Paper News from PRINT 13: All About Inkjet
The biggest paper news during the PRINT 13 show was the announcement—unrelated to the show—by International Paper of the permanent closure of its Courtland, AL, mill. Courtland produces 765,000 tons of uncoated freesheet and 185,000 tons of coated freesheet. The closure will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2014. This represents about 8 percent of North American uncoated freesheet capacity. North American demand is declining at about 4 percent per year, with year-to-date operating rates at 91 percent. We can expect that this will temporarily balance, or even tighten, the market, but as demand continues to decline, more closures will be necessary in 2014 and 2015.
As to the show itself, digital remains front and center, and within digital, papers treated for continuous-feed aqueous inkjet, continue to be the buzz. Two new inkjet treated grades made their appearance at PRINT 13: Future Jet from FutureMark was running on a Ricoh InfoPrint 5000 inkjet press, while Enviro Jet from Cascades, was running on a Canon ColorStream 3900. Both papers feature high recycled content—Future Jet with >90 percent postconsumer waste on 45# and 50# matte coated; and Enviro Jet with 100 percent postconsumer waste on 20#, 24#, 28#, and 32# uncoated.
New to the North American market is Mondi’s line of pigmented inkjet papers from the Neusiedler mill in Austria. The Mondi line includes DNS high-speed inkjet for pigment and dye-based inks. The papers are pigmented, similar to a film coat, and the DNS CF grade has a coated feel while the DNS NF grade has a natural or uncoated feel. Basis weights range from 80 gsm to 160 gsm. The line also includes Nautilus high-speed inkjet with 100 percent recycled fibre.
In the field of uncoated freesheet, International Paper was exhibiting a broad range of papers, including Accent Opaque with ColorPRO Technology, 50#, 60# and 9-pt. reply card for HP T-series presses; and Accent Opaque with ImageLok Technology, 50#, 60# and 9-pt. reply card for pigment-based inks; and also Accent Opaque Dyemond for dye-based inks.
Domtar’s Enterprise Group was at the Xerox booth with a broad range of papers including the inkjet treated papers ExpressJet and VividJet. Domtar recently acquired the Xerox brand, and Domtar’s Xerox papers and inkjet papers are available through the Enterprise Group. ExpressJet is available in 20# and 24#, while VividJet is available in 20#, 23# and 28#.
In coated papers, Mitsubishi Paper Mills (MPM) was exhibiting its range of coated papers treated for aqueous inkjet. MPM introduced SWORD iJET 4.3, a premium grade, high-quality coated production inkjet media at GRAPH EXPO 2012. Since then, new grades and weights of Mitsubishi coated specialty media for printing on high-speed, continuous-feed, color inkjet presses have been added to the portfolio, including the latest book-grade inkjet media, Premier IJ Book.
Other mills with inkjet-treated papers were at the show, but not exhibiting. I met people from Appleton Coated, NewPage Corp., Finch Paper, and Glatfelter Paper, who were attending the show.
Appleton offers Utopia Inkjet in gloss, dull and matte finishes, in text and cover weights ranging from 60# text to 100# cover, plus Utopia Book Inkjet in 45#, 50#, 60#, 70# and 80# matte finish. Appleton also offers Utopia Uncoated Inkjet with ColorPRO Technology in 40# through 70# text, smooth finish.
NewPage offers TrueJet in 80# and 100# text and 7-pt. and 9-pt. cover with gloss finish, and also TrueJet Book 45# with matte finish. TrueJet was developed for the Kodak Prosper Press, but also works on HP presses without a bonding agent. NewPage also offers TrueJet Hybrid 80# and 100# text with gloss finish. TrueJet Hybrid is suitable for offset and is engineered to work with Kodak Versamark dye-based inks without smearing.
Finch Performance Inkjet Papers—i.e. uncoated, inkjet treated papers—include Finch Inkjet Pi for pigment-based inks and Finch DyeJet for dye-based inks. Finch Inkjet Pi is available in 45# and 50# Text Book and 20#/50#, 24#/60#, 28#/70#,32#/80# text and 7-pt. and 9-pt. reply card. Finch DyeJet is available in 20#/50#, 24#/60#, 28#/70#,32#/80# text.
Glatfelter offers both coated and uncoated Pixelle High Speed Inkjet Papers. Uncoated papers include Pixelle Bond, 20#, 24# and 32#, treated for dye or pigment-based inks, and also Pixelle Book and Pixelle Book Natural, 50# and 60# text, treated for pigment-based inks. Coated papers include Pixelle Restorecote, 50# and 65# text, treated for dye or pigment-based inks, Pixelle Superior Duo Matte, in 61# text, 80# text, and 112# text, treated for dye or pigment-based inks, and Pixelle Duo Gloss, 81# text, 124# text, an 149# text, treated for pigment-based inks.
Also exhibiting at the show were Verso Paper, Mohawk Fine Papers and Tembec Paper, all of which are watching the inkjet market closely, but have not yet introduced papers treated for high-speed aqueous inkjet. While growth is robust, the market remains small.