Product of the month: Kodak Flexcel NX System

Brought to life by the new standalone company, Miraclon, the Kodak Flexcel NX System is a fully integrated solution for digital flexo platemaking. The patented imaging platform, printing plates and software combine to enable capabilities beyond those traditionally achievable with flexo printing, Emma Schlotthauer, chief marketing officer, Miraclon, explains to Rahul Kumar

11 Sep 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

What does the system do?
The Flexcel NX System is an imaging solution for producing highly differentiated digital flexo plates. Available in a range of format sizes, the fully integrated solution includes imaging equipment, plate materials and software. 

What is the USP of the system?
It is two-fold. One, as a production tool for platemaking, it’s fast to image and highly predictable. Plates are consistent time after time. Two, the plates themselves have the capability to transform the profitability of a flexo printing operation. Not only can they drive a step change in print quality, but also their unique ink transfer properties enable presses to come to colour quicker, and run faster, cleaner and more efficiently. 

What was the concept behind the introduction of Flexcel NX system?
The Flexcel NX System was conceived to address some of the fundamental limitations associated with flexo printing; to elevate the quality and consistency of the process to a level comparable with offset and gravure for the broadest range of applications. This required a new technical approach to plate imaging — one that can only be achieved with a unique combination of imaging equipment, proprietary film and plate materials and patented lamination process. 

What kind of plates can be imaged in the system?
The Flexcel NX System is designed to work with Kodak Flexcel NX plates. A fully integrated system means the plate range can be kept deliberately simple — helping plate makers to reduce their inventory - while serving the broadest range of applications. A single Flexcel NX plate type is easily recognisable on press with its distinctive yellow/orange colour and can be optimised for all ink types, all substrates from film through paperboard, and all graphic requirements. 

Target market...
The Flexcel NXH plates are suitable for flexible packaging, tag and labels, folding carton, liquid packaging and paperboard printing. The Flexcel NXC plates are specifically designed for corrugated direct printing. 

Are there aspects of the system that are patented?
The Miraclon R&D team has been awarded a significant number of patents associated with the Flexcel NX System. From the thermal imaging film materials to the unique lamination process and powerful plate surface patterning technologies that control ink transfer, the entire process is supported by intellectual property. 

Is the platform upgradable?
Yes. An investment in a Flexcel NX imaging platform provides a strong ROI. All enhancements to the Flexcel NX System that have been released since the product was launched in 2008 — including NX Advantage technology — can be retrofitted to an existing system. This also applies when looking at future product developments. The recently announced Flexcel NX Ultra solution is an upgrade to an existing Flexcel NX System. 

What plate sizes does the system support?
The Flexcel NX System is available in multiple models. The Flexcel NX Wide 4260 System is the most popular — and, as the name suggests, supports plates up to 42x60-inches with efficient layouts and plate usage for wide web flexible applications. Smaller formats (mid and narrow) are an option for label applications, with a 5080 format available for very high production shops or those that need extra-large form sizes, such as for corrugated boxes. 

What kind of pre-press workflow do I need with the system?
The Flexcel NX System is ‘pre-press workflow agnostic’. It can be integrated into whichever pre- press workflow a customer chooses. 

What kind of companies typically invest in a Flexcel NX System?
The Flexcel NX System owners tend to be innovators. They are looking for a high level of differentiation that can drive top line revenue growth. 

Biggest benefits for platemaking?
Consistency and productivity. True 1:1 reproduction from file to plate also drives reduction in pre-press file preparation. 

Biggest benefits for printing?
An optimised Flexcel NX plate enables a press to run at its ‘sweet spot’ for ink transfer from plate to substrate, enabling ink savings, faster press speeds, longer plate life and faster colour setups. Added to the wider colour gamut, tonal reproduction and consistent quality that Flexcel NX plates are well known for, it becomes evident why these plates are often the ‘printer’s choice’. 

How can the system help support environmental initiatives?
The biggest environmental impact a flexo plate can have is in the pressroom. The Flexcel NX plates drive a more efficient print operation with less waste. By elevating the reproduction quality of flexo they also enable brands to choose flexo as a viable alternative to gravure when they want to pursue environmental initiatives with thinner or more challenging film materials. 

Global adoption...
The Flexcel NX Systems are installed in over 70 countries. 

What kind of training and support is offered?
Miraclon partners with Flexcel NX System customers to provide support for mutual growth. From technical services that include installation, training, best practices and print application support to a strong marketing presence that drives technology awareness, it supports continuous learning with webinars and events, and promotes customer success. 

Why partner with Miraclon?
We’re focused on innovation and collaboration that drives the growth of the flexo print segment, and have one of the strongest partner networks in the industry. There are Flexcel NX Systems in the global technology centres of leading press manufacturers like W&H and Bobst, and we are proud to be actively engaged with ink suppliers, tape manufacturers, pre- press companies, converters and global CPCs in transforming flexo together. 

Contact details
Hersh Lulla, Marketing manager -
India and SEA, Miraclon Email: hersh.lulla@
Mobile: +91 98205 09737