Advise? Building a 6-part carbonless form, Variable Data

wojo

Member
Hello forum. Can you advise?

I'm looking to build a 6-part carbonless form, sheet fed variable data, to replace the current practice of impact printing on pin-fed sheets of pre-printed offset press forms. As a government form, there is no option to change the sequencing of colors, or reducing the 6 parts to 5.

Why? The need for change to variable data print is imminent, even if not a perfect solution. Impact printing on a Oki Pacemark or equivalent creates readability problems on the 4th, 5th, and 6th pages due to a combination or poor strike pressure, head wear, etc. Further, print is not aligned on the form properly due to the stacked pages moving around the roller as printed. Consequently, the post office is returning the last page of the form with higher frequency than ever before, and it creates legal nightmares.

Questions:
  • With proper settings, heat, speed, etc., is 14.6# or 16# sheet fed carbonless a possible solution in a dry-toner production printer?
  • Does the run quality of carbonless between manufacturers vary? (Or is it more machine/setup dependent?)
  • Does the chemistry of the carbonless between manufacterers vary, where some leave better images than others with the same strike or pen pressure?
  • Any specific print machine recommendations? We're looking to lease/purchase.
  • Any paper manufacturers willing/able to develop something specific to this need if demand is great enough? Production may initially begin at 5,000 6-part forms a month, and may grow to 3 or 5 times that within a year. Possible demand is substantially greater.
I'm less interested in a guarantee, and more interested in what can be done or made possible, even if there are some complications. I'm willing to trade speed. The goal is to pilot some small batch production with two customers in the next four to six weeks.

Thank you all. As you may be able to tell, I'm new to the printing world.



If interested in more details, see below.

Situation:
I've successfully created a 6-part form in a small batch test using stock carbonless paper ~20-21# sheets); Appleton paper. The primary issue is the stock sheet carbonless is too heavy for the government agency stamp to imprint on all six parts. They have a cash register type machine to stamp the existing form (~16# sheets) that has critical information that must be read through all 6 parts. Admittedly, even on their own form, it's hard to read their stamp on part 6. However, part 5 is critical to have good quality readability from their stamp. Assume the strike pressure of their stamp cannot be improved. The secondary issue is pen pressure when writing on the form. They may accept this as a trade-off to improved readability of the data.

The Challenge:
Variable data printing on sheet fed 16# carbonless paper. I'm told some digital printers can successfully run 16#. Though stock purchase of 8.5 x 11 carbonless paper in 16# isn't an option as an approved dry toner digital print application. I've spoken with Appleton, Nekoosa, and Glatfelter. I'm going to be testing some sheeted offset carbonless of 16# CB, 14.6# CFB, and 20# CF from Koehler. Also, 16# CB, 17# CFB, 20# CF sheeted offset press paper from Glatfelter. It appears Nekoosa doesn't offer a lighter weight roll or reel. I've not gone back to Appleton to discuss sheeting their roll paper.

Three of the six parts have fixed printing on the backside, halftoned. We'll either do this in house, or possibly have it pre-printed if having reel paper cut into sheets.
 

AP90

Well-known member
Seems like one big headache to me. How many sheets of the 6 part form require variable data? If it is just 1 part, the easiest thing to probably do would be to print 5 of the parts offset and then print the 1 part that is variable digitally. Maybe an inkjet printer with good enough quality to handle it.

I know on our Xerox 1000i we print carbonless forms. Usually 3 part. Dont think the printer is spec'd for it, but it will run them. Only problem with it is you can see the hit mark from where the carbonless paper hits the initial feed rollers out of the tray. I might even be able to eliminate that by playing with some settings, but its not been a big enough deal to bother. Doing it like I do definitely solves a lot of your problems as the 1000 (or pretty much any digital printer with a good DFE) can handle variable data without problems.
 

AP90

Well-known member
Hello, all 6 parts are variable data print. Each of the 6 pages has the same variable data.

Just checked my recommended media list and 20# carbonless is rated for the machine. Im not so sure you'll be able to run 16# though. But best bet is to find a machine that you can run it on. Im guessing the Xerox V80/180 is capable of running it since the fuser design is close to the same. Might be worth looking into. Have you even received any samples from anyone with a dry toner machine?

Another solution would be to find a shop with an HP Indigo. I believe when we were looking at them something was said about them running lighter stocks.
 

jrsc

Well-known member
We have a Ricoh 8220 and I think it would run the job easily. It does great on carbonless. I think it would even handle the thin stuff if you get it cut down. We have a fiery which would make the variable data as well as printing 2 sides of some sheets easy. Just to make it easy if there is a jam I prefer to get the 6 parts separate and run from 6 different drawers letting the printer collate them.
 

wojo

Member
We have a Ricoh 8220 and I think it would run the job easily. It does great on carbonless. I think it would even handle the thin stuff if you get it cut down. We have a fiery which would make the variable data as well as printing 2 sides of some sheets easy. Just to make it easy if there is a jam I prefer to get the 6 parts separate and run from 6 different drawers letting the printer collate them.

