Vidhu Gautam's presentation was divided into two parts, flexography pre-press and thermal CTP plates. The first part was about how the Flexcel NX ensured production efficiency and increased pre-press productivity, along with flexo plates that last longer plus ensure consistent, predictable print and reduced ink and substrate waste.
The presentation focused on the technology highlights as well as costing. Later Vidhu Gautam mentioned how a customer who used Kodak's technology moved from 60-65% downtime to around 50% downtime with the current target of 45%. This meant a reduced 15% downtime!
With LAMS printed 133 lpi at 180 meters per minute to 175 lpi at 350 metres per minute with NX. Also increased almost 50% speed on the press while increasing the LPI. Vidhu Gautam added, how the customer moved printed waste from 12% to currently 7% plus reduced waste by 5%. Finally, there was increased print capabilities and stable production which allowed the customer to reduce the number of presses and colours per press.
There was focus on SquareSpot too about how it is a unique imaging technology which overcomes error limitations of Gaussian laser and ensures the fastest imaging for flexo. Vidhu Gautam also spoke about thermal imaging layer (TIL) which enables the highest resolution ‘mask’ and requires 3-4 times lower energy to image than a LAMS layer. He mentioned how TIL uses multi thin-layer coating technology on PET to enable totally clean, crisp and consistent thermal ablation for a perfect mask.
Vidhu Gautam said, "TIL enables true 1:1 image reproduction from file to the finished plate and when combined with Kodak’s proprietary lamination process this unique technology is the only solution on the market that can guarantee 1:1 reproduction. He added TIL enables precise and repeatable micro-fine texturizing of a flexo plate surface with customisable size, spacing and placement of surface elements to control ink transfer; and enables the total predictability and consistency for which Kodak plates have become known.
He stated, that the plate is specified up to 300lpi with all 256 gray levels. Also high ozone resistance and how a single plate type can be deployed for all thin plate applications – from labels to flexible packaging.
Vidhu Gautam provided a comparison chart of Flexcel NXH plate capabilities versus competition. He mentioned, "We have simplified the content of NX Advantage since it comprises of two components. This helps improve flexo foundations with white, reduce reverse text fill in, control contrast and minimise the gray effect.
At the end of the first part, Vidhu Gautam reiterated that it provides "true gravure-like reproduction capabilities and unparalleled consistency."
In the second part, he focussed on Kodak's Sonora process-free plates which he said has lower costs, can gain environmental benefits, improve process control, simplify and streamline operations and is more sustainable, while being as productive as processed plates. The plate is a non-ablative, negative working (write-the-image), thermal digital plate with Kodak's press ready technology.
He mentioned how there are savings in electricity of 1250 units (3.7 tonnes of CO2 each year, which takes over one acre of forest to neutralise) and water of 2400 litres (40 persons for one entire month).
Later while answering questions, Vidhu Gautam said, the new Sonora UV Process Free plates can deliver longer run lengths for UV print applications than any other process free plate - up to 30,000 impressions.
Developed for sheetfed, heatset web, and commercial coldset presses the new plate is designed for a broad range of applications such as commercial print, newspapers, and packaging.
He said Sonora was developed to help a wider range of printers to tap into the environmental and economic benefits of process-free plates and expanded UV opportunities including flexibility, quality and faster drying.
He mentioned that the process-free plate does away with not just the chemistry but the plate processors, water, heat and equipment footprints. There are innumerable extra benefits such as "no more need for lorries to trundle along your industrial estate picking up chemicals, no need for chemistry storage areas and less heavy lifting for staff. So as well as all the print and environmental benefits, staff well-being improves too."
For many printers, the elimination of chemistry, reduction in water and electricity usage, the eradication of waste collection (and associated waste collection payments) and the chance to dispense with the chunky plate processor, was a combination of factors that proved too attractive for some businesses to resist. Kodak claimed Indian printers could save a sizeable sum by making the switch to process-free plates.
Watch PritnWeek India Awards webinar part I and II:
Building a sustainable and green environment for packaging convertors (Part I) - https://goo.gl/b5xU4M
Improve your RoI with the right pre-press technology (Part 2) - https://goo.gl/VSHKhK