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Friday,  July 19 , 2024

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News / Business / Clark County Business

HP looks ahead to a new Vancouver campus, innovative AI and printing technologies

Company adds AI projects to ongoing printing business

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 19, 2024, 2:18pm

Vancouver’s new HP campus is moving forward as the company takes steps to embrace innovative technologies globally.

HP’s Vancouver operation has long focused on printers, although the company also makes PCs, monitors and other accessories.

Hybrid work and the COVID-19 pandemic put the global printer market at risk as big office printers went unused for months. But the sector has stabilized, according to industry leaders.

“Our focus in print remains on regaining profitable share,” Enrique Lores, HP president and CEO, said during a recent investor call.

The company’s print revenue is down nearly 8 percent compared with this time last year. Demand was especially soft for printers in China and southern Europe, according to HP’s latest earnings report.

Tim Brown, interim chief financial officer at HP, said he expects the company’s printer sales to stabilize in the second half of the year.

Around 60 percent of the company’s revenues in the last quarter came from PC sales and services.

HP saw its overall revenue decline in its second quarter of 2024. Still, executives expressed optimism for its future.

Lores said the company is continuing to invest in innovative technologies, especially artificial intelligence and 5G.

Among the new projects, HP created a comprehensive workstation solution, HP AI Creation Center, as well as AI personal computers.

“In print, we showed how AI will unlock opportunities to make printing smarter, more efficient and more personalized,” Lores said.

Printing innovation is a focus at Vancouver. For example, two HP Vancouver employees, Paul Allan Osborne and John Patrick Sturman, recently were issued a patent for print fluid reclamation.

The company opened its plant in Vancouver in 1979, where inkjet printers were later developed and manufactured in conjunction with HP’s Corvallis, Ore., facility. About 2,500 people worked at HP’s east Vancouver locations during its peak in the 1990s. Now the company employs around 1,000 people here, according to the latest top employer data from the Columbia River Economic Development Council. HP sold its Southeast 34th Street campus in 2009 and now operates at the Columbia Tech Center in east Vancouver. But plans are underway for the development of a new campus off Southeast First Street.

The company has submitted a proposal to the city of Vancouver for the first two buildings at the property, one of which will be a new research and development building.

HP applied for building permits for its first building and intends to apply for its second building soon, according to Vancouver city spokesperson Laura Shepard.

Shepard said the city has approved the company’s contractor to start running underground utilities and foundations, though above-ground construction is yet to be permitted.

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