Kodak installs CTP system at WKS Group

Magnus Q4800 Platesetter is equipped with an XPL pallet loading system

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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.”

 

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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