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An Old Friend Resurfaces --Waldman

August 2002

Kromekote's hard, mirror-like appearance is actually a deception as the stock is very porous, enabling quick drying. Commercial printers have long known about the ability to work and turn short-run jobs on this seemingly glass-like surface without the offset problems associated with other coated sheets.

This porous surface minimizes dot gain and provides micro-pores for laser printing toner particles. Garth pointed out other technical factors why Kromekote is a natural for digital printing, like the Parker Print Surface (PPS) reading of 0.4 which, I guess, would impress a true paperholic.

But, as impressed as I was with KromekotePlus, Garth claimed that Smart Papers' special laser grade, Kromekote Laser High Gloss, has a unique coating formulation that further enhances toner adhesion. Garth was also quick to point out that the results would be even better on the more sophisticated machines like an Indigo, NexPress and iGen3. I'm sure it would. But, for me, it was nice seeing a great golden oldie surface resurface for what should be a bright digital future.

Easy, Inexpensive Job

Speaking of the digital future, Rich's brochure cost about $65 for consumables, including paper and toner. The Phaser 7700 costs about $9,000 to buy, and setup is as simple as loading paper in the trays, making cost of ownership low. Plus, in the spring of this year, both Xerox and HP introduced single-pass lasers in the $2,000 price range.

Also, both companies have more slated for the fall and don't think their competitors are asleep. In a few short years, single-pass office laser printers will get even better, cheaper with a lower cost of consumables.

Whether you like it or not, single-pass office laser printers are going to have an enormous impact on our industry. As desktop digital printing begins to emerge as a force, all printers should be thinking about how to maintain their viability with customers. Perhaps the thinking and planning should start now.

—Harry Waldman

About the Author

Harry Waldman is a consultant and has been in the printing industry for 30 years. As a former company owner, he was well-known for implementing cutting-edge technologies. He has been on many advisory boards and received several honors for his industry contributions. Waldman is also an author. His book, Computer Color Graphics, published by GATF Press, enables readers to learn today's graphic software quickly by teaching the essential concepts. He can be reached by e-mail at

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