Kodak announces Sonora X plates

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Sonora X
Kodak’s new Sonora X process-free plate suitable for longer press runs Photo: Kodak

Sonora X is described as more robust thanks to a proprietary enhanced anodizing and coating technology that allows it to cope with highly automated or fast-paced operating environments. It should be suitable for any application where unbaked processed plates are currently used, including large commercial sheetfed printers, heatset and coldset web printers, offset packaging printers, and printers using UV and low-energy UV. There’s also a newspaper version—Sonora X-N—for medium and large newspaper printers.

Brad Kruchten, president of Kodak’s Print Systems Division, commented, “Sonora X delivers a breakthrough for process-free technology. The dramatic improvements to run length and handling enable the market fit for process free to expand to up to 80% of the market, thus making Sonora X truly mainstream.”

Kodak forecasts the trend toward process-free plates will continue, anticipating that 30% of the company’s plate volume will be process free by 2019. Both Sonora X and X-N should be available by the second quarter of this year.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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