Kodak wins 2021 EDP Award for Kodak Ascend Digital Press

Ascend Digital Press is a perfect solution for producing retail signage

Kodak has won the 2021 EDP Award for its new Kodak Ascend Digital Press
Kodak has won the 2021 EDP Award for its new Kodak Ascend Digital Press Photo: Kodak

Kodak has been selected as a winner of the European Digital Press Association’s 2021 EDP Award. Kodak earned the prestigious industry accolade in the ‘Industrial Print & Finishing Solutions – Best Folding Carton Solution’ category for its revolutionary new Kodak Ascend Digital Press. This is the fifth year in a row that Kodak has won one of the coveted European industry awards.

Kodak Ascend Digital Press is the first electrophotographic (EP) press designed to print heavyweight substrates at long lengths with CMYK and flat foil embellishments in one pass. The press uses eco-friendly Kodachrome Dry Inks, which provide a non-hazardous working environment and sustainably recyclable print. 

The Ascend Digital Press enables any company to enter the retail/point-of-purchase (POP) and folding carton markets with a more productive and cost-effective solution than current EP presses or flatbed inkjet. It provides a complete press and embellishment system for about the price of a single-purpose digital enhancement press.

Kodak Ascend Digital Press has various applications for the printing industry

In the retail/POP area, the Ascend Digital Press is a perfect solution for producing retail signage with sizes of up to 120 centimeters (48 inches.) in length at speeds up to 572 square meters an hour (5280 square feet an hour). Short-run packaging jobs for which the machine is ideally suited are, among others, small folding carton boxes, blister cards, food boxes, and belly bands. The press can also show its strengths of combining high-quality printing and inline print embellishment in the production of commercial jobs, such as book covers, greeting cards, and trading cards.

Explaining their decision to grant this award to Kodak, the EDP Awards judging panel commented, “The jury nominated a universal solution like the Kodak Ascend Digital Press for this category due to the machine’s uniqueness. More than just an ordinary toner press, it combines CMYK printing with foil finishing in a single pass and printing on board and large format sheets. The press opens up new markets for users without having to forego classic digital printing applications.”

“We are thrilled to have won the prestigious EDP Award for our latest digital press. The Ascend Press is proof of Kodak’s commitment to the printing industry and investing in leading-edge solutions for digital print,” said Jim Continenza, company’s executive chairman and chief executive officer. “The new Ascend Press will help our customers capitalize on opportunities in the growing short-run packaging and retail POP segments without the long run requirements of litho, or the cost and complexity of large format inkjet.”


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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