Over the past decade, Epson ink jet proofing technology has made a big impact on the commercial printing market. Today, I'm happy to say that more commercial printers rely on Epson for their proofing on paper than any other. So, when we set out to develop a contract-quality proofing system for the flexographic and gravure printing markets, we had a lot to live up to.
When I first started talking to the package proofing market, I heard a lot of frustration about the digital color-proofing system that was standard in that world. Like a fading star past its prime, the high-maintenance devices used were expensive, slow, labor-intensive, and very costly to operate. Users were anxious to find alternatives for proofing flexo and gravure print jobs that required the color white.
Unlike commercial proofing on paper, package proofing exists in a very complex world. There are many foils, films and different substrates, as well as special types of colors, that go into building boxes, wrappers for candy, bags for coffee, or labels on water bottles. The market has needed a better, more cost-effective way to create package proofs on a clear or metallic base, to produce color accurate packaging mock-ups or prototypes.
I was really impressed with the Seiko Epson engineering team that discovered the solution, our breakthrough Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink. As product manager of the new Epson Stylus Pro WT900 printer, I'm enthusiastic about the products I launch into the market, but it's no overstatement when I tell you how amazed I am with this technology. The team created the world's first aqueous-based white printing technology, all-new Organic Hollow Resin Particle Technology, which forces light to randomly scatter, producing the illusion of seeing white.
This aqueous-based ink breakthrough means the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 can produce an amazing white density, custom white color toning, and short-term color stability for color proofing on substrates including ink jet coated transparent and metallic films, in roll or cut sheet, up to 24 inches wide. The color tone of the white can be fully controlled to match the white ink used on press. Unlike traditional white ink chemistry, Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink is a safer, water-based resin particle without any known carcinogens, fumes or environmental impact.
At Epson, our ink development goes hand and hand with our many other advancements. We've combined the performance of the new white ink technology with the precision of the MicroPiezo TFP print head. The Epson Stylus Pro WT900 was built to set new standards in print quality, speed, reliability, cost of ownership, and eco-friendliness for both flexographic and gravure color proofing that requires the color white.
The new printer not only changes the market but also expands it dramatically. Packaging designers or brand owners with a creative department can now bring this type of proofing in house. More than a simple 2-D flat proof, the printer's output for 3-D package mock up reduces the cost and cycle time between concept changes. Designers, graphics arts studios, brand owners and flexo/gravure printers can now explore more ideas.
In order to meet these broadening opportunities it is crucial for the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 to be supported by the industry leaders in packaging workflow software for digital devices. Through close relationships with CGS, EFI, ESKO, GMG and Kodak, this level of support has been achieved. Whether continuing to use a workflow which is already familiar, or starting proofing with white for the first time, I am confident the workflow solutions provided by our partners will create the complete package proofing solution.
With these advantages, Epson is on the verge of making the same inroads in packaging proofing as in commercial paper proofing. Since its world premiere, the Epson Stylus Pro WT900 has been getting very positive reviews, launching a new generation of package proofing and prototyping.
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