For the past 18 months, the two companies have been working on a solution that can compete with conventional printing methods on both productivity and cost-per-roll. Printing of wallpaper using inkjet is quite common, but speeds are very low and the technology is restricted to short-run “special” applications, such as mural walls.
“The big demand from the wallpaper industry is for digital printing of wallpaper at full production speeds,” said John Corrall, IIJ managing director. “Our view is that wallpaper printing is about to see a massive shift to digital technology thanks to the improvements in inkjet capability. Ink performance and cost, print width and speed are all now within reach.”
“When we started, the main difficulty was in developing an ink that meets all of the requirements from the wallpaper industry,” Corrall added. “It’s not just the appearance. The ink has to work on a very wide range of common wallpaper media and it has to meet standards for emissions and wash and scrub tests. It’s taken 18 months, but we are finally there.”