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Mary Schilling

Inkjet Genie

By Mary Schilling

About Mary

Mary Schilling works with all the elements of the digital process-from conventional and inkjet technologies to fluids and substrates-and provides technical support to print providers on optimizing print quality while lowering total print cost.

Understanding the dynamics of the digital marketplace, and the incredible growth and advancements in inkjet technology, Mary provides customers with print quality, color gamut, fluid consumption, machine and print quality analysis, utilizing G7 methodology. She also works with inkjet fluid and machine developers to align paper development of new, innovative inkjet substrates.

As the owner of Schilling Inkjet Consulting, she consults with fluid and inkjet machinery suppliers and end users on how to improve color and print quality for paper, plastics, metal, fabric and glass with UV, solvent and aqueous inkjet fluids.

Mary received Innovator of the Year awards from the Flexographic Technical Association and from Xplor International for her efforts in closing the gap between document printing and digital packaging.

She is G7 certified and a member of the IDEAlliance Print Properties Committee.


Whose Responsibility Is It?

In working with many traditional printers moving to inkjet, I hear the same comment over and over. “So what, it’s just paper...Right? I spent millions of dollars on inkjet, why do I have to waste ink and time testing all of these papers?”

This comment is a perfectly valid one.

Inkjet is a new and wonderful “disruptive technology” that is ever-changing to adapt to customer and market needs. Speed requirements are pushing print head jetting capabilities which, in turn, is requiring changes in inkjet fluid chemistry. All of these changes are being done to ensure ink and print head compatibility.

Once the inks are developed, the paper mills modify and develop paper and surface treatments, as well as coatings, to ensure these new ink fluids and paper surfaces are compatible.

Inkjet printing on uncoated, treated, or coated papers requires compatibility between the substrate surface and the ink chemistry, as well as understanding the proper amount of ink to apply to the surface. A change to any of these elements will cause gamut and density loss, drying or curing issues, show through, cockle, mottling, as well as cutting, folding and inserting issues.

With print heads, inkjet fluids and paper continually changing, who is responsible to ensure the inkjet customer has the proper, compatible substrates ready to use upon a multimillion-dollar inkjet installation?

Is it the OEM? Since ensuring runnability and compatibility with many papers is crucial to the sale. This requires OEM warehousing logistics and analysis of hundreds of paper grades and weights.

Is it the paper mills? Since they need a portfolio of substrates, which are consistently manufactured, to stay compatible with changing fluids. This requires OEM inks to be integrated into the paper manufacturing/testing process, as well as having the proper jetting devices for testing.

Or is it the inkjet customer? Since the paper and fluid used on an inkjet device is targeted to their application and end user requirements. This requires downtime in their production process and unnecessary consumption of ink.

Whose responsibility do you think it is?

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