Today’s briefings continued with a presentation by Kodak, which operates a technical center nearby the conference site. John O’Grady, Kodak’s managing director for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, spoke of the company’s comprehensive portfolio of solutions, both digital and analog, for the printing, publishing, and packaging markets.
Chris Payne, director of business-to-business marketing, noted that 70% of Kodak’s sales came from B2B in 2009. He said that Kodak is “very, very optimistic” about opportunities for its B2B customers, including those in small-business markets. The ability to leverage multi-channel communications is the foundation on which these opportunities rest, said Payne, noting that Kodak will present these opportunities at IPEX in the same way it presented them at Print 09—with multimedia kiosks and interactive displays doing the work of traditional installations of equipment. But, unlike Print 09, Kodak's stand at IPEX will also feature systems and equipment in live operation.
Kodak’s Oscar Planas recapped what IPEX will see from the company in terms of prepress. The highlight will be the launch of the Trillian SP Thermal Plate, which he said will establish new standards of productivity and efficiency in platemaking. The Trillian plate requires no pre- or post-baking for long runs, sharply reduces chemistry and water consumption, and processes quickly with 25% less energy than its predecessor plate.
Also to be highlighted at IPEX is the commercialization of Kodak’s Intelligent Prepress Manager, a dedicated prepress workflow “for perfect plates at the touch of a button.”
Package production will be another area of emphasis, with the Flexcel NX platemaking system taking center stage. At IPEX, the Kodak Flexcel NX Direct System will make its debut, offering an imager, media, and workflow in one package. It will ship in early 2011, Planas said. The Kodak Approval NX System will be the proofing platform for Flexcel NX.
Barb Willans, director of marketing for unified workflow solutions, overviewed Kodak’s portfolio of workflow solutions, which is to be augmented with Kodak’s new “Print Practice Consultancy,” a collection of business advisory services for Kodak customers. It includes analysis of the customer’s existing operations along with recommendations for improvement using Kodak solutions.
Kodak’s presentation of digital printing equipment at IPEX was the focus of a segment by Kevin Joyce. Kodak remains committed to supplying electrophotographic, drop-on-demand inkjet, and continuous inkjet printing systems, Joyce said. He noted that Kodak has begun to penetrate the newspaper market with the Versamark VL 4200 continuous inkjet web press. Prosper, another continuous inkjet technology from Kodak, has enormous potential in book manufacturing in runs of up to 7,000 copies, and for direct mail as well, according to Joyce. The NexPress electrophotographic press also has been embraced for direct mail, he added.
“Digital without compromise” is what the Prosper press platform delivers, Joyce said, adding that the first installation of the black-and-white version will be announced this week, At IPEX, Kodak will debut the Prosper 5000XL, a full-color, high-volume platform for catalog work and other high-end applications. An installation of this press is also soon to be announced. Depending on configuration, the target price range for the Prosper line is $1.5 million to $4 million, Joyce said.