Kodak celebrates 10 years of FLEXCEL NX System
–Announces limited edition of FLEXCEL NX system and Kodak Global Flexo Innovation Awards
This year marks the successful 10 years of Kodak’s revolutionary technological approach to digital flexo platemaking: the KODAK FLEXCEL NX System, which made its debut at drupa 2008. For the first time, this solution from the Kodak stable enabled flexo printers and repro service providers to develop high-res flexo printing capabilities and implement them in a commercial, standard production environment.
Limited edition on the anvil
To mark the tenth anniversary, Kodak is launching a ‘Limited Edition’ of the FLEXCEL NX System into the market. Limited to just 25 units worldwide, this system will feature unique styling with an attractive modern design symbolic of flexography, packaging and Kodak’s unique technology. The limited edition FLEXCEL NX system will be available from April 2, 2018.
Kodak Global Flexo Innovation Awards initiated
Kodak is also launching the new Kodak Global Flexo Innovation Awards. This innovative competition will be open to entrants throughout the world, and will celebrate the transformation of flexography over the last decade. It aims to honour achievements and advances in packaging design, production workflow and sustainable printing made possible by the latest developments in flexography. Any commercial packaging project printed using KODAK FLEXCEL NX Plates will be eligible. The winners in various categories will be selected by an independent jury of experts and showcased at a special ceremony early in 2019.
Journey of FLEXCEL NX System
Kodak’s FLEXCEL NX System offered a solution to some of the limitations of the established digital LAMS technology, and pioneered the use of the digital flat top dots in the flexo industry. KODAK FLEXCEL NX Plates allowed packaging printers to achieve unprecedented levels of quality, and removed some of the key variables in plate production. As a result, flexo printers have not only raised the standard for flexo printing but now also compete for work traditionally produced with gravure, offset or digital print processes; a goal that was previously beyond their reach.
Kodak originally launched the FLEXCEL NX System as a solution for small to medium format plate making but continued to develop the platform, multiplying the initial successes. During the next few years, the FLEXCEL NX System family was extended with large-format versions, leading to full coverage of all segments – from narrow through medium to wide web – in the flexo packaging printing sector. The FLEXCEL NX System technology gained a global reputation as a process that cuts costs and enables greater efficiency and standardization in the pressroom – with flexible packaging, folding carton, labels and corrugated packaging (pre- and postprint).
“The FLEXCEL NX System technology developed into a tremendous success story that is still unfolding – for Kodak itself, for our customers in the flexo industry and for their customers too. We’ve sold more than 500 FLEXCEL NX Systems worldwide in the meantime, and we regularly record double-digit growth rates per annum in FLEXCEL NX Plate sales. That is way above the average for the industry as a whole,” said Chris Payne, President, Flexographic Packaging Division and Vice President of Kodak. “More and more flexo printers, brand owners and industry technology suppliers around the world are realizing how our FLEXCEL NX System technology is helping to turn flexo into an industrial printing process that combines consistently high-quality production with numerous cost and sustainability benefits.”
The core FLEXCEL NX System technology has been refined and advanced by Kodak over the years so that, time and time again, customers have had a real differentiator to set themselves apart from their competitors in the dynamic market environment. Kodak’s NX Advantage technology – advanced plate surface patterning which controls and optimizes the delivery of ink from FLEXCEL NX Plates to the substrate – is only one example here. Yet progress is not an end in itself: Kodak has been at great pains to ensure that every new innovation is also accessible to existing FLEXCEL NX System users. Even the original systems in the market can take advantage of the latest technology to give the first-class results which are nowadays taken for granted.
“We are more than ever convinced that there’s a fantastic future in store for flexographic printing. Kodak will continue to drive the ‘Transformation of Flexo’ in all packaging segments,” commented Chris Payne. “Our strong commitment and the importance we place on collaboration throughout this journey is clear and we very much look forward to the next 10 years in Flexo.”
1. The FLEXCEL NX system is one of Kodak’s fastest growing product lines.
2. Flexography (flexo for short) is the dominant print process used to print images onto consumer product packaging.
3. Kodak sells a complete solution – Imaging equipment and printing plates.
4. The package printing market is growing every year and Kodak’s FLEXCEL NX Plate business is growing even faster.
5. FLEXCEL NX Plates are used by printers to print packaging for some of the world’s leading consumer product companies.
6. Kodak’s FLEXCEL NX technology has driven a step-change in the capabilities of flexo printing, both in quality and efficiency.
7. Kodak uses unique proprietary film technology to maintain their competitive edge.
8. Driven by the demand for FLEXCEL NX Plates, Kodak is investing $15 million to build a plate manufacturing line in Weatherford, Oklahoma.
9. Kodak opened flexo packaging technology centers (Flexo HUBs) in Brussels and Shanghai last year.
10. Fun fact: FLEXCEL NX Plates are YELLOW so they are easy to spot in a press room amongst the other plates offered by competitors.