PrimaPress is a lightweight uncoated mechanical paper for heatset web offset printing, typically used for magazines, catalogues and inserts. It is manufactured at Stora Enso’s Kvarnsveden mill in Sweden using “an advanced super calendaring method” on the mill’s PM12 machine.
“We were looking at the way the market was going with publishers moving to cheaper papers, and obviously coated paper costs money,” explained Stora Enso technical customer support manager Charlie Pett. “We realised what this machine could achieve in terms of an uncoated product that was very much brighter and with a better printing surface. It’s surprising how many people think it is a coated paper.”
PrimaPress is already used by a number of major magazine publishers.
However, Pett said the paper’s properties meant printers were potentially unsure about the appropriate colour management and press settings, because the Fogra 46 Process Standard Offset (PSO) LWC standard ICC profile is not optimised for this new type of paper.
As a result he set up a project to create a specific ICC profile for PrimaPress. Stora Enso worked with colour management expert Paul Sherfield of The Missing Horse Consultancy on the new profile.
“The existing PSO standards are almost a decade old now, and increasingly with papers that could be classed as hybrid, they don’t actually match,” Sherfield said.
After determining that the existing Fogra 46 PSO LWC standard had the best data set, Sherfield used the latest software tools to smooth the results and subtly adjust the white point.
“We started with Fogra 46 because printers are used to that and it’s a better separation profile.”
The new ICC profile also reduces the total area coverage from 300% to 260%, and uses maximum Grey Component Replacement (GCR).
“This saves ink, we are confident of 10% but we have seen people achieve more than that. And because of the black [through GCR] there is less ink, less drying and less paper deformation so it is much more stable on press,” Sherfield explained.
“A lot of people using improved newsprint could migrate to this paper,” he added.
The new profile was contract proofed alongside three existing standard profiles and test printed on a 64pp web press, to ISO 12647/2 tolerances. It was deemed to provide the best results overall, and Pett said it is now being rolled out to clients.
“It has involved a significant investment in both time and money. The profile is free for anyone who wants to use it, and we see it as added-value for our customers,” he said.
“We’re confident people will get a good job with this, and it will help them embrace the advantages of this paper – in the future we could possibly get more and more of these grades.”
PrimaPress is available in five weights from 51-65gsm. Its certifications include FSC chain of custody and PEFC certification, as well as ISO 9001 and 14001.