10-year anniversary of the KODAK FLEXCEL NX System launch
March 19, 2018
On this occasion we sat down to talk with Chris Payne, the President of Flexographic Packaging Division.
Q: Where did the idea for celebrating the transformation of flexo begin?
Chris Payne: The flexographic (flexo) printing industry has come a long way over the past decade, and we are indebted to our customers and partners for helping to drive this industry transformation.
We’re proud to be an innovative supplier of key enabling technology. With the introduction of the KODAK FLEXCEL NX System in 2008 we pioneered the use of “digital flat top dots” for flexo plates – a concept that was revolutionary at the time, but has now become accepted as ‘best in class’. We also introduced the use of a proprietary high-resolution, thermal film technology to address some of the inherent limitations of the established LAMs technology for digital flexo plates.
We’re not afraid to be different - and we place high value on the collaborations with key customers and other technology suppliers in the industry that are helping to drive positive change. Flexo has a bright future and we think that’s something worth celebrating
Q: What have Kodak’s customers achieved with FLEXCEL NX?
Chris Payne: With the help of Kodak technology, printers have achieved a level of print quality and print capability initially thought to be impossible for flexo.
Our customers have leveled the playing field with other print processes (gravure, digital, offset) and driven quality parity across packaging formats. As a result, brand clients can take greater advantage of the flexibility and cost effectiveness of the flexo process. Our customers are regularly transitioning work from other print processes to flexo, or load balancing between them. That’s a level of flexibility that simply wasn’t there before.
But it’s much more than that - FLEXCEL NX technology has also played a key role in driving standardization and efficiency in the pressroom that results in productivity and capacity benefits for printers. Overall flexo is transforming from a craft to a true manufacturing process – and our customers are reveling in the fact that there doesn’t have to be a compromise between quality and efficiency.
Q: What is one of the biggest differentiators for the FLEXCEL NX System?
Chris Payne: In short – we have a great technology platform that still has untapped potential and offers an unparalleled return on investment for our customers.
The FLEXCEL NX System is built on strong differentiated core imaging and materials technology. We took the best of everything we had learned as leading innovators over many decades in the offset printing industry and brought it to flexo. Over the years we have continued to unlock the capabilities of that core technology to deliver new and exciting features, like NX Advantage, advanced plate surface patterning technology which works at a micro level to control and optimize the delivery of ink from FLEXCEL NX Plates to the substrate All feature development over the last 10 years has been backward-compatible for all customers. Those who invested in a FLEXCEL NX System, right from the start, can continue to be at the leading edge of flexo and enjoy a significant return on their investment
Q: What is Kodak doing to celebrate?
Chris Payne: We’ll be doing a host of exciting projects throughout the year but we’re starting off with two brand new initiatives.
For current customers we’re creating a print award program, called the Global Flexo Innovation Awards, designed to recognize leading companies driving the transformation of flexo printed packaging. Our customers deliver success with the FLEXCEL NX System at every opportunity. This is our way of celebrating them.
The program will invite entries from printers, prepress specialists and brands from all over the world that can demonstrate significant advancements in several areas -- including the use of innovative creative design, conversions from other print processes to flexo, production workflow improvements and sustainable printing. This will be open to any commercial packaging created with KODAK FLEXCEL NX Plates. An independent panel of judges will be looking for entries that truly demonstrate how far flexo has come and the potential the process holds for the future.
For new customers we’re launching a suite of 10-year anniversary Limited edition KODAK FLEXCEL NX Systems. The Limited edition FLEXCEL NX System comes with unique styling that celebrates flexo, packaging and Kodak’s unique technology. Only 25 of these systems will be available globally and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting April 2, 2018.
More details about this Limited edition offer are available from our sales representatives and channel partners.
Most importantly I want to take the opportunity to thank all our Flexcel NX customers for their business and for being our partners on this incredible journey.
Here’s to the next 10 years!