Cary Sherburne speaks with John Sillies of GSS and Chris Payne of Kodak on their partnership going back 15 years and the new business opportunities it opens up for hybrid print environments.
Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com, and it’s my pleasure to be here today with John Sillies, who’s Executive Vice President of Graphic Systems Services, and Chris Payne, who is Director of Marketing at Kodak. So John, tell us a little bit about Graphic Systems Services and your partnership with Kodak.
John Sillies: Well absolutely. GSS is a press manufacturer. We own the Didde product line and a Harris web offset product line. Our partnership with Kodak dates back to 15 years at GraphExpo 1997 where we demonstrated the Kodak 6240 Head on our offset press.
Cary Sherburne: And so you’re providing the paper transport that press transport technology and what’s Kodak providing in this partnership?
John Sillies: Yes, I mean, we got a great partnership here where we are integrators. We take their writing systems, the Prospera S-series, and then we take our technology, which is web handling, and we integrate it into an existing press for a customer who has a web offset or flexo or gravure press so that he can do hybrid printing. He can do imprinting, variable imprinting in line with this traditional press.
Cary Sherburne: That’s terrific. So Chris, perhaps you can tell us a little bit about the customer benefit of the partnership between GSS and Kodak.
Chris Payne: Yes, so we’re really focused with GSS, who’s our partner to help our customers integrate the Prospera solutions in their environments for direct mail transactional and really anything that needs coating or a market on the printed piece. We bring the writing system, the Prospera heads, and Advoss bring the integration. So we’re able to amortize the customer’s capital investment so they can really take it to variable data print to add value to the printed piece, which the customers are able to offer to their customers.
Cary Sherburne: So in a lot of cases these are going into hybrid environments where they may have flexo, they may have offset, they may have both and then they’re able to add this to do the shorter run variable data, single pass print on demand.
Chris Payne: Yeah, that’s right. And specifically because we have the Prospera technology built in, whether it’s monochrome or color. Clearly you can print on coated stock and you can do it in high quality, which really helps in a production environment with our customers.
Cary Sherburne: So John, in addition to Kodak, who else is partnering with you as you build these configurations?
John Sillies: Well we partners with a drier company called Adphos and a camera company called Axod and now between the four companies: GSS, Kodak, Axod, and Adphos, we were able to develop a total system that can run at press speed up to 3,000 feet per minute. This was something that we developed over several years of time to perfect.
Cary Sherburne: That’s terrific. And I’m assuming that as a customer is looking for a configuration like this, you’re able to customize it exactly to their needs.
John Sillies: Oh, absolutely. When we first started this we thought well maybe we can make something fit for everybody. It doesn’t work that way. And that’s why Kodak came to us ‘cause we’ll come in and make a custom integration for that customer’s specific needs.
Cary Sherburne: That’s terrific. And Chris, you wanted to add something?
Chris Payne: Yeah. I was going to say that one of the things we’ve really experienced is to – the Prospera technology has wide application range and so you’re seeing us with partnerships like the GSS really expand the capability of the technology for all our customers. So you’re going to see more integration that GSS is doing with our customers.
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