An Experimental Study of Key Factors Affecting Color Reproduction on Corrugated Board Using UV Wide-format Inkjet Printer

Yu Ju Wu, Appalachian State University

Packaging is one of the fastest growing segments in the print industry, specifically the digital packaging arena. The advances in inkjet heads, inks, media range and color management that evident in wide-format printing are helping to advance inkjet print in packaging. Color digital printing for corrugated is essentially all inkjet and has existed for at least 20 years. High quality packaging prototyping allows for greater client choice and more short-run finished corrugated products. To exam the color reproduction capability on corrugated board using UV wide-format inkjet printer, a Roland VersaUV LEJ-640 UV LED printer with Eco UV-curable inks will be employed in this study. The quality of color reproduction depends on the ability of the corrugated board to reflect red, green, and blue light. The VersaUV LEJ-640 UV LED printer is capable of lying down a layer of white ink before color printing and running at different speed mode. The main purposes of this experimental study are to (1) identify the most important factors that influence color reproduction of corrugated board using UV wide-format inkjet printing, and (2) establish optimum process operating conditions so that the maximum yield of color gamut and optical density could be obtained. The experiment will be conducted using a randomized 23 factorial design in which every factor is run at two specified levels (1 = high level, -1 = low level, fixed effects). The factorial levels will be determined based upon the practical operating conditions of the UV wide-format printer. The three independent factors of this study are: 1) printing speed mode (X1), 2) white ink layer (X2), and 3) the corrugated board (X3). The dependent variable (Y) is the color reproduction capability (optical density and gamut volume) of corrugated board.