed 4,000 posters with a reprint rate of between 5 – 10 percent, due to image defects or defects like cracking during application. That was 200 to as many as 400 reprints. Which is one reason there is little or no development or investment in solvent ink technology these days,” says Manzotti. Demibold switched from solvent ink technology to HP Latex Printing Technologies after showing a customer a test image printed on its solvent machine compared to the same test image which Demibold had outsourced to a competitor, who was already using HP Latex Printing Technologies.
“The customer saw brighter colors and overall higher image quality and chose our competitor’s print. That’s when we purchased our first HP Latex printer,” Manzotti exclaims.
Winning business with certified environmental credentials
“Our customers are increasingly attracted to the option of reducing the impact of their activities on the environment. GREENGUARD GOLD Certified HP Latex Inks underline our capability to satisfy that need and our commitment with potential customers,” Manzotti says. Both Demibold and PrintZone also highlight the benefits that HP Latex Printing Technologies bring to the working environment. Unlike solvent ink technology, water-based HP Latex Inks do not require investment in ventilation systems or separate operating areas or special precautions. The output does not require degassing and can be handled and finished immediately as it comes off the printer dry.
“Other printing technologies cannot match the productivity, reliability, and green credentials that HP Latex Printing Technology offers. Today, we are expanding our business into new sectors, including the decoration of schools, restaurants, and public spaces that require environmental certifications, and that’s unique,” Manzotti concludes.