Kodak launches Nexfinity digital press

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Kodak launches Nexfinity digital press
Kodak Nexfinity digital press

On 1 March 2018, Kodak announced the Spring 2018 availability of its Nexfinity digital press in the US, Canada, and Western Europe markets. Claimed to be most versatile sheetfed digital press on the market, Kodak says its low running costs, higher speed and improved color reproduction quality—attributed to what it calls dynamic imaging—will change how printers evaluate what can be run on digital.

Dynamic Imaging Technology is a patented Kodak innovation for digital printing that works by applying algorithmic adjustments to specific areas of an image, which optimizes image quality and consistency based on the image content in each area. The result (one imagines that it is analogous to local correction rather than general correction) is claimed to produce crisp text, hard lines, soft skin tones and beautiful skies on the same page, whether it’s for one print or millions. Featuring a new high resolution and multi-bit LED writing system, the press produces a broad range of applications including direct mail, commercial print, publishing and packaging.

“With the Nexfinity press, printers get a robust digital printing platform that delivers offset quality while driving down costs and equipping them with the flexibility and speed to handle an expansive range of applications for their customers, whether it’s an order for a few hundred or millions of impressions,” said Chris Balls, general manager, Equipment and VP, Print Systems Division of Kodak.

Superior image quality, speed and flexibility
Kodak says the new Nexfinity provides high information density at more than 1.8 billion pieces of image information per square inch rendering smooth flat fields and excellent image detail in the printed product. For example, the system can reproduce fine details on the fly, like highlight areas and consistency in mid-tones by adjusting the exposure levels for very high levels of print quality. The LED writing system provides 256 levels of exposure on the imaging cylinder, compared to laser systems that only are on or off, which means it provides excellent, consistent quality, utilizing closed-loop process controls that maximize uptime and lower running costs. With an increased range of 83 to 152 ppm and an expanded sheet length up to 120 cm, the press is capable of handling stocks up to 405 gsm (24 pt). When all of this is combined with the machine’s color sequence flexibility that allows for dry inks to be printed in alternative orders or combinations required by specific print jobs, the creative possibilities to help printers grow their business are extensive.

Stephan de Vries, chief executive officer at Fotofabriek in Groningen, Netherlands, commented, “Fotofabriek began using the Nexpress fifteen years ago, mainly because of its exceptional image quality. That’s important to our business because the main ingredient of our growth and what we are best known for is our photo books and albums. As the first printer in Europe to use the Nexfinity press, we are excited about the new applications we can offer. The Nexfinity press offers awesome quality, consistency and color uniformity that will allow even better products at more competitive pricing; with its long sheet option at 120 cm, 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.”

Ben Shaw, pvice president of US Production at Mimeo.com, added, “At Mimeo, we strive to stay on the leading edge in terms of innovation and technology, so testing the Nexfinity press is a natural fit for us. In a short time, we’ve already run millions of pages on it, and we’ve been thrilled with the results. It’s really just an incredibly versatile machine that delivers a powerful combination of image quality, consistency, and low running costs.”

Enhanced productivity and workflow automation
For printers managing a variety of applications, Kodak’s new Multi-Press Station allows a press operator to handle multiple jobs on up to four Nexfinity presses from one location.

A new front-end enables flexible operation with a prepress toolset for imposition, trapping, color management, job specification and job management and reporting capabilities. It is also equipped with an automated workflow using JDF and JMF which are compatible with a variety of workflow solutions, including Kodak’s Prinergy. Fast ripping of short-run, image-intensive applications, as well as complex variable jobs keeps the press highly productive.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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