‘Printing is changing, but with the possibilities of tremendous growth’
Says Christopher J Payne, director, Graphic Communications Group, VP – strategy and marketing, chief marketing office, Eastman Kodak Company, accompanied by Bhalchandra Nikumb, head – sales & channel management, India cluster, Graphic Communications Group at Kodak India Pvt Ltd, in conversation with SK Khurana, editor, Print & Publishing, on the sidelines of DRUPA 2012.
At Kodak, we are optimistic about business opportunities in emerging markets. Printing is definitely undergoing change, but with possibilities of tremendous growth. Digital segment is showing immense potential and expected to grow significantly. We aim to help our customers by offering them customized solutions : one for developing countries and other for developed world, conveyed Christopher J Payne, on being asked about the on-going recession or low demand environment and Kodak’s strategy for further penetration specifically after drupa.
With the introduction of large size (B-2) digital presses, how you see the market of conventional offset printing. Will you still advice commercial printers to continue investing in offset printing machines? “Only venders with all printing processes will have a certain amount of share in the printing business, though that share may vary from time to time. For long run applications, conventional offset will be suitable, while for short run, digital is the best option. Both process would continue to co-exist.” said Christopher. On being asked his point of view about the introduction of Landa Nanographic Printing Technology, Chris opined that this technology has been presented as a marketing strategy and the printing world is yet to see its actual introduction in the market place.
“The Chapter 11 business reorganization in the US Bankruptcy Court was a financial mechanism for Kodak. The company is still maintaining $1.4 billion cash and selling process of patents will enable us to get more cash in Q3. Our manufacturing operations were never interrupted due to the 100 percent availability of raw materials and components coming through multi-suppliers model,” stated Christopher, replying to the question framed as ‘With the filing of bankruptcy initiative few months back, has the dust now settled down, and do you feel that the confidence level amongst buyers in investing with Kodak equipment has come back?’.
drupa is a platform for introduction of innovations and new products/services/ solutions. During drupa, Kodak presented their innovations for the commercial printing and publishing market. The company displayed its 1,000 fpm Prosper 6000 XL four colour press; 2,000 fpm Prosper S20 imprinting system with CMYK, and Flexcel Direct system for packaging—just some of the latest solutions that will help customers transform their businesses and stimulate new opportunities. With Kodak Prosper 6000 XL press as the star attraction at their stand, Kodak proudly announced an order received for the Kodak Prosper 1000 press from Repro India Ltd, Mumbai, along with the Prinergy workflow solution. Answering the query regarding new/efficient solutions by Kodak for their growing monocrome books on demand, Christopher informed that with the active co-operation of Timson Printing Machinery whose new TIMSON T-Press incorporates Kodak Stream inkjet technology to create the fastest, widest, digital inkjet press available for the production of black-and-white trade and textbooks, they can efficiently support valued customers in this segment, delivering on productivity, functionality and cost-effectiveness in a big way.
Answering a question of any possibility of looking at introducing an entry level, economical model digital press for the people who cannot afford the Kodak NexPress but are very much inclined to go digital, Christopher indicated, “We do not have plans to launch an entry level version of the Kodak NexPress digital press, which is equally popular amongst photo labs for photographic applications. The reason is that we always focus on remaining at the top of pyramid, emphasizing on bigger customers offering premium products. Matching inks, workflow systems, process and substrates are very important to be successful in digital printing. Kodak has the right know-how in this regard, which enables Kodak to be in the best position to offer digital solutions to the printing industry. In this context, we are exhibiting an altogether new offering of Kodak NexPress digital press platform with possibilities of producing gold, pearlescent and neon printing effects using fifth imaging unit.”
Talking about India specific plans post drupa, Bhalchandra Nikumb said, “We continue growing with our valued partners in the country. At drupa, many visitors came from India to experience the innovative Kodak innovative products and solutions demonstrated live at the show. We have generated good enquiries for our CtP, NexPress, Flexcel NX, workflow and inkjet solutions. Our teams are working on these leads and in touch with the customers to build business further.”