• PKN's Lindy Hughson meets with Paul Haggett, sales and marketing director, enterprise inkjet systems division for Kodak Australia and New Zealand, at the Kodak event in Verona.
    PKN's Lindy Hughson meets with Paul Haggett, sales and marketing director, enterprise inkjet systems division for Kodak Australia and New Zealand, at the Kodak event in Verona.

Kodak’s global packaging summit and media analyst event in Verona, Italy, yesterday saw the imaging technology specialist launch its Creative Freedom campaign for packaging along with breakthrough product launches. PKN was there.

Kodak’s decision to divest its Flexible Packaging Division has not meant the group is done with packaging. Quite the contrary in fact: at its Enterprise Inkjet Systems (EIS) Packaging Summit and VIP Media Analyst gathering in Verona, Kodak made it clear that EIS is a strategic growth area, and that through its recognition of the opportunity in digital inkjet Kodak is committing to the opportunity it sees in packaging.

In her opening address, Patti Smith, VP, WW Business Development & Marketing, EIS Division, launched Kodak’s new campaign called Creative Freedom, which she said is designed to educate and promote the use of digital printing in packaging applications and embodies what Kodak technology can deliver to printers, converters, designers and brands.

For printers and converters, this includes flexibility, efficient production for shorter runs, economical operations, and in-line and nearline technology implementation.

For designers and brands, the wish list is greener products, creative flexibility, the ability to quickly drive ideas to market, and connectivity to customers. Of particular significance is the work Kodak has done in formulating a lamination grade ink set, which promises to meet industry performance expectations relating to lamination bond strength, using standard solventless and solvent-based packaging adhesives commonly used by packaging converters.

Digital inkjet: Kodak on the Uteco Sapphire EVO press.

Kodak’s mission, according to Smith, is to deliver solutions that afford strong economics and design flexibility using the widest variety of substrates without creative compromise.

The event was hosted at flexible printing solutions manufacturer Uteco’s premises outside Verona, providing the select group of attendees the opportunity to see first-hand the latest advances to the Sapphire EVO technology developed in partnership with Uteco Converting.

Aldo Peretti, CEO of the Uteco Group, confirmed the continued success of the Sapphire EVO press with the first unit sold to Nuova Erreplast [on view at the Uteco site] and the second unit going to Kinyosha in Japan.

“The adoption of this hybrid digital web press is showcasing the value of digital printing with water-based inks on flexible substrates for a wide variety of applications including food packaging and personal care items such as diapers. The combined knowledge of Uteco and Kodak has unleashed the possibilities and customers have taken notice,” said Peretti.

Attendees were also first to hear news that Kodak and Uteco have extended their packaging solutions development partnership, with Uteco having signed an agreement to purchase Kodak’s latest inkjet printing systems featuring Ultrastream continuous inkjet (CIJ) technology. Ultrastream was first launched conceptually at drupa 2016, with development plans for availability to OEM partners in 2019.

Kodak says its proprietary Ultrastream CIJ technology delivers 600x1800dpi, with production speeds of up to 150mpm, using environmentally-friendly and economic water-based inks, on both plastics and paper.

Uteco first introduced Sapphire EVO Solutions in June 2018, which the company says has captured the interest of the industry for both performance and sustainability and continues to be an important part of its digital portfolio. Uteco will be among the first equipment manufacturers to use Kodak Ultrastream technology to expand its high productivity digital press portfolio for flexible packaging in 2020.

“Our customers are looking for sustainably advantaged hybrid digital production solutions to enable short run versioning with compelling economics. Using the combination of traditional flexo and gravure, along with digital inkjet technologies, these solutions optimise film handling, priming, post-coating and drying to deliver the performance requirements for the packaging market.

“Kodak’s proprietary continuous inkjet system continues to be technology of choice which delivers great quality, productivity and running cost for these industry-leading packaging solutions,” said Peretti.

In other news, Kodak announced the introduction of the new Kodak Prosper Plus Imprinting Solutions for the packaging industry. These solutions include four new imprinting components as well as food safe packaging inks and pre-coatings for folding cartons, food wraps, paper cups & plates, and ream wraps.

The new Prosper Plus models will expand the capabilities for printers to leverage continuous inkjet as a complimentary capability to the Kodak Prosper 6000S Simplex Press and the Uteco Sapphire EVO (Flexible Substrates) Web Fed Solution.

PKN will cover this summit and the technology released in full in the March/April issue.


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