HP Split – Focusing on Innovation in 3D Printing

HP – the name is synonymous with printing technology, although it’s also become a household name in terms of desktops, laptops and, at least to some extent, tablet computers. However, times are changing and HP has had to change with them. The significantly decreasing market share for desktops and laptops combined with HP’s inability to create a tablet that saw more than lukewarm enthusiasm from consumers has had an enormous impact on its profitability. In a recent press release, the company announced how it would handle that impact. Apparently, it will split itself into two separate firms.

More Than Dual Personalities

Having more than one brand under a single roof is nothing new. However, what HP is proposing is more than this. It will actually divide itself into two completely separate companies. One will be Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. The other will be HP, Inc. Each company will have a completely different focus. For instance, the enterprise-oriented company will focus on servers, networking and other business-oriented options. HP, Inc. will focus on consumer-end electronics and technology, including personal computing systems. It will also ramp up efforts to develop its leadership in the field of 3D printing.

Source: The Economist

That’s not only a refreshing change for the company, but a logical step. HP has long been a driving force in the world of printing, both in consumer-oriented printers and those geared for commercial needs. The company’s extensive experience, expertise and drive to innovate will help add even more to a rapidly growing industry.

The Company’s Entrance to the Industry

HP has toyed with 3D printing in the past, but never done anything serious. That leaves a lot of ambiguity about exactly how they will enter the industry. While HP hasn’t officially announced any firm plans, products or methods, there are hints of what’s to come. Two unique materials have surfaced inside HP’s laboratories, including a unique, smooth polymer and a glass-like material. The glass-like material made from sodium silicate has garnered quite a few headlines since its original announcement. Both are proprietary substances, which would give HP quite a bit of clout on the market if the company were able to not only create innovative printers but also demonstrate viable, important uses for those materials.

In the End

The company summed up the advantages of the split and the impact of the change on HP, Inc. by saying in a statement, “An independent HP, Inc. will be extremely well positioned to deliver that innovation across our traditional markets as well as extend our leadership into new markets like 3D printing and new computing experiences – inventing technology that empowers people to create, interact and inspire like never before.”

When everything’s said and done, no one really knows what HP will do with its 3D printing segment. The firm has made clear several times that they are not interested in consumer-end 3D printing, and will develop systems for manufacturers and commercial needs. However, that information came well before the company’s official breakup with itself, so there’s really no telling where they’ll be going next. It’s hoped that HP will turn its considerable resources and innovative capabilities toward creating the next generation of 3D printers and making them available to everyone, whether that’s a commercial manufacturer or an entrepreneur with an idea for the next big thing.

While the split might herald the end of an age for HP, it also means new things are on the horizon for consumers, business users, and commercial customers. By separating itself into two unique companies with disparate focuses, HP enables both businesses to better focus on what they do best.

Sources:

http://3dprintingindustry.com/2014/10/06/hps-split-means-greater-3d-printing-focus/

http://3dprinting.com/news/hp-working-3d-glass-printer/

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