Pat Henry: This is Pat Henry, Executive Editor of WhatTheyThink.com at the pre IPEX Media Briefing at Brussels, Belgium. We are at the conclusion of Day One, March 8, 2010. And with us this evening is Oscar Planas. Oscar is Vice President, Marketing, Prepress Solutions, Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group. Oscar, thank you for making time for us this evening.
Oscar Planas: Thank you, Patrick.
Pat Henry: There’s always news from Kodak in this case, one of the many pieces of news we heard about today was the release of the new thermal plate and different from your predecessor plates. Tell us about it, its name is Trillium, I believe.
Oscar Planas: Right. We’re really excited to announce the Trillium. The Trillium is a new technology in the plate industry that allows us to answer the needs of the customer. The customers are asking for a product that allows them to get quick productivity, high quality, at the same time, they’re looking for a product that helps them on the environmental side and the Trillium really addresses that. Being a low chemistry plate, it allows them to have, again, that high production, high quality with low chemistry consumption through existing current processors; the Kodak as well as third-party approved. It allows us to work not only with the different processors, but it offers advantages on energy savings because it is a much faster product. So, when you combine the Trillium plate with the Magnus, with the Intelligent Prepress Manager and with the Auto Palate Loader, it becomes one of the fastest production systems on the market today.
Pat Henry: And, when will the plate be ready to ship?
Oscar Planas: The Plate will start shipping in Q4 of 2010. It’s going through beta testing right now, so we’ll have plenty of markets testing it. It is a global plate, so it’s being manufactured in various facilities around the world and being tested in all different markets.
Pat Henry: Oscar, as you well know, there’s a lot of interest in packaging certainly among printers who are not doing it, but think they might like to do it, but we’re thinking in particular about flexographic printing. A great deal of food packaging, flexible material is done flexographically. Yet, we still face challenges in maintaining color consistency predictability in that technology. And again, Kodak is putting forth the solution. We heard about it today and I know we’re going to hear more about it at IPEX Flex LNX.
Oscar Planas: Right. Flex LNX offers the packaging printer the versatility of printing with four-color process in lieu of actually having to use special colors to produce high quality packaging. The Flex LNX, when you combine it with the Digicap NX screening technology is when you get the maximum amount of productivity and resolution. Today, we had several customers talking to us about the quality they’re achieving, and during the demonstration process, one of those customers here in the UK was talking about being able to produce 300 line screening consistently.
Pat Henry: Wow, that’s amazing for Flexo.
Oscar Planas: Correct. And they’re also very excited about the differences they provide their customers. They allow their customers to differentiate themselves. This is a trade shop that provides Flex NLX plates for the industry. And every time he’s gone to a customer and prepared a high resolution file, they’ve been amazed with the quality they can achieve. Several of his customers have said to him that they liked what they saw printed, but they didn’t thing they could print it in their shop, only to realize they had printed it with Flex LNX in their own shop.
Forrest Leighton: And what is your proofing solution for Flex LNX?
Oscar Planas: For the Flex LNX, we have the Approval NX Proofing System which consists of also the cutting table, which allows you to create three-D mockups as well as the new color receptors that allow us to create the same colors and consistency of the new digital packaging, or whatever dynamic colors that are in the industry. So, new receptors as well as the cutting table allow Approval NX to really create a system with the NX plate and the NX Approval.
Pat Henry: Oscar, given your insight into the conventional market where offset and flex are for that matter for finding themselves under pressure from digital alternatives, how is this all going to shake out? Are we safe on the conventional side, or are we looking at a long farewell here. What’s your view?
Oscar Planas: Well, the conventional side coexists with the digital side of the industry. It is really a key factor and relevant in what is a mixed media production. So, when you’re looking at digital and offset, the two of them help provide the best mixed media marketing campaign for any product. So, you start al the way from the initiation of the workflow, take it through to the offset for advertising, get into the packaging as well, which is how you package and sell your product, and then your digital allows you to do a mixed campaign, follow-up, direct mail, and direct advertising. So, when you look at the industry, you’ll see that offset and digital will be coexisting for quite awhile.
Pat Henry: That’s very reassuring. And Oscar, we thank you for your dual perspective on these matters. Thank you for your time this evening.
Oscar Planas: Thank you very much.