Last October, Kodak awarded it with a 5 Diamond rating—the highest rating it gives—on its Paper Rating Program for Prosper presses.
Launched in March 2012, the Paper Rating Program relies on the collection and analysis of quantifiable data to determine the performance characteristics of any substrate. Kodak said it developed the program to help printers and publishers make more informed decisions about the right combination of quality and price when evaluating substrates for each of their print jobs. Image quality is measured using a variety of factors; the substrate then is identified using a rating system that ranges from one diamond to five diamonds. The 5 Diamond rating is awarded to a media that equates to “offset quality.”
Hundreds of papers are being evaluated, and paper manufacturers continue to improve surface quality and economics through what they learn.
“The Kodak process is robust and well documented. We’re confident it will pass an ISO audit. This will likely take place after emergence in the second half of the year,” says Will Mansfield, worldwide marketing director, Inkjet Printing Solutions at Eastman Kodak.
Another example is TrueJet Gloss coated paper, a high-performance stock developed by NewPage in cooperation with Kodak scientists and engineers. “The patent-pending technology used in the TrueJet paper, which includes state-of-the-art coating pigments, binders, and other additives, enables high-speed blade coating at very high shear rates,” Freedman reports. “This paper can be produced on large-scale, pulp-integrated paper machines instead of on smaller, specialty coater lines.”
Freedman explains that, to achieve good image quality, the Prosper press has two primary coated paper requirements: “First, the paper must be absorbent enough to wick the ink solvent away from the surface so that the inks do not smear,” he writes.
“Second, the paper must provide a means for keeping the ink colorant on the surface without spreading, tailing, or blurring the ink drops. TrueJet paper meets these requirements by using coated materials that provide a porous and permeable coating layer, and by incorporating a bonding agent to fix the ink pigment to the coating surface.”
The TrueJet line of coated papers is the recipient of an InterTech Technology Award, presented by the Printing Industries of America. It is just one example of the innovation being seen in this field.