Color Inkjet Printing: Inkjet’s Web Paper Pursuit

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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.

Jack Miller is founder and Principal Consultant at Market-Intell LLC, offering Need to Know™ market intelligence in paper, print and packaging. Previously, he was senior consultant, North America, with Pira International.

Known as the Paper Guru, Jack is the former director of Market Intelligence with Domtar, where he also held positions as regional sales manager, territory sales manager and product manager. He has presented at On Demand, RISI’s Global Outlook, PRIMIR, SustainCom World and at various IntertechPira conferences. Jack has written for Printing Impressions, Canadian Printer, Paper 360, PaperTree Letter and Package Printing, along with publishing a monthly e-newsletter, MarketIntellibits.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The College of the Holy Cross and has done graduate studies in Statistics and Finance.

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