Kodak is introducing a Paper Rating System for KODAK PROSPER Presses at drupa that provides quantitative image-quality measurements that book publishing, direct mail and commercial customers can use to compare similar papers and grades. Kodak has amassed more than 10 years of paper testing data and created a database of more than 3,500 paper tests. Customers will now directly benefit from that extensive research to make more informed decisions about the right combination of quality and price for each of their print jobs.
“For production inkjet printing, choosing the right paper remains one of the largest variables in delivering quality, value and customer satisfaction. In order to simplify the decisions for print providers, their customers and agencies, Kodak has developed a Paper Rating System that compares paper surfaces using quantified metrics for image quality,” said Don Burns, Kodak’s Business Development Director for Media. “Customers can now compare papers of similar grades and determine best fit for their applications.”
There are few, if any, consistent and widely accepted methodologies today for assessing paper surfaces for inkjet printing performance. While some industry efforts have been made to license chemical treatment technology to paper makers, these trademark programs provide no details of the image quality capabilities of licensed papers. Consequently, printers and customers are left to a trial-and-error approach to assess whether each paper will meet the requirements of each of their customers.
In order to assess paper surface capabilities, there are six metrics that can quantify and characterize the image quality expectations for each paper type. These tests are conducted under standardized conditions and results are simplified by Kodak into a five-diamond rating system. Customers will immediately know the image quality potential of a given paper, and with data, can make application-specific decisions based on economics and quality.
Currently more than 220 papers have been successfully rated in meeting criteria for one to five diamonds of the Paper Rating System. By working with Kodak’s R&D researchers for paper development, a number of mills have made significant process improvements to improve surface quality and thereby raise their diamond rating.
The program will be ISO certified and rolled out globally throughout 2012. Kodak will recognize selected paper manufacturers for their product ratings during drupa.
For users who need to rely on off-the-shelf papers for a variety of reasons, the KODAK PROSPER Image Optimizer Station (IOS) is designed to deliver optimal image quality and consistent operation, while allowing a broad range of substrate options and maintaining high levels of speed and productivity. The pre-treatment process modifies existing offset papers and creates an appropriate surface for the physical requirements of inkjet printing, including aqueous pigment-based inks, evaporative drying, ink adhesion and improved durability.
For more information about Kodak at drupa, visit www.kodak.com/go/drupa.
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