Eastman Kodak Company

buysite Gets Creative and Enters New Markets with KODAK Digital Technology

For Basel-based buysite AG, digital color printing remains a constant focus amidst a continually evolving print landscape. And key to the company's digital philosophy are its Kodak NexPress Digital Production Color Presses. Peter Fischli, co-founder and Managing Director of buysite, says the Swiss company operates in a highly dynamic niche.

"We're not looking for jobs in the low-quality segment, copy shop services and the anonymity of web to print. Our concentration on short runs, variability and flexible finishing sets us apart from offset," said Fischli. "We really come into our own when a client wants an original, customized solution. We do the things that many others would consider too complicated. We're also committed to formulating new approaches, and regularly present agencies and their customers with creative options for unusual products, which we can produce cost-effectively on our digital equipment."

Approximately 60 percent of buysite's turnover comes from clients in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, with exhibition suppliers, ad agencies, retail firms, and industrial enterprises accounting for the remaining revenue.

According to Fischli, digital printing is increasingly popular because of the fast-turnaround times it affords. 70 percent of all jobs handled by the NexPress Presses on any given day are submitted to buysite less than 24 hours previously.

"Each job spends an average of just one day at our facility before being delivered to the client or fed to the next step in the production chain," said Fischli.

buysite also specializes in data processing and optimization, and database management. Apart from rudimentary post-press processing, everything else is left to the company's finishing and bookbinding partners.

buysite uses a NexPress 2100 and a NexPress 2500 Press. The systems' great versatility regarding substrates and gram weights fits perfectly with buysite's strategy for making the unusual possible. Aside from uncoated, coated, and glossy or self-adhesive and special, metalized papers, the company also prints on compatible carton materials on a large scale.

buysite began collaborating with Balcart AG on short-run folding carton jobs and personalized packaging, which together account for 10 percent of the company's total sales.

"The partnership helped us venture into the carton sector," said Fischli. "We develop packaging solutions in short runs—sometimes very short runs—and in doing so have created a new market for ourselves. Customers often come to us with just a rough idea, which we then transform into finished packaging."

Added value on five channels

The Kodak Digital Presses, with their five imaging units, are designed for more than just 4/4-color production. Various Kodak NexPress Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions help buysite realize unconventional products to meet customers' exacting demands. In view of the focus on short runs—600 A3 sheets with perfecting are the absolute maximum—the fact that the Kodak systems can be set up quickly and easily as in-line production steps is a huge advantage. In addition to color gamut expansion with red, green or blue as the fifth color, buysite also offers full or partial satin 'coatings' with transparent Dry Ink.

Giving the customers what they want—high gloss...

In combination with the Kodak NexPress Glossing Unit, color prints coated with transparent Dry Ink can be given a striking high-gloss finish—either the full size or selected areas only. Spot glossing produces a particularly attractive matte-gloss finish on matte-coated paper and carton materials.

Coatings and glossing have proved very popular among customers because they add value to the printed products. And they allow buysite to increase revenue as the company can charge a premium for such products.

... or matte

The two NexPress Presses are also equipped with the new Matte Finish in-line option, which suppresses gloss and reflected backlighting, lending the image a matte, velvety surface for an understated, elegant look. This effect is achieved using a special fuser with a matte surface. buysite first tried out matte printing in May 2009 as a beta customer, and this option is now well established in its production portfolio.

"Matte printing on the NexPress Presses is very much in line with European taste," said Fischli. "Although the Matte Finish option is suited for all paper stock, the best effects are achieved with uncoated papers. There's a big demand for matte when it comes to architecture, fashion and art products, as the effect helps differentiate products in very competitive markets.

Switching from normal to matte finishing is easy. We simply choose a different paper profile for matte printing and replace the fuser in the fuser station. Thanks to a special handling device, we can do that quickly and reliably. It only takes around 10 to 15 minutes, including the heating-up phase."

High image quality with many extras

Fischli is unequivocal in his assessment of the NexPress Presses.

"When I look at the images and the screening technology, I'm in no doubt that Kodak beats its rivals hands down."

Since making the original purchase of the NexPress Presses back in 2005 and 2007, buysite has been able to upgrade and modernize the capabilities of the two systems with a number of options and technical equipment. For example, they have been retrofitted with the Kodak NexPress Intelligent Calibration System (ICS), which uses a Kodak ICS cut sheet production scanner to scan test prints with screen tints that have been output in any color. The ICS software then processes these prints and automatically recalibrates the press to ensure optimal uniformity. This improves the overall print quality, and extends the life of important Operator Replaceable Components (ORCs) on the digital press.

The quality standard and flexible finishing of the Kodak digital presses are vital elements in buysite's ongoing efforts to cement its position as a leader in print communications for the creative industries. Fischli cites the campaign for the special exhibition and conference of the internationally renowned red dot design awards in Basel as a typical example. In co-operation with designer Jean Jacques Schaffner of the Schaffner & Conzelmann agency, buysite supplied a series of complex products for this prestigious event: invitations printed on metalized carton to achieve a silver effect, personalized with the designer's own digitized handwriting; VIP access cards with spot glossing and partly laser-punched text; entrance tickets for the exhibition, personalized with images of individual design exhibits; and personalized, high-gloss finished conference tickets with a round, detachable name tag for participants.

"The value-adding solutions facilitated by the NexPress Presses really help to boost sales in creative projects like this," said Fischli.

buysite is also considering how to make best use other Kodak innovations, such as KODAK Dimensional Printing, which creates 3D effects with a visible relief, while the new KODAK NexPress SX Platform provides the option to enlarge the sheet size to 660 mm.

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