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 user 2005-04-16 at 11:26:00 am Views: 70
  • #8926
    Canon U.S.A., Inc.
    Endorses the Independent WIR Certified Image Permanence Testing Program and
    Seal, Joining Epson, Hewlett-Packard, and Lexmark in Providing Consumers with
    Standardized Print Longevity Ratings

    GRINNELL, Iowa—-Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. (WIR),
    an independent test methods development and product testing company, today
    announced that Canon U.S.A., Inc. will participate in the new WIR Certified
    Image Permanence Testing Program. With comprehensive test data provided by
    Wilhelm Imaging Research, Canon will begin using the WIR Certification Seal with
    a range of qualified photo printing products.

    “In addition to our own photo imaging permanence scale,
    we are providing customers the ability to see independent image permanence
    results that allow an easy comparison of the available photographic materials by
    supporting the new Wilhelm Imaging test certification Seal,” said Yukiaki
    Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging
    Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. “The new seal program
    provides an immediate, uniform test method to provide consumers with the
    information needed to understand the difference between various products used to
    print their digital photographs.”

    With more than 90-percent of the worldwide market,
    Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark are the world’s leading manufacturers
    of inkjet printers, inks, and inkjet photo papers.

    The WIR certification program has three components: (1)
    The WIR Certified Tests – a comprehensive set of test methods developed by
    Wilhelm Imaging Research to evaluate image permanence; (2) WIR Test Data –
    permanence data generated with the WIR Certified Tests; and (3) The WIR Seal –
    signifies that the product has been tested by WIR, and that detailed image
    permanence data are available on the WIR website

    standardized image permanence test methods and specifications provide consumers
    throughout the world with ‘apples-to-apples’ comparisons for a wide range of
    inks and photo papers, much like the government-mandated fuel economy ratings
    relied upon by people shopping for a new car,” said Henry Wilhelm, president of
    Wilhelm Imaging Research. “Imagine the chaos that would exist if every car
    manufacturer had its own proprietary test method for fuel economy claims for its
    vehicles. That is exactly the situation the photography industry has been facing
    without uniform permanence testing standards.”

    display permanence ratings, album/dark storage permanence ratings, and ozone
    resistance ratings of the many inkjet ink and paper combinations offered to
    consumers vary over a wide range – from truly excellent to extremely poor. For
    example, most people do not know that, with a given printer, the choice of
    inkjet paper can have a tremendous influence on the permanence of the resulting
    print. Permanence ratings also differ greatly among brands of traditional
    silver-halide prints and dye-sub prints.

    The WIR
    testing program helps consumers differentiate between printer manufacturers’
    papers that have been optimized for that company’s inks, and third-party and
    store-label “universally compatible” papers that may use less demanding test
    methods or supply no image permanence information at all about this critical –
    but initially hidden – aspect of total product quality. Further benefiting
    consumers, WIR’s stringent tests better encompass the wide range of lighting
    conditions that may be found where photographs are displayed in homes and

    third-party ink and paper manufacturers give display-life predictions for their
    papers based on tests that assume prints will be displayed under 120 lux
    UV-filtered illumination, instead of the higher standard of 450 lux
    glass-filtered illumination employed by WIR, and use a single density point for
    measuring fading compared with the two density points that WIR measures; taken
    together, these differences in test methods result in claims of display-life
    ratings that are between 4 to 15 times greater than those given by WIR.

    example, WIR gave one leading third-party inkjet paper a WIR Display Permanence
    Rating of 11 years when printed with an HP printer and the HP No. 57 inkjet
    cartridge. The paper’s manufacturer rated the display life of the same paper at
    162 years by using far less rigorous tests with 120 lux UV-filtered illumination
    and measurements made at only a single density point.

    qualify for use of the Seal, a product must have a minimum WIR Display
    Permanence Rating of 25 years and a WIR Album/Dark Storage Rating at least equal
    to the display rating. Complete results and details of WIR test methods are
    available at Updated information, including ratings
    for ozone resistance, resistance to high humidity during display and storage,
    and water resistance are posted on the WIR website as data become available.

    strongly supports the use of the new Wilhelm Imaging Research Certification Seal
    as an industry standard for image permanence,” said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice
    president, Imaging and Printing Supplies Organization of HP. “We’ve been
    impressed with WIR’s commitment to stringent, credible permanence testing, and
    the seal will enable customers to make meaningful comparisons between products
    and brands, and will ultimately eliminate confusion.”

    “Photographs are among people’s most valued possessions, but with so many
    differences in the photographic materials available, understanding how long they
    will last is complicated,” said Greg McCoy, senior product manager, Professional
    Media and Supplies, Epson America, Inc. “WIR gives valuable, unbiased
    comparative print permanence data based on uniform, rigorous test criteria that
    photographers of all levels can use to make informed choices about the
    photographic materials with which they print their precious memories or stake
    their professional reputations.”

    present no standards are available from the International Organization for
    Standardization (ISO) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for
    testing the image permanence of digitally printed photographs. According to
    Wilhelm, “We have been an active member of ANSI and ISO standards committees for
    more than 25 years, and we strongly support the development of uniform, global
    testing standards. When such standards become available, WIR will be among the
    first to apply them to product testing. But consumers need meaningful permanence
    data now, and the WIR Certified Testing Program and Seal are designed to meet
    that need.”

    Photography has always been about preserving a moment, a special memory,
    or a loved one’s face in time, and people care very much about how long their
    valued photographs will last. Consumers want objective permanence information to
    help them decide which products to buy. When consumers see a WIR certification
    seal on a package or in an advertisement, they will be reassured in knowing that
    the product has been tested according to WIR’s rigorous test methods – and that
    detailed permanence data for the product are available at

    Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc.

    Imaging Research, Inc. has for over 35 years conducted
    research on the stability and preservation of traditional and digitally printed
    color and black-and-white photographs and motion pictures. A major activity of
    WIR is the development of improved accelerated image permanence tests and
    advanced, full tonal scale, colorimetric analysis methods for the fading and
    staining that occurs with color and black-and-white photographic images over
    time. As an independent testing laboratory, WIR publishes brand name-specific,
    comparative permanence data for desktop and large-format inkjet printers and
    other digital printing devices. WIR has provided standardized test data to many
    of the world’s leading imaging and photographic companies, including Canon,
    Epson, Fuji, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Ilford, Arches Paper Company, Premier
    Imaging Products, and others.

    Imaging Research also provides consulting services to museums, archives, and
    commercial collections on sub-zero cold storage for the long-term preservation
    of still photographs and motion pictures.

    and co-founder of the company, Henry Wilhelm appears frequently as a speaker on
    inkjet printing technologies and print permanence at industry conferences, trade
    shows, and museum conservation meetings. His 744-page book, “The Permanence and
    Care of Color Photographs: Traditional and Digital Color Prints, Color
    Negatives, Slides, and Motion Pictures” is a standard reference in the field.
    The complete book, originally published in 1993, may be downloaded at no charge