November 6, 2007 -- (Reporting by WhatTheyThink's Cary Sherburne) -- This week, Kodak opened a new digital plate manufacturing plant in Xiamen, China. Doug Edwards, General Manager and Vice President, Prepress Solutions, Kodak's Graphic Communications Group (GCG), and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company, offered representatives of the media a virtual tour of the plant via the web, providing background on the plant and the company's strategy.
Watch the Kodak Xiamen Plant Opening Webcast Presentation
According to Edwards, Kodak continues to invest in its prepress business, with a plan to bring more than 30 new prepress products to market by the end of 2009. The plant in Xiamen is an example of the ongoing investments Kodak is making. The project was approved in 2004, and was completed on time and on budget, at a cost of $50 million. It is wholly owned by Kodak.
During the session, Rich Rindo, Director, Global Product Management, Printing Plates Business, Prepress Solutions, GCG, commented that building a plant in China recognizes both the demand from that region and the importance of manufacturing regionally to make product available as close to the point of need as possible. "The China plant has two benefits to the U.S. & C. region [United States and Canada]," he said. "Because of the more than double-digit growth we have experienced as the world leader in digital plates, it helps fulfill our overall need. Also, during this time of growth, a significant amount of research and development activities is required. We need to test new products and move them through the commercialization process quickly. We need capacity to be able to free up lines in the US&C to do some of that R&D work and get products to the market faster."
Kodak declined to discuss its overall plate manufacturing capacity and the percent of that capacity represented by the new Chinese plant, indicating that the plant would significantly increase overall capacity as it is ramped up over the next year.