UPM Communication, HP tie up to develop graphic papers

Digital printing papers designed for high-speed inkjet printing

The ColorPRO papers are compatible with all existing HP Inkjet presses (PC: Unsplash)

Helsinki- UPM Communication Papers is collaborating with HP to pilot a new generation of digital printing papers specifically designed for high-speed inkjet printing technology. UPM is a global producer of graphic papers, offering an extensive product range for advertising and publishing as well as home and office use.

The new portfolio includes four treated, coated grades that provide productive and smooth printing, excellent image production, and ease of use for customers, the company said in a release.

The ColorPRO papers are compatible with all existing HP Inkjet presses, as well as the newest generation that will be unveiled at Printing United Expo in Las Vegas from 19 to 21 October 2022.

“Digital printing technologies are being increasingly adopted by conventional printing as well as specialist players. UPM Communication Papers is at the frontline of this shift, ready to make a smooth transition for customers embracing digital printing methods,” says Ruud van den Berg, SVP Sales, UPM Communication Papers.

“As a committed graphic paper provider, we monitor carefully and constantly how printing methods are evolving, so that we can anticipate the needs of our customers. Compatibility between the printing press and paper provides an added assurance to customers that they will achieve consistent high quality for their needs.”

From book and magazine publishing to highly targeted direct marketing, innovation in coated high-speed inkjet papers creates opportunities for customers to transition to digital printing without the need for primers, bonding agents, or optimizers. This brings business advantages through time and cost reduction, as well as promoting more sustainable printing through lower ink consumption, waste reduction, and savings in drying energy.

Bret Funke, director of HP Media and Supplies Solutions, says, “The UPM and HP alliance is proof that cross-industry collaboration between paper and print technology leaders can add substantial and immediate value for our shared customers.  This product initiative enables greater flexibility and sophistication in a printer’s product mix, and the confidence of industry-leading performance that comes with ColorPRO Technology.”

Three grades have successfully achieved ColorPRO Technology: UPM Star matt JET 45 lbs, UPM Star matt 1.2 JET 54.1 lbs, and UPM Finesse matt JET 60.8 lbs. The fourth-grade UPM Finesse gloss JET 77.7 lbs is expected to be qualified shortly, after final testing at HP’s facilities in San Diego by the end of 2022.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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