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Available through Antalis, Arjowiggins produces a series of handy guides to its papers that are available in versions to suit different digital print technologies
This month Vince Collins visits suppliers to check out what's happening in the world of papers suitable for use with cut-sheet digital presses.
Just as conventional print techniques like offset litho, flexo and gravure put particular demands on the paper they're printed on, digital print technologies also make their own specific demands for properties and characteristics of substrates if the best results are to be achieved. The mills, paper suppliers and digital press manufacturers put a fair bit of effort into developing and testing their products so that users of digital presses will get something that will run reliably through both the press and subsequent finishing equipment, whilst also offering a good - and growing - choice of substrates so that the flexibility and convenience of digital print can be married to the creative spectrum that the paper industry has long offered its analogue print counterparts.
For example, Antalis has recently launched digital versions of the range of Arjowiggins Creative Papers. Branded Arjowiggins Digital, the range brings together the best sellers from across Arjowiggins Creative Papers' brands: Conqueror, Curious Collection, Keaykolour, Rives and Pop'Set.
Following the partnership between Arjowiggins Creative Papers and Mohawk which was announced last year, the paper manufacturer has applied Mohawk's i-Tone technology across its creative paper ranges which now sit alongside Mohawk's flagship Superfine i-Tone papers. Originally developed for HP Indigo presses, i-Tone is a surface treatment that improves toner adhesion on digitally-printed substrates. Antalis can now provide customers with high quality, quick-drying digital products that are well-suited for printing on any liquid toner press. The repertoire of papers for dry toner printing has also been expanded and, thanks to rigorous testing, customers can be provided with paper-specific technical information for optimal results on any dry toner press.
James Jarvis, channel director for print at Antalis, said, 'Our ambition at Antalis is to provide customers with innovative products and services adapted to the latest digital printing technologies, allowing them to harness the potential of this growing market. There are huge opportunities for commercial printers to embrace new technologies, enter new markets and build new revenue streams. By extending our digital printing range with Arjowiggins Creative Papers Digital, we're continuing to help our customers bring their most creative ideas to life.'
Customers will benefit from a broad range of digital-friendly formats adapted to dry toner presses and in particular to the HP indigo liquid toner presses: SRA3+ formats of 460 x 320mm and 320 x 460mm, an extended 483 x 330 and 330 x 483mm format, as well as the more recent 527 x 748mm and 748 x 527mm B2 format for the HP Indigo 10000 and 12000 models.
This new range brings together a number of products from across Arjowiggins Creative Papers' ranges, including a wide assortment from the innovative Curious Collection range. This includes metallics, translucents and Curious Matter, Conqueror CX22 wove and laid, plus novel textures from the Rives range, vibrant colours from the Pop'Set range and rustic-style products from the Keaykolour range. The range also includes products from the Delos and Butterfly ranges that are dedicated to digital packaging applications produced on HP Indigo presses.
Show your true nature: MetaliK is a range of 330gsm graphical boards that are suitable for dry toner digital print. Gold, silver and copper finishes are available and both sides are printable
Antalis tests its laser digital paper range with presses from all the main cut-sheet toner press vendors to check that the papers are suitable in terms of productivity through the right combination of bulk, stiffness, grain direction and smoothness for runnability, as well as for consistent electrical conductivity, which is important in the electrostatic process that governs tone adhesion in xerographic printing.
Partnering with the press manufacturer
A major new development for EBB is the announcement of a new partnership with Canon. The new collaboration has seen EBB appointed as an Accredited Partner and key distributor of the Canon cut size paper ranges. Initial stocks of Canon Yellow Label, Canon Black Label and Canon Red Label are now in the EBB warehouses and are available for next-day delivery across the UK. Additional grades will be added to complement the range.
Pick your partners: EBB makes matching stocks to popular digital press types as easy as reading a menu
'The UK market has seen significant demand for branded grades. With our logistics capability we plan to make the Canon products the most widely available and easily accessed OEM products in the UK,' says Chris Sandwell, sales and marketing director at EBB.
Dominic Fahy, group manager for display graphics systems and imaging supplies at Canon UK commented, 'We are delighted to partner with EBB; our branded products coupled with their stock and distribution network will be a winning combination. We see large potential and demand for growth in the ever changing cut-size market'.
Premier Digital, part of Premier Paper, offers a wide range of
papers suitable for digital printing. Premier works with the
digital press manufacturers and with paper suppliers; both groups
have invested heavily in developing the technologies and substrates
to meet the demands of emerging technologies.
Premier Digital offers a range of papers across the four main colour production press technologies, including HP Indigo, Xeikon, colour laser (dry toner) and wide-format Inkjet. The products are diverse, from the exclusive distribution of the Century Soho for Indigo range from Fedrigoni and the Condat Digital range, to Evolution Recycled and a new comprehensive wide format range from Xerox. Premier Digital has recently added the Xerox brand to its portfolio and is now a Xerox Document Supplies Authorised Reseller. The recently launched a wide format inkjet media range is sourced mainly from Xerox and includes products for aqueous and solvent-based ink systems, together with a range of lamination films.
The Premier Digital range includes speciality grades such as synthetics, 100% recycled papers, metallic and pearlescent finishes and self-adhesive products, together with speciality products such as Mohawk Panoramic Lay Flat pages.
To help designers, printers and other print specifiers become better acquainted with 'digital' paper products, Premier has produced a ring-bound digital media selector which gives comprehensive information on the products available for use on the main types of digital presses. The company has also produced a series of swatches specifically for HP Indigo, Xeikon, toner-based colour laser and wide-format inkjet.
Denmaur Independent Papers says it has spent a significant amount of time speaking to and listening to its customers about digital printing presses, learning how well they work and what the preferred paper types and sizes are. Base on this research the company worked with a number of producers to bring to market a range of products to meet users' variety and quality aspirations. Denmaur offers choices for toner-based and liquid toner machines, covering the majority of cut-sheet digital presses. The company holds stocks of both coated and uncoated papers, guaranteed suitable for a wide number of small-format (SRA3) digital presses. The papers are held in a dedicated stock facility in Leicestershire, from where they are available for next day delivery.
Denmaur also continues to offer a quick turnaround sapphire coating service. This allows any paper to be made suitable for use with HP Indigo presses and so broadens the choice of papers that users of these presses can offer their customers.
While digital press technology continues to develop apace, paper merchants are working hard to make sure that the substrates can keep up and so expand the options offered. They have all the technical data to match paper to press and are happy to help printers to get the best out of their digital press investments.
Read the full May issue here