For optimal print results, proper paper storage is a must. Paper is manufactured to tightly controlled moisture specifications with automated equipment. Due to the fact that paper contains water, it becomes a bit of a living organism and will respond to the elements that it is exposed to. Therefore, whether the paper that you use is for a convenience copier, a laser color printer, or a 40” 6-color press, there are precautions and recommendations for storage to limit your chances of interrupted production.
To save time and get the best possible print results on your next job, follow these six critical tips:
- The printing press or copy room should be in a controlled environment. Optimal conditions are a temperature of 68° – 76° and a humidity of 35-55%.
- Bring the paper into the production area 24 hours before opening cartons or removing ream wrappers to begin production. This becomes more important when the temperature outside is extremely cold or hot. Paper needs to time to acclimate to the controlled environmental conditions.
- Store paper away from direct sunlight and away from external doorways.
- Stack the cartons flat vs. on end.
- Stack the cartons on pallets or shelving off of direct contact with the floor where it can absorb moisture.
- Keep the carton or skid labels until production is complete. If you are a commercial printer, it would be wise to keep the skid labels with the job ticket. These labels contain the mill run number, which is a like a birth certificate for the paper. It tells precise details about when the paper was manufactured, converted and on what equipment. We have had organized print partners provide this information and it allowed us to resolve issues to contain and correct the problem.
You work hard to layout your design, prepare files and sell a client on a job. Limit the chance for production delays and educate your team on how to handle paper with care.