Continuous-feed Inkjet: The Web Paper Challenge
Finch Paper has worked closely with several OEMs and printers to develop two different inkjet papers, each one optimized to produce the best color quality for the ink system being deployed. Finch dyeJet is specifically engineered for dye-based systems where the colorant has a tendency to flow with the water into the core of the sheet. Pigment inks contain particles designed to stay on the surface and, for those systems, Finch Inkjet Pi is recommended. Phil Hart, director of product marketing, points out that dye-based inks are less expensive and often used for transactional printing, while pigment inks have a larger color gamut and are more often used in direct mail and book applications.
Hart advises that, unlike offset printing, paper is but a small part of the total cost of a production inkjet job. The cost benefits of using optimized pre-treated media are there when ink and energy are included in the equation. "Selling digital requires an educational approach. We help print customers see the entire value chain," he adds.
Domtar's approach is the opposite of Finch's. Ann Rieser, director of market development at Domtar, says that their approach was to create a line of multipurpose papers that work with both dye and pigment systems. "ExpressFlo 92 and VividFlo 96 both have an enhanced surface treatment designed to work with both dye and pigment high-speed inkjet systems, as well as laser and offset printing applications." She adds that "VividFlo has been especially well-received due to enhanced formation, and higher brightness and opacity." Domtar also offers GraphicFlo, a super-smooth, untreated paper with Sheffield Smoothness of 70 that is "laser and inkjet compatible, and designed for use with an in-line treatment."
According to Rieser, VividFlo works well on hybrid systems, since it works well on both offset and inkjet presses. At present the line is targeted to transactional printing, and as such is available exclusively through Domtar's Enterprise Group, which has a long history and strong relationships in the market with forms bond.
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.