New Digital Presses, New Digital Papers
Using papers certified for digital presses can speed production and increase quality.
Many factors can affect the finished quality of a digitally published piece. Among the most impactful is the choice of paper.
While traditional papers can be used, selecting a paper that's been designed for digital presses can not only improve the look and feel of the work; it can also speed production by reducing or eliminating paper jams and make-readies.
There's much to know about the new digital papers, but it's all easy to take in. Here are some tips that will help make your next digitally published project achieve its full potential.
Grain direction: 35" x 23" provides the best cuts for digitally-imaged formats.
Surface: The smoother, the better. Smooth papers allow a digital press to run fastest, with fewer (or no) jams. A smooth surface also helps with fusing. Essentially, smooth papers keep digital jobs moving and production running.
Body: Heavier weights reduce or eliminate jams associated with light weight papers. Flimsy sheets ruin many good jobs.
Curl: Look for papers with a consistent minimal curl. This avoids problems that arise when using the paper for duplexing (printing both sides). Papers that curl easily can jam when they're flipped over for imaging on side two. Likewise, toner and ink application can be inconsistent with papers that don't remain flat as they move through the paper path.
Moisture content: The fuser/pressure roll assembly in digital presses must be strictly controlled between 380o and 420o. When controlled properly, the paper will maintain its properties after an image has been printed. If not, curl can become a problem when printing on side two.
Dust: Put simply, it must be minimized. Too much dust can coat the print engine sensors, resulting in 'false jams' and downtime. If paper dust collects in other areas of the digital press, such as the photoreceptor belts, imaging quality will suffer, and the belts will become scratched. This leads to more downtime and costly repairs.