Summer means fun in the sun, but it also means heat and humidity which is dangerous to your paper supply. Paper absorbs and gives off moisture until the moisture in the paper and the moisture in the atmosphere are in equilibrium. That means if it is a humid day, your paper stock contains more moisture, and on a dry day, your paper stock contains less moisture. The amount of humidity can change the physical properties of the paper and affect how the paper runs through the printer.
Paper designed for digital printing contains four to six percent moisture and you need the paper to have around a 50-55% relative humidity for optimal printing. If your paper is within those percentages you are in line for a perfect print, but if it goes above or below, you may be in trouble. Too much humidity or moisture in the paper can result in less-than-optimal toner adhesion or a blotchy finish. Too low a moisture content can result in misfeeds due to static build-up or toner scatter.
Inkjet printers like ours are not immune to the effects of humidity, but they do have different optimal humidity levels than regular digital printers. With Inkjet printers, you can operate between 45-50% relative humidity, a little lower than on digital printing. Moisture in the air, or in the paper causes the ink to dry less quickly which makes it more prone to smudging. When the moisture level is too low, the air tries to suck the moisture out of the ink causing it to clog. With our printers running 58 million records in 2019 and being set to beat that record in 2020, we don’t have time for smudging or clogging.
At Midwest Direct, we have precautions put in place to help keep our paper dry and our machines running smoothly. You may have even seen some of these measures in the photos we have shared of our print room on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
Here are some of the precautions we take to keep our paper at safe moisture levels so we can keep printing and mailing your pieces:
- Keep paper materials in a humidity-controlled location in your facility.
- Ream covers are designed to control moisture absorption. If you open one, keep it covered.
- Do not store paper in a printer tray. 80% moisture rates can exist in a printer tray.
- Do not leave paper stock on delivery vehicles. Once a shipment arrives, store it immediately.
If you’re still worried about your direct mail getting a little too damp, contact us. We are experts in all things print, mail, and storage to keep your mail dry.