Kodak installs CTP system at WKS Group

Magnus Q4800 Platesetter is equipped with an XPL pallet loading system

Kodak Magnus Q4800 Platesetter installed at WKS Group
Kodak Magnus Q4800 Platesetter installed at WKS Group Photo: Kodak

Kodak has completed the installation of the first Kodak Magnus Q4800 Platesetter at the WKS Group in Essen, Germany. Equipped with an XPL Pallet Loading System with four pallet stations for four different plate formats, the overall configuration of the Magnus Q4800 is almost 19 meters (62 feet) long and 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) wide. That makes it the biggest CTP system ever to be installed anywhere globally.

WKS Group is one of the leading print and media service providers in Europe’s German-speaking countries. The Group comprises nine companies at six sites across Germany. Advanced production facilities enable printing projects to be executed, ranging from print runs of one to enormous quantities in the high-volume segment. WKS Group provides web and sheetfed offset and digital printing and finishing. Fulfillment and cross-media expertise round off WKS Group’s portfolio of services.

The fully automatic Magnus Q4800 Platesetter went into operation as planned at the WKS Group’s web offset site in December 2021. Yet, the Kodak team had to overcome daunting logistical challenges for a CTP project before that could happen. Fifteen large shipping crates had to be taken by truck from Kodak’s CTP development and production center in Vancouver, Canada, to Chicago. The journey then continued by air to Frankfurt, Germany, where they were subsequently transferred to the WKS Group’s Essen facility on four semitrailers. On arrival, the crates had to be lifted up to the fourth floor by crane, a full 16 meters for installation.

Kodak Magnus Q4800 Platesetter is efficient and reliable

The Magnus Q4800 Platesetter offers market-leading speed and productivity for extra-large format (XLF) plate making. It supports plate sizes up to 2.86 meters wide and uses Kodak Squarespot Imaging Technology, providing unparalleled stability, accuracy, and reliability for maximum efficiency and superior print quality. The Magnus Q4800 configuration installed at WKS Group provides fully automatic XLF plate loading from four pallets with up to 4,800 plates online, enabling over 10,000-meter squares of plates to run before reloading.

“The investment in such a huge CTP equipment configuration makes sense because it perfectly meets the current and future requirements of our Essen high volume production site in terms of plate sizes, throughput, and fully automated operation,” said Frank Döding, business manager/operations manager of WKS Group’s Essen site. “The Magnus Q4800 Platesetter places the plate imaging capability for our web offset presses on a new technological foundation. It allowed us to switch from UV to thermal plate imaging, and it gave us the much higher plate-making capacity we needed. We’re delighted that Kodak managed to install our new CTP solution on schedule, especially during the continued difficult situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” concluded Döding.

“We are extremely pleased with the successful completion of this pioneering installation. The Magnus Q4800 Platesetter will open new dimensions for the WKS Group regarding XLF plate imaging quality, automation, and productivity,” commented Giuliano Bianchet, vice president of Sales Eamer, Kodak. “The new Magnus Q4800 Platesetter is further proof that Kodak is investing heavily in advancing prepress and print technology, meeting our customers’ needs to drive productivity, cost-effectiveness and growth as the industry evolves.”


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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