When a super-calendered paper used for high-quality colour printing developed a skipped dot issue, the company using the paper at one of their mills turned to FPInnovations to determine the cause of the problem and develop a solution.
FPInnovations researchers used the laboratory printing and paper-testing facilities at the Pointe-Claire, Quebec research centre to carry out client-specific studies to get to the root of the problem. Paper samples from the client, as well as independent samples, were analyzed for micro roughness and surface chemistry, while printing tests were done under a controlled setting. The results were analyzed by FPInnovations scientists who identified the cause of the print quality problem in relation to sheet structure. "The company has developed a high level of expertise acquired over 30 years of working on print quality issues," says Xuejun Zou, FPInnovations fibre production manager.
FPInnovations conducts independent testing for both paper and print quality issues and the labs are equipped for testing offset, rotogravure, and flexo printing processes using a variety of paper from calendered to newsprint, and coated board types as well.
"Because we also have experts in pulping and papermaking, we're able to turn to our colleagues who can offer advice on improving paper quality and then run printing tests on the improved surface," says Tony Manfred, principal technologist at FPInnovations.
In this case, the mill made the adjustments on the paper machine as recommended and the paper surface improved, which in effect improved the print quality.
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