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Kodak Breaks Ground on Plate Manufacturing Facility

Press release from the issuing company

Columbus, GA, March 3 -- In response to the strong demand for digital plates throughout the Americas, Kodak broke ground on Friday, February 29 on an expansion of the plate production facility in Columbus, Georgia.  Adding 16,000 square feet to the existing facility, Kodak will use this third production line to meet the digital plate supply needs of print service providers in a wide variety of markets.

"This exciting investment in new digital plate capacity in Columbus builds on a sustained strategy of enhancing our digital plate presence in the Americas," said John Robinson, General Manager and Vice President, Printing Plate Business, Prepress Solutions, Kodak's Graphic Communications Group. "It is consistent with Kodak's commitment to being a complete solutions provider for the computer to plate needs of our customers."

Kodak's investment in the new production line totals approximately $15 million and will enable the company to more efficiently produce current and future generation digital plates. The increased plate production capacity also is expected to bring additional employment opportunities to the greater Columbus area and further establish Kodak's commitment to the community.

First opened in 1990 by Sun Chemical for the production of Polychrome branded printing plates, the facility has undergone several previous improvements to increase production quality and capacity. Kodak entered into a joint venture with Sun Chemical in 1998 to form KODAK POLYCHROME GRAPHICS, and in 2005 KODAK POLYCHROME GRAPHICS became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak. The facility currently produces a broad portfolio of conventional and digital plates including KODAK SWORD EXCEL Thermal Plates and KODAK THERMAL GOLD Digital Plates and KODAK NEWSWORTHY, WINNER GOLD and KODAK CRAFTSMAN Negative Plates.

In its current form, the facility occupies 250,000 square feet and boasts approximately 250 employees operating two plate production lines. Construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2009, and production on the new line will begin immediately.

"In addition to leveraging existing infrastructure, we chose the Columbus facility for expansion because of our many outstanding employees there, from technical specialists to machine operators," explained Robinson. "We are pleased to be growing the facility and are grateful for the support we have received from the community."