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Kodak and Konica Minolta sign global distribution agreement

Friday, February 25, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

Rochester, N.Y., - Customers of Kodak and Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. (Konica Minolta) now have access to a wider range of powerful cut-sheet digital printing systems through a new, expanded global distribution agreement. As leaders in the rapidly growing digital print market, Kodak and Konica Minolta each offer a depth of experience and a robust portfolio of solutions that make it easier for customers to grow and adapt as their businesses evolve.

Under the agreement, the companies will offer production digital printing systems from each company's portfolio, providing customers with more options based on their volume, applications and performance requirements. The agreement capitalizes on Kodak's expertise and solutions in the mid- to high-volume cut-sheet digital printing market and Konica Minolta's strength in the top tier of the light to mid production printing market, and opens up new areas of opportunity for customers of both companies.

"We understand the needs of our customers and are committed to bringing them the industry's most complete portfolio of digital print products and solutions," said Philip J. Faraci, President and Chief Operating Officer, Eastman Kodak Company. "Kodak is proud to offer the Konica Minolta portfolio along with our proven cut-sheet print solutions. Kodak's business development programs along with expertise in traditional and digital workflow provide a comprehensive platform for customer growth."

Under the new agreement, Kodak will sell the Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C6000, C7000 and Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France and the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO 1200/1200P monochrome digital presses in the United States. Kodak will offer the full line of equipment, controllers and accessories associated with the Konica Minolta portfolio-including the Print Controller for the CREO Color Server developed by Kodak's Print On Demand Solutions Group, which can easily integrate with KODAK PRINERGY Workflow for complete control in a multi-vendor environment.

Konica Minolta will continue to sell the KODAK DIGIMASTER Digital Production Systems and will also add the KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Presses to its portfolio in the United States. Konica Minolta will continue to sell KODAK NEXPRESS Presses in Australia. In Europe and Japan, Konica Minolta has begun to sell the KODAK DIGIMASTER Digital Production Systems.

The products of both companies will maintain the manufacturer's brand.
"Our strategic partnership with Kodak allows Konica Minolta to deliver an extended range of capabilities to our customers and respond to the growing expectations and demands from the production print marketplace," said Akio Kitani, President of Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. "We are excited about the long-term prospects of our strategic agreement with Kodak, and believe the strength of this partnership will be beneficial to our production print customer base-another reason why our customers can count on Konica Minolta for all of their digital printing needs."

The new KODAK NEXPRESS SX Digital Production Color Platform with Print Genius offers exceptional quality and productivity, and has been designed to meet the needs of commercial printers, in-plant printers, and data centers. A new long sheet option, at 660 mm, delivers 27 percent more printable area and enables new applications such as six-page brochures, posters, larger dust jackets for books, and a variety of labels. KODAK NEXPRESS Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions enables unique applications, for example, Dimensional Printing and red fluorescing ink for security applications.

DIGIMASTER Digital Production Systems offer high speeds, and outstanding productivity and reliability. The KODAK DIGIMASTER EX300 Digital Production System is among the fastest cut-sheet black-and-white electrophotographic printers on the market, printing at a benchmark rate of 18,000 images per hour (A4).
The Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 is a high-speed 80 ppm color digital press that offers reliable and high-quality prints to rival offset printing, and has offset-quality color using 3rd-generation Simitri HD?toner for superior color images. Printing up to 4,800 pages per hour without the need for special training or complex setup, the Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 is reliable and energy efficient.

The Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C7000/C6000 offers digital color output at high print speeds of 71/60 ppm, and has Konica Minolta's advanced color processing technologies with S.E.A.D. II imaging, FM screening, stability monitoring, and density control. Integrating state-of-the art technologies with streamlined digital operations, the Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C7000 and C6000 have a wide variety of in-line finishing options for hands-off operation from job submission to distribution.

The new agreement will benefit Kodak by expanding the customer reach for Kodak's products to quick-print, in-plant, large corporate reprographics departments, university and government customers through Konica Minolta's large direct and dealer network. Similarly, Konica Minolta will benefit from a wider digital production offering for its customers and an expanded commercial customer reach for its newly launched digital color products through Kodak's sales organization.



By Rick Littrell on Feb 24, 2011

Another shoe drops on a global scale...

- First Heidelberg and Ricoh
- Now Kodak and Konica Minolta

Who's next to broaden their digital imaging portfolio and/or integrate offset and digital production?

- Man Roland and ???
- Komori and ???
- Ryobi and ???
- Mitsubishi and ???
- Agfa and ???
- Fuji and ???
- Xerox and ???
- HP and ???
- Canon and ???
- Océ and ???

Many others could be on the list. The heavy metal and media players are still on the move. Will be interesting the activity related to software applications and their move to "the cloud". Thinking there may be more announcements before On Demand.

Certainly is exciting times. Hope that I can keep up.


By Drew Court on Feb 25, 2011

That's a very intuitive post but let me demystify some of the "????".
manroland has already announced a collaboration with Oce which one must assume means Canon also.
Fujifilm owns 75% of Xerox in Asia Pacific and is unlikely to look elsewhere, apart from its re-selling of Screen web-feed digital inkjet.
HP has already partnered with an offset book press manufacturer in Timsons of the UK
Canon and Oce are one. At least from March onwards.
Screen already makes Infoprint's - now Ricoh - digital web presses.

So, on the offset side, that kinda leaves Komori, KBA, Ryobi and Misubishi, maybe Sakurai with either no digital strategy or a past abortive one (Ryobi and KBA with DI presses, Agfa with Xeikon/Chromapress disaster).

Underscoring all this is the fact that digital (non-DI) presses are an evolution of copiers and copiers have always been sold differently to offset presses. Herein lies the devil in the detail. Two culturally opposed worlds are colliding, one where product quality, build, longevity and customer service at manufacturing level are kings, and the other where planned obsolesence, limited-life build, customer service-for-a-slice-of-the-impression-profits and suppliers competing with their own customers rules.
It's an imbroglio, shemozzle and chaos all rolled into one but, out of chaos, sometimes, comes a semblence of order. We shall wait and see.


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