@jrsc, thank you for the information on the Ricoh. It's encouraging to hear it does great with carbonless. They seem to have made it a point to handle lightweight stock with an optional vacuum feed. Do you have experience running this with mixed weights? That is one of the requirements we have, the last page of the form needs to be a 18# plus.
 

wojo

Member
Just checked my recommended media list and 20# carbonless is rated for the machine. Im not so sure you'll be able to run 16# though. But best bet is to find a machine that you can run it on. Im guessing the Xerox V80/180 is capable of running it since the fuser design is close to the same. Might be worth looking into. Have you even received any samples from anyone with a dry toner machine?

Another solution would be to find a shop with an HP Indigo. I believe when we were looking at them something was said about them running lighter stocks.

@AP90, thank you for taking time, looking and assisting with some recommendations. Will look into those. I've created our own small batch of samples from carbonless paper (~20lb), using a desktop laser, that that what you meant by your last question?
 

jrsc

Well-known member
@jrsc, thank you for the information on the Ricoh. It's encouraging to hear it does great with carbonless. They seem to have made it a point to handle lightweight stock with an optional vacuum feed. Do you have experience running this with mixed weights? That is one of the requirements we have, the last page of the form needs to be a 18# plus.

I haven't done much mixed weight but a small weight difference like that shouldn't make any difference at all.
 

Marc.Ram

Active member
Have you looked at Appvion as a potential supplier? They have a product that is designed for xerographic (as in Toner based) printing in 6 parts pre-collated for loading into a laser printer.
 

wojo

Member
Have you looked at Appvion as a potential supplier? They have a product that is designed for xerographic (as in Toner based) printing in 6 parts pre-collated for loading into a laser printer.

Thank you. Have looked at their paper. The issue is the the weight is too heavy. The center sheets need to be ~14#'s... I'm not easily seeing a paper company who makes a ~14# carbonless xerographic paper.
 

BobRym

Well-known member
We run carbonless on a RISO ComColor InkJet with great success - have not run 6 part but the machine would not care. We run variable data (mostly just numbering) on pretty well every run. You could run these as sets if you had them collated before printing with the different weights or you could run each "part" as a separate job and collate after they are all printed. Our machine is a 7150 which is not the current model - the ones previous to the 7150 are not as reliable - feed is much more finicky. 7150's are coming off lease in the last few years so should be available for reasonable amounts. All supplies from RISO - you can lease new machines from them as well. The advantage of these is that the print heads are fixed and the sheet moves on a belt under the heads. They run at up to 120 ltr size sheets per minute and are full colour.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
wojo, have you looked into Konica Minolta? The bizhub Press 1052 and 1250 offer vaccuum feed paper drawers that support as thin as 11# bond. The vacuum feed is ideal for NCR because it won't make the marks left by friction feed wheels. Appleton NCR is on the media guide. Something to keep in mind, when it comes to running NCR on any digital machine... there is a common issue that the coating on the NCR paper will slowly coat the rollers and internal components of any machine on the market, so you should expect more service calls than if you were just running standard 20# bond to perform a cleaning. One great thing about Konica Minolta is we can provide you numerous common internal components and train you how to swap them on the fly without placing a service call.
 

BobRym

Well-known member
We run a digital toner printer as well and do not use it for NCR work - two reasons - build up on the rollers (tech's hate this) and more importantly - click charges kill you on NCR work. Hard to make any money when each part of each set is costing you a click charge. Of course the sales reps from the manufacturers love to tell you their machines will do this work. RISO Ink Jet does not carry a click charge (if you get one - make sure it doesn't) - we have 1.4 million impressions on our current machine and no service has been required except changing feed rollers (5 min job you can do yourself). Have not tested lighter stocks (we use 20# carbonless) but machine is rated to do them. I DO NOT WORK FOR RISO - customer for last 20 yrs. - this is the 3rd ink jet we've had. Wouldn't be without one in the shop.
 

wojo

Member
We run carbonless on a RISO ComColor InkJet with great success - have not run 6 part but the machine would not care. We run variable data (mostly just numbering) on pretty well every run. You could run these as sets if you had them collated before printing with the different weights or you could run each "part" as a separate job and collate after they are all printed. Our machine is a 7150 which is not the current model - the ones previous to the 7150 are not as reliable - feed is much more finicky. 7150's are coming off lease in the last few years so should be available for reasonable amounts. All supplies from RISO - you can lease new machines from them as well. The advantage of these is that the print heads are fixed and the sheet moves on a belt under the heads. They run at up to 120 ltr size sheets per minute and are full colour.

