Color Inkjet Printing: Inkjet’s Web Paper Pursuit
For uncoated papers, HP and International Paper introduced ColorLok technology for desktop printers. The technology involves a calcium chloride-based chemical that is added in the paper mill. Glen Hopkins, vice president and general manager, printing technology platforms for HP, advises that ColorLok adds “a minimal cost to the overall cost of paper.” The precise cost will vary, depending on the efficiency of the mill, and he thinks it is likely that the cost will come down with experience.
With the introduction of the T300 color inkjet web press, HP followed up with ColorPRO, a similar technology for inkjet presses. Abitibi Bowater, Georgia-Pacific and Stora Enso all produce ColorPRO qualified papers. The program provides “a recognizable trademark to communicate value, quality and advanced performance,” and requires that mills meet quality standards audited by HP. The HP T300 can also apply a “bonding agent” that enables printing on ordinary uncoated paper.
Hopkins notes that “customers, therefore, have the choice of printing with the bonding agent on uncoated offset papers that they may already have in their warehouse, or without the bonding agent on uncoated ColorPRO papers.
Coated papers, however, remain a challenge. HP’s ColorPRO technology is not designed for coated papers, nor is the bonding agent, although some coated papers do work better with the bonding agent. HP, Kodak and Océ are all working with the leading coated paper manufacturers.
Guy Broadhurst, Océ vice president of new technologies and client development, says that the JetStream can run some standard commercial grades, and adds that Océ does have a list of certified papers, though the list is not public. The list includes a range of standard and specially treated papers, including papers ranging from uncoated to coated #3 to premium papers.
Kodak also does paper qualification, and Kodak announced a Paper Certification program at Ipex. Don Burns, business development director–media, explains that Kodak is working with a focused list of select partners. Some paper partners are identified on the Kodak Website.But, since the Prosper press was only launched in May at Ipex, the list of qualified papers for the Prosper is still under development.