Finch Paper President and CEO, Joe Raccuia, today unwraps a comprehensive digital paper program that employs a new, cross-company digital applications team to research and specify the ultimate product mix for digital printing applications.
Finch Paper’s collaborative, solutions-oriented relationship model - which has successfully served its traditional customers for decades - is the model for the company’s customer-centric development and delivery plan for the digital paper program.
“Digital production is about choice. You have equipment, software, ink and substrate choices; and you marry these to your resources and customer needs,” Raccuia says. “Our unique, vertically-integrated manufacturing platform allows us to engineer papers that meet customers’ resource and application requirements, resulting in highest quality at the lowest cost.”
Finch learned that people may not realize how much better their jobs can look, or how much money they can save, because most paper manufacturers can’t offer this kind of customization -- especially for high-speed inkjet printing. “It’s been the invisible leg of the three-legged stool, with the print engine and the ink comprising the other legs,” Finch Paper Director of Product Marketing, Phil Hart, says. “Paper is a critical part of the digital print equation, and has tremendous impact on every job.”
Hidden cost savings
In its Managing the Variable Characteristics of Inkjet Substrates for Profitability whitepaper, Finch says, “it is by optimizing absorption and ink-fastness specifically for unique print environments that it is possible for printers to use paper and ink with the highest levels of cost efficiency. This is an especially appealing factor when you consider that the ink (and often, bonding agents) contributes nearly 30% to the cost of an inkjet printing job, and the paper only contributes about 10%, or less, to the cost.”
Optimizing absorption and ink-fastness can influence quality characteristics such as color and show-through; while engineering modifications can also affect variables like speed and runnability.
In other words, printers can save ink – and money – while boosting quality and ease of use, by using tailored paper solutions.
Finch recommends that paper buyers investigate their options, and ask their paper provider about its ability to tailor paper formulations for their particular needs.
The Finch Digital Paper Family
At minimum, Finch recommends that digital printers use papers formulated for the type of colorant (toner or ink) their system utilizes. Finch Fine iD papers, which have received the highest ratings possible from the RIT certification body commissioned by HP, have been available for some time. Finch Fine iD is engineered for HP’s popular liquid toner-based Indigo systems. This past fall Finch rolled out its Finch Inkjet Pi for pigment-based inkjet production. Today, Finch dyeJet is released for dye-based inkjet systems, completing the basic formulation product line.
Expanding the Finch Paper Team
To facilitate due diligence in establishing the digital paper program, Finch built a team that today includes additional research and development expertise, a new product manager, and a new digital paper sales manager. Operations have otherwise been expanded to accommodate product growth, of which digital paper is only a part. These new resources include the addition of expanded headquarters space as well as new personnel including a Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement.
Focused Relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers
Finch is not confining its close relationship-building to end-user customers. It is only by fully understanding the technologies made available by the print engine and ink manufacturers that the company can make intelligent decisions about development. Technology resources include Kodak, HP, Océ, Screen, Ricoh/IBM, Pitney–Bowes, Canon, and RIT.
A Winning Track Record in Customer Service
Finch Paper’s insistence on individual, customized attention doesn’t begin with the digital paper program. The company’s flexible infrastructure has, for decades, allowed personnel to offer timely service and support to customers turned away at other mills for a range of reasons, such as orders that are too small, or required too quickly.
“We live the cliché: ‘Customers come first,” says Raccuia. “When you call us here, a person answers the phone, stands up, and walks over to whomever they need to see to get paper made and shipped on time.
“It’s how we’ve served commercial printers for decades; we’ll do it for the digital paper marketplace as well.”