Kodak Announces New Digital Printing Technologies


While the Kodak name is well known and steeped in history, most see it more in the past than in the future. A recent demonstration of new Kodak printing technologies, which took place at the company’s facilities in Dayton, Ohio, demonstrated that the company, under the leadership of Kodak’s Executive Chairman and CEO, Jim Continenza, is moving forward with revitalized leadership and renewed focus, towards a greater presence in commercial applications, flexible and folded container packaging and small signage.

About the company’s recent past, under different managements, Continenza says the company “clearly lost its way” and he had to figure out where the company was going, moving forward. Part of that goal, he says, is to bring Kodak back to its core competencies as a maker of advanced materials and chemicals. In developing its new printing technologies, he says, Kodak has used the past few years extensively, even amid the challenges of COVID-19 and continued supply chain disruptions, to forge a new direction.

Randy Vandagriff, Senior Vice President, Printing and Vice President, who has been with Kodak for more than 40 years and has focused heavily on inkjet development, spoke about the company’s efforts to grow its portfolio digital printing. “We know that’s where the future is,” he says, “and that’s where we have to go.”

Inkjet printing solutions

Based on Kodak Stream inkjet technology, Kodak’s line of inkjet printing systems aims to change the rules of what digital printing can deliver and change the parameters by which printers and converters compare digital and analog printing solutions.

Kodak’s new Prosper 7000 Turbo inkjet press has a maximum print speed of 1,345 feet per minute.

Thrive 7000 Turbo
Touted by the Kodak team as “the world’s fastest digital press”, the new Prosper 7000 press is a four-color, high-production web-based inkjet system aimed directly at business, publishing and print applications. newspapers. Operating at a maximum throughput speed of 1,345 feet per minute (fpm) – 35% faster than previous Prosper presses – and offering three print modes, the press delivers exceptional image quality, according to Vandagriff. The reversing press features a maximum web width of 25.5 inches and can handle a wide range of coated and uncoated papers, including specialty and recycled papers. It uses Kodak’s water-based nanoparticle pigment inks, which offer a wide color gamut and efficient drying – thanks to near-infrared technology – even at maximum print speeds.

thrive 520
Offering the highest quality print speed of 500 fpm, Kodak’s advanced Prosper 520 web-based inkjet press has a current install base of approximately 80 units. Like the faster Prosper 7000 Turbo, the 520 can handle a wide range of coated and uncoated media, as well as newsprint, and offers many options, including pre- and post-coating capabilities, auto splicing and sheet roll. The 520 also features nanoparticle aqueous pigment inks and near-infrared curing.

Uteco Sapphire Evo Large
Designed specifically to meet the needs of the flexible packaging segment, the Uteco Sapphire Evo Wide is an inkjet system that currently features a print width of 49˝, but can be scaled up to 96˝ ˝. It can handle a wide variety of plastic films from 44 to 480 gauge and is easier to use than a traditional flexographic line, helping to solve a labor challenge faced by many converters today. The system can print up to 984 fpm on paper and 656 fpm on plastic substrates, and uses water-based inks certified for indirect food contact. The system maximizes digital production possibilities for flexible packaging, enabling faster response, efficient release management and access to just-in-time printing approaches.

Electrophotographic technologies

To highlight the capabilities of two electrophotographic systems, one of which will be released June 29, Kodak Disruptor Diego Diaz highlighted the capabilities of color electrophotographic printing and described recent innovations that can provide differentiation.

The new Kodak Ascend electrophotographic press includes new features and a straight print path.

To go up
Describing the new Kodak Ascend digital press, which includes five color stations and access to 13 Kodachrome embellishment inks, Diaz said the system can be used to create matte finishes and spot coatings, including white inks. opaque. By doing so, he says, PSPs can offer greater levels of customization. Additionally, the system is designed to facilitate simplified foil stamping – fusible adhesive toner is applied at the same time as the other colors, saving time and minimizing technical challenges. Finally, an important benefit of the new press, Diaz adds, is the development of a straight print path. This enables efficient printing on cardboard for packaging applications and for signage up to 14×40˝ and up to 30 dots. thickness, even if the substrate is quite rigid.

Nexfinity
The Kodak Nexfinity digital press focuses more on commercial printing applications and also offers access to Kodachrome embellishment inks, which can be changed quickly and easily, and allow printers to achieve very difficult colors (e.g., reflex blue) with aplomb. It also features Kodak Light Black HD ink in its fifth ink position, which offers color and tone enhancements. The machine offers a print length of up to 51 inches and can handle paper thicknesses of up to 24 point. and synthetic papers up to 14 mil. This wide variety of substrates increases the printing possibilities.

Both systems, Diaz notes, are designed to handle the rigors of print production, saying they’re solidly built through and through.

Workflow Solutions

Kodak’s Patrick Kerr, product manager for cloud solutions, described recent changes to the company’s well-known MIS software, Prinergy, which followed the lead of other software in leveraging cloud-based computing approaches. . Jim Tomblinson, vice president of operations at Modern Litho (Jefferson City, Mo.), shared how — as a beta testing site for the upgraded software — his company was able to increase process efficiency, better manage client connections, increase data security, and achieve system redundancy in the event of an Internet outage. Long-time Prinergy user Tomblinson, whose company is the first to go live with the updated system, says, “We don’t switch vendors easily – there has to be a good reason.” About this new system, he adds “It will be important for us.”

With big moves come big expectations, and Jim Continenza’s expectations for Kodak, as it serves the printing industry, are high. He believes the path forward is solid and has been charted by those who use the products or who will choose to buy them. “Everything we build is for the customer,” he says.

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