ROCHESTER, N.Y., - The installation of the first KODAK FLEXCEL NX System at Sweden's Okab Intergraphic has been so successful the packaging specialist expects to achieve ROI in just nine months.
"We wanted to be unique and offer something special to our customers. Being the first company in Sweden to install this technology allows us to do that," states Mats Esbjornsson, Vice President of the SEK6m (€6.6m) turnover operation, which includes European giants Kavli, Arla, and Electrolux among its core clientele.
Okab Intergraphic's product portfolio is divided into 60% flexo and 40% litho and Esbjornsson chose the KODAK FLEXCEL NX Plates to help it maintain its market leading edge. "Providing our customers with a more competitive solution sets us apart from what is already available. We are still working toward full production, but we already expect the system will have paid for itself by the end of the year."
Survival of the Fittest
As well as improving its relationship with customers today, Okab Intergraphic's investment was also critical to ensure the company's long-term survival. "We work with many top brands, and to continue to provide them with the best service, we needed to invest in state-of-the-art solutions. We can now deliver something almost no one else can."
The KODAK FLEXCEL NX System uses a unique combination of exceptional imaging technology and materials science to produce plates that deliver outstanding on-press performance, achieving gravure-class print quality on a wide variety of substrates. It enables customers to grow their businesses through differentiated print quality, helps reduce costs through production efficiencies, and supports sustainability goals through reduced waste. It delivers imaging stability and predictability, true 1:1:1 image reproduction, stable flat top dot structure providing consistent quality and repeatability on press, smaller minimum dots, excellent ink transfer and impression latitude with full tonal range, reduced makeready times, and increased run lengths. It also eliminates the bump curve.
It was the caliber of the final product that convinced Esbjornsson that this KODAK Solution was the right one. "Improved quality, image, and ink coverage all created a much more effective result," states Esbjornsson.
Quality is not the only gain the transition has achieved: "We are 25% more productive," says Esbjornsson. "Other systems require full separation on a job to get dot and full-tone plates. With the FLEXCEL NX System, these are combined so instead of five color separation there is only the need for four. That can save us as much as 15 minutes per job, or €90 to €100."
Esbjornsson adds any risk associated with adopting the new technology was eliminated by Kodak's knowledgeable expertise and support: "After thorough testing and achieving very good results we were confident that we could deliver something special. The plates are very stable. It is always an issue with flexo that you never know what the result will be like, but with Kodak I don't think there have been any plates that we have had to do again. It saves us a lot of time and expense."
Reaping the Rewards
"I am very glad we made the decision," comments Esbjornsson. "Both the installation and the handling of the sales process by Kodak was very easy. We are not a big company and I often go to see the customers myself. Explaining how new processes can benefit them and convincing them to support us can be time-consuming. But with these plates, as soon as they see the results, they are excited and want to work with us."
"As Okab Intergraphic discovered for themselves the main business-winning attraction of the KODAK FLEXCEL NX System is its ability to achieve dots as small as 10-microns using KODAK SQUARESPOT Imaging Technology," comments Håkan Persson, Account Manager Sweden, Packaging Solutions, Kodak. "This delivers consistent, predictable printing, even of subtle gradations and challenging shadows and highlights-all of which are increasingly important to brand owners looking for new ways to make their products stand out from the competition."
Kodak is a global advisor and provider of integrated services to help companies transform and optimize their businesses. Through a network of service professionals in 120+ countries, Kodak provides technical, professional, consulting and managed services to enable customers to focus on growing their businesses, maximize productivity, and more effectively manage risks. All Kodak products and software are backed by KODAK Service and Support. To learn more, visit www.graphics.kodak.com.