Kodak’s new products from now till Q2 2022

Kodak enters signage & POP with new electrographic digital press

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Kodak's new Ascend electrographic digital press to be available in Q2 of 2020 Photo Kodak
Kodak's new Ascend electrographic digital press to be available in Q2 of 2020 Photo Kodak

 In a press conference on 6 October 2021, Jim Continenza, Kodak’s executive chairman and chief executive officer talked about some new products the most interesting of which is a 5-color dry toner digital press that will be launched in the US and Europe in second quarter of 2022. The Ascend digital press is aimed at commercial printers who may be in signage and POP since it can handle long lengths up to 122 cm of heavy substrates up to 762 microns or 30 point board. Kodak said the press can also be used for high end packaging. The new digital press is claimed to render sharper images at a lower cost than UV inkjet flatbed printers that are often used for signage and POP.

Kodak says that the Ascend electrographic press prints CMYK and a single embellishment ink for flat foil effects in a single pass it uses at production speeds up to 572 square meters an hour (5,280 square feet an hour). It uses environmentally-friendly Kodachrome Dry inks that are indirect food contact approved and prints and offers 13 embellishment dry ink options.

Kodak Prinergy on demand Access – affordable for all

With Prinergy on demand Access, Kodak is introducing what it claims is a cost-effective expansion of its cloud-based Prinergy on demand platform. The new option is said to be industry’s most affordable for more printers of any size, with or without digital presses. The new SaaS solution provides full connectivity to digital presses, Microsoft Azure-backed security and scalability. PODA includes preflight, color management, file management, backup and routing as well as a built-in Kodak Insite prepress portal functionality for file submission, remote customer collaboration and online approvals. It is to be available in Q1 2022.

The turnkey browser-based solution can gets printer’s workflow and output devices including presses up and running quickly. The new option saves time and money by efficiently scaling up or down as business needs change. It brings the opportunity to increase end-to-end process efficiency through automation.

 New Kodak Prosper digital varnish for paper-based packaging

The new Kodak Prosper digital varnish is a water-based varnish that can be jetted as an area or spot coat on package printing using the Prosper S-series or Plus inkjet systems. The eco-friendly varnish can be jetted in perfect register with design elements and creates a matte protective layer providing rub and water resistance to paper-based packaging applications.

As the digital varnish is applied only where needed and doesn’t require plate making for spot coating, it helps printers eliminate the costs, effort, waste and environmental impact associated with traditional post-printing coating methods. The new varnish provides an environmentally friendly, water-based alternative to solvents and UV coatings. It will be available worldwide by the end of 2021.

Enhanced Kodak mobile CtP remote control app

The Kodak mobile CtP control app is an app that allows remote control and monitoring of up to ten Kodak CtPs, reducing a dependency on onsite labor for managing jobs in queue, status updates, and more. The enhanced version of this one-of-a-kind app provides access to real-time and historical data with customizable reporting to save time on data analysis, help prioritize actions, and improve plate-making efficiency. The new version of the app is currently available for both Android and iOS.

Kodak's Mobile remote Control App for CtP devices Photo Kodak
Kodak’s Mobile remote Control App for CtP devices Photo Kodak

Continenza said, “The innovations announced today reflect Kodak’s continued commitment to developing breakthrough solutions that enable our customers to improve their productivity and profitability and successfully expand their customer base. With innovations like the Kodak Ascend Digital Press, we are opening up new profitable application opportunities for printers. We continue to deliver on our promise to provide a complete range of solutions that offer Print that Pays.”

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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