While critical testing is conducted from samples taken directly off the paper machines, further quality and performance testing is carried out on finished product at the Mill’s dedicated Office Paper Testing Facility.
Reflex paper samples for performance testing are routinely collected from the converting line; where the reels are converted to A4 500 sheet reams, and prepared for testing. Over 20 quality and performance tests are carried out against specification benchmarks throughout the manufacturing process before it reaches the end consumer. These test results are recorded and stored and any issues fed back to operations in a cycle of continuous improvement.
Testing in Office Machines
Immediately after manufacture A4 samples from across the full width of the machine are cut and tested in printers and copiers on site at the Maryvale Mill’s dedicated Office Paper Testing Facility.
- Machine test speeds range from 30 pages per minute (low speed) to 120 pages per minute (high speed)
- Mono and colour printing is tested on both laser and inkjet printers
- Testing also includes stapling, double-sided printing and hole punching functions. Curl Control Testing
Although curl is minimised and controlled during the paper making process, Reflex undergoes further printing and copying tests immediately after manufacture.
- Reflex is measured for paper curl after the ream is opened and before any printing has taken place. This is measured against an industry standard chart and benchmarked data
- Once batches have been test printed, sheets are again benchmarked for any curl.
- Both ‘directions’ of the sheet are tested for curl; both portrait and landscape
- Both the top side and bottom side of the sheet are also tested for curl
- Curl performance during simplex (single sided) and duplex (double sided) printing is also tested
Any degree of curl is recorded and must meet stringent specifications for the product to be despatched to the market. Any issues are recorded and the manufacturing process adjusted accordingly.
Smoothness and Vivid Colours
Reflex’s surface smoothness is also tested as smooth paper produces a better image. Rough paper produces reduced image quality in solids and halftones. Extremely rough paper will not accept fused dry toner which will rub or flake off.
Reflex paper’s edge quality is examined. This test ensures clean edges which helps prevent multi-feeding, reduces dust and containment build-up which can contribute to poor print quality and performance.
Humidity & Temperature
Immediately before any testing commences the paper is measured to establish the temperature and humidity of the sheets. Low moisture and stable temperature is important for copying performance.
The ream wrappers on all copy paper products require a thin plastic film layer, either on the inside or outside of the ream, which acts as a moisture barrier during transport and storage to protect the paper quality inside. The quality of the ream wrapper when the product is first opened for use is just as important as the paper quality inside. If paper is left unwrapped it can absorb moisture, collect dust or be damaged. It is important that Reflex paper is left in its wrapper until required to prevent fluctuations in the paper properties that can lead to less than optimal performance.
- Glue strength is tested to ensure wrappers and cartons stay firmly sealed and intact during the transportation of the product from the mill to warehouses to retail stores and finally to businesses and homes.
- Wrapper overlap and alignment is constantly monitored to ensure paper is securely and evenly wrapped to protect against moisture and damage to the paper.
- Each ream wrapper is printed with a date stamp to ensure traceability back to a specific production batch if a quality issue is raised by our customers or consumers.