Kodak Completes Expansion of Digital Plate Production Facility

Kodak completed the previously announced expansion of its digital plate production facility in Columbus, Ga.

Adding 26,000 square feet to the existing facility, Kodak is using this third production line to meet the digital plate supply needs of print service providers in a wide variety of markets, and to further its commitment to advancing digital plate production processes and technologies.

"It's an exciting day for Kodak's digital plate business and the people of Columbus," said David Wigfield, general manager, Prepress and Digital Printing, United States and Canada, Kodak. "Kodak is committed to investing in new digital plate technologies, and this expansion allows us to build on a sustained strategy of enhancing our digital plate presence in the Americas while serving our customers as the complete solutions provider for their growing digital plate needs."

Kodak's investment in the new production line totals approximately $15 million and enables the company to more efficiently produce current and future generation digital plates. The increased plate production capacity will also bring additional employment opportunities to the greater Columbus area, and further establishes Kodak's commitment to the community.

Kodak's Columbus facility has 250 employees and now occupies 276,000 square feet. The expansion of the facility allows Kodak to invest in the latest digital plate technologies and to further the development of next-generation plates.

Kodak celebrated the completion of the facility expansion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was attended by local dignitaries and business leaders, including Georgia's U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington, and Mike Gaymon, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

First opened in 1990 by Sun Chemical for the production of Polychrome-branded printing plates, the Columbus facility has undergone several previous improvements to increase production quality and capacity. Kodak entered into a joint venture with Sun Chemical in 1998 to form Kodak Polychrome Graphics, and in 2005 Kodak Polychrome Graphics became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak.

The facility currently produces conventional and digital plates including Kodak Thermal Platinum digital plates, Kodak Sword Excel Thermal plates, Kodak NS digital newspaper plates, Kodak Thermal Gold digital plates and Newsworthy, Kodak Winner Gold and Craftsman negative plates. Kodak Thermal Platinum digital plates are the premier choice for high-quality, long run lengths and aggressive printing conditions.

Kodak's plate portfolio includes flexographic, sheetfed, and web offset printing solutions for commercial, newspaper, and packaging printers. Kodak commercialized thermal plates in 1995 with the introduction of the Direct Image Thermal Plate, and since then has led the way in innovative CTP solutions.

For the packaging market, the Kodak Flexcel NX Digital Flexographic System provides offset class print quality on substrates including paper, flexible film, foil, and label stock.

In addition to the digital plate production facility in Columbus, Ga., there are six other Kodak plate production facilities around the world, including: Osterode, Germany; Leeds, U.K.; Sofia, Bulgaria; Gunma, Japan; Windsor, Colo.; and Xiamen, China.