RobRym, thank you for the suggestion!! Not sure why inkjet technology hasn't come to mind for our needs, and am glad that you suggested it!! It seems this could be the key to our solution. And thank you for the comparison to using carbonless with laser, wasn't aware there is no click charge on inkjet (I'm new to the print industry). Checked out the RISO GD 7330 and it specified it can handle bond weight as low as 12# (we need 14#), so we should be good, first problem solved.

Are you using non-laser carbonless paper in your inkjet? There is no excessive ink bleed or smearing on the carbonless paper (I know part of the finishing treatment on carbonless paper is a paraffin wax, so have been concerned about ink on that)? There is no mention of the build up on the rollers using the inkjet, as you have with your laser, so it sound like a non-issue on inkjet (our second biggest problem).
 

wojo

Member
wojo, have you looked into Konica Minolta? The bizhub Press 1052 and 1250 offer vaccuum feed paper drawers that support as thin as 11# bond. The vacuum feed is ideal for NCR because it won't make the marks left by friction feed wheels. Appleton NCR is on the media guide. Something to keep in mind, when it comes to running NCR on any digital machine... there is a common issue that the coating on the NCR paper will slowly coat the rollers and internal components of any machine on the market, so you should expect more service calls than if you were just running standard 20# bond to perform a cleaning. One great thing about Konica Minolta is we can provide you numerous common internal components and train you how to swap them on the fly without placing a service call.

jwheeler, appreciate the comments. The roller build-up and the need to use non-laser approved paper (because our paper weight is 14#) is the issue. The only laser approved carbonless that seems to be available is ~20#. Open to learn more if you have any other information. Thank you.
 

BobRym

Well-known member
wojo - You'll need to experiment a bit with stocks and feed settings - we're using Nekoosa U20 designed for offset printing. About 5 yrs ago we tested Appleton's line and also some of the laser stocks - this was the best choice for us. Not saying other stocks might not work - we just felt this was the best. We only use 20# as our suppliers do not stock carbonless cut sheet in lighter weights - if they did - we would likely try them. The ink in these machines is soya based and we have not experienced any problems with the ink not drying or smearing. The RISO inkjets are unique - have not seen another printer in the marketplace that does the same job. Very useful for some types of work - we do primarily NCR, envelopes, industrial manuals and educational books and directories on it. As I mentioned - feed rollers are the only thing that would be affected and they are easily cleaned and or replaced when necessary.
 

wojo

Member
wojo - You'll need to experiment a bit with stocks and feed settings - we're using Nekoosa U20 designed for offset printing. About 5 yrs ago we tested Appleton's line and also some of the laser stocks - this was the best choice for us. Not saying other stocks might not work - we just felt this was the best. We only use 20# as our suppliers do not stock carbonless cut sheet in lighter weights - if they did - we would likely try them. The ink in these machines is soya based and we have not experienced any problems with the ink not drying or smearing. The RISO inkjets are unique - have not seen another printer in the marketplace that does the same job. Very useful for some types of work - we do primarily NCR, envelopes, industrial manuals and educational books and directories on it. As I mentioned - feed rollers are the only thing that would be affected and they are easily cleaned and or replaced when necessary.

@RobRym: Thank you for the knowledge and sharing how RISO uses unique technology and seems unparalleled in the marketplace. Very helpful guidance. If you're going to be at Print '17 next week, let me know. I'll be there Wednesday. I'll treat you to lunch :) Cheers!
 

bill kahny

Well-known member
We run carbonless on a RISO ComColor InkJet with great success - have not run 6 part but the machine would not care. We run variable data (mostly just numbering) on pretty well every run. You could run these as sets if you had them collated before printing with the different weights or you could run each "part" as a separate job and collate after they are all printed. Our machine is a 7150 which is not the current model - the ones previous to the 7150 are not as reliable - feed is much more finicky. 7150's are coming off lease in the last few years so should be available for reasonable amounts. All supplies from RISO - you can lease new machines from them as well. The advantage of these is that the print heads are fixed and the sheet moves on a belt under the heads. They run at up to 120 ltr size sheets per minute and are full colour.

BobRym - I also have a 7150 love it for envelopes but not for carbonless. I have done some jobs on our bw laser printer for the static and a second pass on the riso for the red number. My ink smears on the carconless paper i've tried, even with average coverage, and the blacks aren't dark unless its a color build. What stock and settings are you using on the 7150?
 
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