EFI (Booth 2602) has addressed one long standing concern with electrophotographic digital printing with a unique postpress product. The EFI GlossControl unit, debuting at PRINT 13, is a postpress device that modifies the gloss appearance of the printed output from dry toner presses and printers.
The product, which won a 2013 MUST SEE ’EMS award in the “Future of Print—Technology Demonstrations” category, minimizes the differences in sheen across the printed page by modifying the gloss levels of higher coverage areas. As a result, print customers can get the quality they require, without reducing the vividness of the color output.
While toner-based digital presses and production printers have long offered exceptional color reproduction, EFI GlossControl addresses one of the remaining challenges of the process from a quality standpoint. Electrophotographic dry toner printers fuse the toner by melting and pressing it against the paper’s surface. This typically results in a highly reflective and glossy surface with variable gloss levels between shadow, highlight, and bare paper substrate areas.
This leads some print buyers to prefer the output quality of offset litho printing, where they can achieve a more uniform level of gloss or a matte appearance throughout the printed sheet.
To solve this issue, EFI GlossControl works by scoring the toner’s smooth surface with a micro-fine etching. Too fine to be seen by the naked eye or felt by touch, this scoring roughs the surface of the toner and diffuses reflections to create a semi-gloss, satin, or matte finish that is consistent. This minimizes the difference in gloss between regions of high toner coverage and low-to-no coverage areas of the printed output.
With EFI GlossControl, printing companies can offer digital output with the choice of a consistent gloss, satin, or matte finish—without laminates, additional chemicals, or a time-consuming coating process. By eliminating the need to use a chemical coating on the printed paper, GlossControl is also easy to maintain, more environmentally friendly, and adds no consumable cost per page.
Printing companies can tailor the gloss level to a specific job to get the quality of litho with the benefits of digital. It works with most electrophotographic, dry toner printers and digital presses and operates at speeds up to 100 ppm. It can handle sheets as large as 14.33x26", in weights from 90 to 350 gsm, and can create continuously variable gloss ranges down to 15 gloss units (60 degrees).