Kodak and Evolve’s technology partnership

Kodak’s imaging science expertise a perfect fit with new partner Evolve Additive Solutions

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Eastman Kodak and Evolve Additive Solutions, Inc. have announced a technology partnership wherein Kodak will supply to Evolve imaging systems parts and consumables based on the KODAK NEXPRESS digital electrophotographic platform. In addition, the companies have signed joint development agreements for equipment and materials with the goal of helping further develop Evolve’s Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology in anticipation of the commercial release in 2020.

STEP is Evolve’s proprietary 3D printing technology for additive manufacturing. Kodak has also licensed relevant intellectual property to Evolve in support of the development effort.

Kodak has been pioneering work with electrophotographic technology for more than 40 years. The award-winning KODAK NEXPRESS Platform delivers unique print capabilities in a modular and upgradeable package, making it an ideal platform for Evolve to leverage and transform into a leading production technology for additive manufacturing. Evolve will be utilizing a Kodak-developed toner manufacturing process to make the part toners for the Evolve system.

The electrophotographic technology is part of the whole solution comprising hardware, materials, processes, workflow software, and services required to print and finish parts cost effectively at high quality and high speed. Collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas between the two teams is expected to reach beyond materials and components to manufacturing, service and support.

John O’Grady, president – Print Systems Division, Kodak, said, “We are very encouraged by the opportunity to expand our electrophotographic platform capabilities outside of 2D imaging to the 3D printing or additive manufacturing sector. Having worked closely with the talented staff of engineers working on the STEP technology for several years, we are confident Evolve will help change the way the organizations approach production of plastic parts for manufacturing.”

Evolve’s STEP technology will sit alongside traditional manufacturing processes, such as injection molding on the manufacturing floor, augmenting an organization’s production capabilities allowing freedom of design and ‘toolless’ production. The first STEP system has shipped under an alpha development program and has been installed at a strategic partner location utilizing resources from both Kodak and Evolve.

Steve Chillscyzn, chief executive officer of Evolve Additive Solutions said, “Creating a strong technology partnership with Kodak is an important element in the development of STEP. The selection of the Kodak systems and technology for STEP allows us to deliver to the market a highly-reliable solution, based on a proven engine that is recognized as one of the most productive printing systems in the world. By working with Kodak, we have a technology and a collaborative relationship that will not only allow us to get to market quickly, but we will have the throughput expansion to grow as we push STEP capabilities into the future.”

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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