Are you headed to TAGA in Memphis? If you haven’t yet planned to go, you might want to reconsider. In addition to the great BBQ and music you’ll find in Memphis, March 20-23, you’ll also benefit from an exciting line-up of keynotes and the presentation of 27 technical papers on a wide range of topics – many of which are sure to inspire new ideas for business opportunities while keeping you up to date on the latest technology advancements.

We were excited to see a new keynote on the agenda featuring Janos Veres, Program Manager, Novel and Printed Electronics at the famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC, a Xerox Company). PARC has explored a wide range of production techniques and applications for printed electronics over the years, among them displays, smart labels, RFID devices, memory arrays, batteries, and digital circuits. Janos’ main interest is exploring 2D and 3D printing as a manufacturing technique for electronic devices. New progress in material science, device, and process technology means that certain applications have been commercialized and others are close. Printed electronics today offers “just enough intelligence” on smart labels and packaging to expand the edges of the Internet of Things (IOT) with consumables, food and apparel – products that traditionally have only carried a barcode. This talk will describe how printed electronics may become a key tool for on-demand creation of IOT devices for customized applications – opening an exciting, new growth opportunity for both the printing and the electronics industries. Plus you will get a sneak peek inside the halls of Xerox PARC!

Liz Logue of EFI will also be talking about digital printing for textiles, another area that is poised to explode. She’ll explain what is currently available and how the technology has improved, positioning it to take share from existing textile printing strategies. Let’s have some fun customizing those Hawaiian shirts, draperies and other fashion and interior décor items!

We obviously can’t review all 27 technical papers in this space, but we wanted to profile three that we thought were particularly interesting.

Color Consistency and Repeatability of Inkjet, Electrophotographic and Offset Printing

Authors: Mark Bohan  [Heidelberg USA], Lindsay Ferrari [Printing Industries of America], and Anthony Stanton [Carnegie Mellon University]

With the growing demand for hybrid printing – blending a variety of printing technologies in the same job or across a brand portfolio – how realistic is it to expect color consistency? You’ll be interested to hear the results of this study that’s builds on previous work and was designed to systematically test the color uniformity of all digital presses including electrophotographic and production inkjet. It uses a test form that includes a specially designed color field of 96 patches located in 6 positions on the sheet. The form also contains a photographic image from the Printing Industries’ library of test photographs that is repeated on both sides of the sheet. The PIA Proof Comparator is included, along with star targets, register marks and a color control bar. In addition to this, multiple single color sheets have been printed, using the data from the previous studies to identify the colors to be assessed. Can’t wait to learn about the results? Then book those tickets to Memphis today!

Color Management with OBAs – Theory and Practice

Authors: William B. Birkett [Doppelganger, LLC] and Charles Spontelli [Bowling Green State University]

Many printing substrates (paper and synthetic) contain fluorescent optical brightening agents (OBAs). This fluorescence has caused problems for color management practitioners since the early days. A number of remedies, including UV-cut filters, OBA-free media and software adjustments, have been used to overcome OBA-related problems. The standards for color measurements (ISO 13655:2009) and viewing conditions (ISO 3664:2009) were modified in 2009 to specify the same amount of UV content for the measuring and viewing light (equivalent to D50). Four measurement conditions were defined, M0, M1, M2, and M3. While this was a positive step, OBA-caused problems still persist in both proofing and production applications. The introduction of measurement conditions in ISO 13655 spurred the development of measuring devices able to capture M0, M1 and M2 data in a single session. This is the hammer that’s finally cracked the OBA nut! The OBA effect can now be separated from the base color measurements. With that construct, it is fairly simple to color-match media with OBAs, under any lighting conditions. You’ll want to get the details in between snacking on ribs and visiting Graceland.

Using Wide Format UV Ink-jet Printing for Digital Package Prototyping

Authors: Yu-Ju Wu [Appalachian State University] and Reem El Asaleh [Ryerson University]

Ah, packaging! Everyone loves a growth market! But packaging work is among the most color critical in the industry. Matching corporate and brand colors is essential, as is the ability to accurately reproduce spot colors. The main purposes of this experimental study are to (1) study color reproduction capability and process capability of paperboard and corrugated board; (2) examine the quality of spot color reproduction using UV wide-format inkjet printer for digital package prototyping; and (3) establish printing workflows for digital package production. The authors will discuss the results and reveal all of the various equipment, software and substrates used in the study. There will be no lack of data in this one!

Much, much more

None of these grab your attention? Don’t bail out of that airline reservation session just yet.  There are three more keynotes and 24 more papers being presented. Check out for more details.

About TAGA

The Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) is the premier global association for individuals researching, developing, and studying graphic arts technology. It serves the interests of three groups:

• Print professionals investigating and utilizing leading-edge technology for their companies.

• Scientists and researchers developing technology for industry suppliers.

• University professors and students conducting basic and applied research.

TAGA papers focus on emerging technology in imaging methods, workflow, and production systems, while continuing to examine changes in press equipment, paper, ink, and consumables. It maintains the industry’s best permanent set of technical papers and abstracts that have been published and maintained by TAGA since its founding in 1949.

TAGA provides guidance and support to its university chapters in North America, Europe, and Asia. The annual technical conference provides a unique opportunity for students to compete in several competitions, share their research activities, and learn from industry professionals.

Mission: To provide a worldwide forum for sharing and disseminating theoretical, functional, and practical information on current and emerging technologies for graphic arts print production and related processes.

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