I’m Ready to Smack Some Salespeople…

OK folks, as we have said before, “It is high-speed Inkjet, not Offset.” Inkjet inks are like Kool-Aid and absorb into the paper, whereas Offset inks are tacky and sit on the surface. Inkjet inks don’t use the same pigment colors to make their process CMYK like for Offset. It’s similar to the difference of painting in water colors vs. acrylic paints.

While we’re at it, let’s also point out that “high-speed inkjet is not wide-format.” The speed, colorant and ink chemistry, as well as compatible papers, are all different. We all understand this, right? Apparently not.

I mention this all because a customer called me last week and told me that a high-speed inkjet supplier salesperson stated, “high-speed inkjet will match your offset press’ and wide-format printer’s print quality, no matter what the paper.” Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard such crazy talk.

Now, anyone who knows me is quite aware that I am an inkjet evangelist. I firmly believe that how we, as an industry, communicate through print will increasingly become more dependent on inkjet technologies. Not just for billing, direct mail and commercial printing output, but also for packaging and industrial printing such as poly and plastics. It is changing the way we print, period.

So, when I hear of industry supplier sales reps—who are supposed to be educated about their products—stating things that are not true, I just want to smack them. When an industry supplier salesperson points a customer in the wrong direction, it impacts our entire industry, not just the product area in which they are selling.

I understand that the digital printing industry is evolving very quickly and that existing salespeople from the toner side of the business are migrating over to inkjet sales—some willingly, some being forced.

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.
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  • Ralph

    For a number of years, we have been researching Inkjet Webs. What I have found is that on the third meeting the manufacturer’s rep finally gets what we are looking for and brings in a few of the technical people in.
    First meeting – Our equipment is the best, it can do anything. Okay I say, I need some testing done before our second meeting. I get our paper vendor to front several rolls of what the manufacturer says is compatible. We tell them (in writing, too) what we are looking for.
    Second Meeting – Samples do not even come close; they are just plain unacceptable, wash out, streaks, paper wrinkled, paper curling. So we do the whole procedure again.
    Third Meeting – Samples not bad as before, but still major issues, but they bring some techs with them this time. We now get to the areas of concern. First comment is, well our test center just throws the paper on the press and prints. In a “live” environment you would work with the techs and figure out how to achieve what you want. You mean I have to spend X millions and then fool with the press never knowing that I can achieve what I need? Answer, well for you, since the techs are here, they can go over what you need and they will be there when the paper is run to work with the operator to try and achieve what you want
    4th Meeting – Samples so much better, not exactly what we want, but almost there to what our customers will expect from us. But wait, the manufacturer has developed a new model that will meet everything. So the whole thing goes back to square one.

    We have repeated this with many of the manufactures. It is a big waste of our time. We are always upfront about what we need. It takes months and 3 meetings to finally make anyone really listen. When I tell them on the first meeting, the blacks need to be black, not gray. Don’t show up at our first meeting with gray printing.


  • EclipseDoc

    Mary, this is great stuff. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!