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Kodak Innovation Shines on 10th Anniversary of Thermal CTP

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 5 -- Kodak’s commercialization of the world’s first thermal computer to plate (CTP) system occurred in 1996, touching off a fast moving transformation of printing that helped shorten turnaround times, reduce costs, and improve quality for printers and their customers around the world. Thermal CTP technology, which was invented by Kodak, celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2006, as Kodak continues to lead the industry with innovative new CTP solutions. Origins of the thermal CTP revolution began at drupa 1995 when Kodak announced the first thermal CTP system, consisting of the KODAK DIRECT IMAGE Thermal Plate and the former CREO Thermal 3244 Platesetter. The system was the result of two inventors, Dr. Neil Haley and Dan Gelbart, who continue to work for Kodak today. Beta tests for thermal CTP began in late 1995, and the system was fully commercialized by the middle of 1996, when SQUARESPOT imaging technology’s unique 10,000 dpi laser delivered the most robust 2,400 dpi plates in the printing world. Over the next 10 years, thermal CTP evolved, becoming faster, more precise and requiring less floor space, further fueling adoption of the technology and causing it to spread from large printers to mid size and small print providers. “Within the last decade, CTP has changed the very nature of the printing industry,” said Frank Romano, Professor Emeritus, Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Print Media. “I recall the day in 1995 when thermal CTP was first shown and printers looked at it with some skepticism. Yet within a few years, it was the major technology for cutting cost, increasing productivity, and providing more consistent quality. CTP is now the mainstay of the printing industry and it has engendered workflows that have led to the complete digitization of prepress and totally automated systems. What a difference a decade—and CTP—has made.” “Thermal CTP is one of the great imaging innovations in Kodak history and a primary building block of our graphic communications business today,” said Jeff Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer, Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group. “Thermal CTP delivers tremendous value to thousands of Kodak customers each and every day. It also stands as a reminder to the current generation of Kodak scientists and researchers about what the power of innovation can accomplish for our customers and for our company.” Since inventing thermal CTP, Kodak continues to work closely with its customers to offer complete solutions of plates, CTP devices and workflow systems. Thermal CTP technology from Kodak covers all types of applications, from the KODAK TRENDSETTER platesetter and KODAK MAGNUS 4 and 8 page and VLF devices for commercial printing to the KODAK TRENDSETTER NEWS thermal platesetter for newspapers to the KODAK THERMOFLEX flexographic platesetters for packaging. The state of the art MAGNUS VLF CTP device is powered by the third generation of SQUARESPOT imaging technology, setting trends in speed, process stability and image fidelity, and enabling the most demanding applications, such as KODAK STACCATO screening. Plate innovations have included: the KODAK ELECTRA plate, the first no preheat thermal plate; the KODAK SWORD plate, the first no preheat and no postbake thermal plate; the KODAK THERMALNEWS plate, the first thermal newspaper plate; and the KODAK THERMAL DIRECT plate, a truly non process plate. Beyond thermal plates, Kodak’s broad portfolio of digital plates offers options for violet laser systems for commercial printing and newspaper publishing. Early adopters of thermal CTP remember its introduction and the remarkable improvements it made to their businesses. “The commercialization of thermal CTP technology enhanced the viability of the print process. Specifically, it provided value to Quad/Graphics by improving the speed and quality of print for our clients,” according to Tom Frankowski, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing at Quad/Graphics. “Additionally, CTP technology helped us reduce cycle time by removing delays that were inherent with the photomechanical prepress process. Most importantly, the accuracy and consistency of thermal CTP technology has enabled the application of further enabling tools and concepts such as closed loop color at Quad/Graphics. CTP has advanced Quad’s color control systems as we continue to push our print platform to its full potential. Of course, the benefits of CTP technology haven’t ended.” “Thermal CTP is without a doubt one of the most significant developments in a generation. It completely changed how we did business —for the better,” said Laura Gale, who supervised the beta test installation of thermal CTP at Rand McNally. Gale is currently Vice President, Content Management and Publishing at United Stationers in Des Plaines, Ill. “The incredibly fast adoption of the technology is proof of its impact.” “My father and I witnessed the introduction of thermal CTP at drupa 1995. It marked a complete change from all previous digital plate imaging approaches,” said Eric C. Webber, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cohber Press, a $17 million Rochester commercial printer. “From 1996 to 2000, Cohber doubled in size thanks primarily to the development and commercialization of thermal CTP, which allowed us to pursue an aggressive new business growth strategy.”

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