When Len Knight, Operations Manager of Emerson Clarke Printing Corporation in Calgary, Alberta, saw longer run digital printing jobs going to his competitors, he knew it was time to choose a more robust and versatile digital press.
"We were losing a lot of the bigger digital jobs because our printer was just too small," he said. He and his two business partners, Rich Berg and Dave Smith, had to pass on longer digital runs and jobs like three-panel newsletters, landscape-format saddle-stitched books, posters, and other materials that required a sheet size up to 26 inches long-jobs that could mean a significant increase in business. Emerson Clarke utilizes a full range of offset presses to deliver high-quality work, including a five-color 29-inch press with a coater.
Along with the larger format, however, the three owners knew they needed the highest print quality they could get to match their customers' high expectations and compete with other print shops in Calgary that already offered larger format digital printing. Their choice: The KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 Digital Production Color Press, equipped with Kodak's unique Print Genius image processing technology.
Emerson Clarke became the first printing company in Canada to install this superior quality press. "The first and biggest reason we chose the NEXPRESS Press over a competitor's product is the quality," said Knight. "The quality that it prints on various substrates far surpasses what the competition can do."
Emerson Clarke selected the NEXPRESS SX3300 Press, which can handle a maximum sheet size of 14 x 20.47 inches with its standard feeder, or 14 x 26 inches with the optional long sheet feeder. The company also opted for the KODAK NEXPRESS Fifth Imaging Unit Solution, making it possible to offer in-line dimensional printing, gloss and spot color, in-line watermarking, or coating in a single pass.
"I had a client who wanted to do a short-run book with a varnish effect on it, and she didn't have the budget to do offset," said Berg. "She'd always wanted to do this one job, and now we've given her the opportunity to get exactly what she wants. She was blown away with the quality."
The Fifth Imaging Unit enables watermarking, protection coating, glossing, MICR printing, gamut expansion, red fluorescing ink for security and workflow applications, and in-line dimensional printing, which is unique in the industry. In addition, high-quality glossing through KODAK PERFECT TOUCH Gloss technology is possible using KODAK NEXPRESS Clear Dry Ink in conjunction with the near-line KODAK NEXPRESS Glossing Unit.
It's been just over a month since Emerson Clark installed its NEXPRESS Press and customer response is already very positive, said Knight. "The press was just installed in August, but the response to the fact that we can offer a 175-line screen, the bigger sheet size, and the textured papers has been enormous," he said. "The competitor's device can't print on a classic linen or classic laid with the quality that we can on the NEXPRESS Press. When I go into the NEXPRESS Press room and see carts of stock ready to go into the machine, that's very positive. There's no doubt that we've already seen an increase in the digital side because of it, because those runs didn't fit on our old device."
Higher print quality and the ability to handle larger jobs were reason enough for Emerson Clarke to go with the NEXPRESS Platform, but Kodak offered another benefit as well: KODAK MARKETMOVER Business Development Services, which provides innovative tools, services and support for graphic communications professionals. This includes consulting services, seminars, on-site training, online resources and marketing tools to promote the expanded applications now being produced on the NEXPRESS Press.
"This was one of the added features that made us say, 'Kodak is going to help us market this and get the clicks going on this device,'" said Knight. "No one else offered this sort of thing. We've got an exceptionally good sales team here, and this has really brought tremendous excitement into the company."
Emerson Clark purchased the press from Coast Paper, a division of PaperlinX Canada Limited. Coast Paper specializes in the sales, marketing and distribution of fine paper, graphic systems, wide format and industrial solutions. The company delivers quality products, technology and services that customers can depend on to maximize business opportunities.
The next move for Emerson Clarke is already clear however, said Knight. "From what we see and the reception we've had, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if in a year, we're talking to Kodak again about another NEXPRESS Press."
The KODAK NEXPRESS SX platform can help printers drive more jobs per shift and more profit per page, by consistently and reliably producing market-leading image quality from job to job and day to day. Its long sheet option-up to 26 inches-allows printers to print 6-page brochures or 3-up letters, and the optional expanded feeder and in-line finishing modules help printers complete jobs in fewer steps, maximizing productivity while minimizing waste.
Print Genius quality control tools and options manage and maintain peak quality throughout the production run. The suite includes hardware, software, and materials science innovations that optimize print quality and consistency from the first sheet to the last, day after day.
Featuring a monthly duty cycle of up to 4.4 million pages and print speeds of 91, 109 or 131 ppm when printing on 26″/660 mm long sheets, the NEXPRESS SX Platform prints on more than 700 standard offset substrates, including coated, uncoated, FSC, plastics, magnets, linens, static clings, micro-perforated substrates, and more.
Detailed product information can be found at www.kodak.com/go/nexpress