When North American Graphics (NAG) in Warren, MI, installed a KODAK FLEXCEL NX Wide System for platemaking, customer satisfaction spiked to a new high.
"North American Graphics is a digital prepress and platemaking specialist, and became the first trade house in the United States to install Kodak's FLEXCEL NX Wide System, serving clients throughout the U.S. and Canada," said Art Thompson, NAG Vice President and General Manager. "Our decision to go with the FLEXCEL NX System was due to the capabilities of the plate system. Some of our customers had tested KODAK Plates on some jobs that we had done using our former supplier's plates. Quite frankly, the KODAK Plate was head and shoulders above in quality, color gamut capabilities, consistency and repeatability. There was just so much pop. When you compare an alternative flexo technology to Kodak side by side, anyone would pick the package printed with KODAK FLEXCEL NX Plates."
With the decision to move to KODAK Plates and platemaking systems, Thompson and his production staff saw the opportunity to expand the business to accommodate customers who work in wider formats. It was only natural, said Thompson, to choose the KODAK FLEXCEL NX Wide System as soon as it became available.
The FLEXCEL NX System is a complete solution for digital platemaking that allows users to push the boundaries of flexo printing. The system uses a unique combination of superior imaging technology and materials science to produce plates that deliver outstanding on-press performance.
The FLEXCEL NX Wide System provides all the features and benefits of the current FLEXCEL NX System in a larger format, supporting plates up to 42 by 60 inches. This allows printers and trade houses to produce a wider range of package sizes or increase efficiency through the ability to optimize job layout on one plate. The new FLEXCEL NX Wide System dramatically increases the quality and efficiency of flexographic printing, for applications including tags and labels, folding cartons, and flexible packages, while also offering improved productivity and predictability on press.
"We already had existing clients who needed wider plates than we could provide, so we'd go out of house for it," said Thompson. "Now we've brought all that work into our facility. We were up and running with the FLEXCEL NX Wide System within the first week."
KODAK Plates and the new FLEXCEL NX System give NAG the capability to solve imaging issues for its customers, Thompson said. "I had a printer that fought whenever he had a four-color job," he explained. "We did a characterization on his press, and his customer loved it, and he got four more jobs right after it. He's got a lot more confidence in what he can do, and he knows we're going to be consistent."
Thompson and his employees were particularly impressed with the technical support they received from Kodak. "They were with us all the way, and we never felt like that would leave us in the lurch," he said. "None of our customers were upset, and we didn't miss any deadlines."
Most important, Thompson can see the business expansion opportunities made possible by the FLEXCEL NX Wide system. "I can say we're very happy with our decision," he said. "We believe that Kodak has set the bar pretty high, and we just see the business growing. We want to expand more, and to do that, you've got to have a good product. This is a good product."