Paper isn’t the only important factor in this evolution. Inks are evolving as well. Most inkjet vendors are providing — and customers are leveraging — a variety of dye, pigment, MICR and other inks to meet the changing and growing demands for new applications. This diversity is enhancing color output and opening up a world of new applications to inkjet.
Proactive vendors are creating new inks that, like paper, will grow inkjet applications. These higher density inks provide more vibrancy. At the same time, their lower water content promotes faster drying. Color applications that dry quickly use less power for applications with higher amounts of ink — no simple task. Extreme care has to be taken when formulating inkjet inks to make sure that energy consumption, operating aspects of the ink, characteristics of the paper, color gamut and the finishing process are all taken into consideration. Ignoring any of these issues can result in inks that help with a single challenge, but create additional challenges elsewhere.
Beyond ink, optional features play a role in making the most of color and paper. Undercoating technologies, for example, enable printing on more types of paper. Undercoating exemplifies the flexibility and modularity provided by leading inkjet solutions. Customers can upgrade their systems with new technology and inks right on their premises, a cost-saving advantage.