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Kodak Announces Agreement to Offer WATKISS BookletMaker Finishing Solution

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, N.Y., September 9 – Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group (GCG) announced that it has reached an agreement with Watkiss Automation Ltd. to offer the WATKISS BookletMaker solution for use with the new KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 plus and KODAK NEXPRESS 2500 digital production color presses. Implemented in either an inline or offline mode, the WATKISS BookletMaker system is a high-quality, high-speed, professional booklet-making solution that enables commercial printers and other digital printing service providers to better meet customer demands for quicker turnaround. The announcement was made at Print 05, North America’s largest gathering for printing industry professionals, held September 9-15 in Chicago. The WATKISS BookletMaker system is a multi-purpose booklet finishing device that takes collated sheets directly from the KODAK NEXPRESS press and automatically processes them into high-quality booklets of up to 100 pages. It can be linked directly through a connecting bridge to operate inline, or be used offline for even greater flexibility. Depending on the application, it accepts sheets from the press alone, or in combination with other printed materials, such as offset-printed covers. When used in offline mode, it can accept an even wider range of additional sheets, providing electronic collation, bookletmaking, trimming and finishing in one efficient operation. This enables it to handle the output of multiple printers for highly cost-effective utilization. “The newly introduced KODAK NEXPRESS 2100 plus and KODAK NEXPRESS 2500 digital production color presses are designed to offer digital color printing users the widest degree of flexibility in system configurations, performance options, and growth path,” said Venkat Purushotham, general manager and vice president, Digital Printing Solutions, GCG. “As the market for digital printing continues to expand, with new applications driving ever-greater print volumes, versatile finishing options like the WATKISS BookletMaker will enable our customers to deliver additional value-added services, with the added benefit of finished documents being produced at digital speeds.” Paul Attew, sales director, Watkiss Automation Ltd., said, “We are delighted that Kodak has chosen our finishing solution. Watkiss has always held the belief that an inline finisher should be as versatile as possible, so the WATKISS Bookletmaker has been designed as a three-in-one finisher, which includes the functionality of a collator, sheet feeder and an inline bookletmaker. This solution optimizes the capability of both the printer and the finisher while maintaining flexibility in multiple workflows.” The standard equipment for the WATKISS BookletMaker finishing solution includes: - A connecting bridge that transfers printed sheets from the press to the BookletMaker; - Suction feeders to insert covers or other sheets; - A booklet maker that stitches and folds the sheets into booklets; - A trimmer that trims the face/open edge of the booklet. An optional Automatic SpineMaster is available for use in post-process finishing. This device gives booklets the professional appearance of perfect binding, with the security of a stitched spine. Booklets open flat without damaging the spine, and are easy to pack, stack and handle. Additional features of the WATKISS BookletMaker finishing solution include: - Quick changeover between inline and offline use for greater efficiency; - Automatic cover insertion (inline or offline mode); - Programmable sheet insertion and collation (offline mode); - Up to eight programmable suction feeders, depending on requirements, for use as a conventional collator and/or to feed special page sequences; - Flexible upgrade path for feeder configurations, stitch heads, and feeder trays; - Advanced Document Finishing Architecture for set integrity and job recovery. The WATKISS BookletMaker finishing solution is being demonstrated at the Kodak booth #6707 at Print 05. It will be available for delivery in the first quarter of 2006.