The two-day forum featured the latest Kodak technology innovations that are pushing what’s possible in the process free, digital and functional printing categories while fostering robust discussions on the trends influencing where print is ultimately heading into the future.
“Kodak is committed to taking print further, with significant investments in new technology that address the needs of printers today and well into the future,” said Brad Kruchten, president, Print Systems Division, Kodak. “From our process-free technology to advances in functional printing, Kodak’s historical foundation in materials science, deposition science, and digital science are perfectly suited to contribute to the necessary innovations that will enable printers to me more profitable and sustainable.”
The event’s Taking Print Further theme was highlighted through several panel discussions that brought together the views of Kodak, printers and the end users of print.
In a panel about the “Value of Print,” a consensus opinion emerged from representatives from the world of photography, design and publishing: Each discipline continues to embrace print as a differentiated and value-adding medium in an increasingly digital world. From the creative’s perspective, while digital plays an important role in their businesses, it’s not replacing print.
At the event, Kodak’s leadership in developing process free technology took a big leap forward with the introduction of SONORA X Plates, which Kodak CEO, Jeff Clarke stated will “transform the industry.” The product enables up to 80% of offset printers to make the switch to process free printing plates.
“This new plate will ink up in 20 sheets and is in color before the press is ready,” said Jim Tomblinson, VP operations at Missouri-based Modern Litho and current KODAK SONORA XP Plate user. “We already print at 240lpi, and are looking to reach 300lpi with SONORA X. I have never seen a tighter rosette on the plate which means I can print cleaner tints than with stochastic.”
Digital printing featured prominently in a discussion around the new KODAK NEXFINITY Digital Press. The technology is built on the success of the award-winning KODAK NEXPRESS Platform.
“The NEXFINITY Press offers awesome quality, consistency and color uniformity that will allow even better products at more competitive pricing,” Fotofabriek CEO Stephan de Vries said. “With its long sheet option at 120cm, we will be able to expand our photo offering by making beautiful lay flat albums, and with the ability to run thicker substrates we see the possibility to add new products for the retail market, like boxes and cardboard signs.”
As the industry looks to the future, Tom Cavanagh, Kodak’s Chief Customer Officer and VP of Advanced Materials & 3D Printing discussed how Kodak is innovating in conductive inks and printing processes to transform traditional commercial printing and enable advanced products that include printed electronics.
This emerging and growing opportunity will empower printers to strategically transition their businesses, delivering solutions for a more connected world with significantly improved operating margins.
Underlying the forward-looking approach of the conference, Kodak also demonstrated the important work the company is doing to help printers satisfy the “triple bottom line” of ecological and environmental responsibility; business and financial health; and social awareness. These efforts pervade Kodak’s product development, with examples like SONORA Plates, where printers are saving money and reducing their impact on the environment or in the company’s efforts to bring the print community together to help boost literacy rates around the world through its Print For Good program.