Printing Industries of America has announced that the KODAK FLEXCEL Direct System is among 11 recipients of the 2013 InterTech Technology Awards, signifying its contribution to the advancement of flexographic package printing. This innovative direct laser engraving system uses energy-efficient, high-power imaging technology to produce press-ready elastomer plates and sleeves that enable both superior print quality and increased production throughput.
This year’s InterTech Technology Award marks the third time Kodak has received recognition from Printing Industries of America for its flexographic solutions. In 2008, Kodak was recognized for the launch of the groundbreaking KODAK FLEXCEL NX System, and again in 2010, for its launch of KODAK DIGICAP NX Screening.
“Historically, direct laser engraving systems have offered very limited throughput capability, and have been primarily used for applications that require low- to mid-level print quality,” notes Kuty Paperny, Kodak’s Worldwide Marketing Director, Flexographic Solutions. “The FLEXCEL Direct System changes the game for direct laser engraving by providing a cost-effective system that can open doors for our customers. It offers a complete solution that includes imaging, media and software—all optimized to work together in a simple, two-step process that boosts operational efficiency and print quality. This is a win-win for flexo prepress service providers and printer/converters, who are constantly looking for ways to enhance productivity while increasing shelf impact for their brand owner customers. The FLEXCEL Direct System delivers on all fronts, driving a distinct competitive advantage for our customers.”
Users of the FLEXCEL Direct System agree. Girard Moravcik, President/CEO of Carey Color Inc., states, “Quite simply, Kodak’s laser diode technology has addressed all of the major issues that were limiting the use of In-the-Round (ITR), including speed, quality, material consistency and price. The KODAK FLEXCEL Direct System is outperforming our dual-laser CO2 systems by three to one in performance speed. The quick media prescan catches imperfections before engraving. Kodak’s elastomer is extremely consistent and produces exceptional quality, and the blazing imaging speed reduces product cost, bridging the gap between flat plates and sleeves. Our sleeve business has gone through the roof after the install of the FLEXCEL Direct System.”
Jörg Günther, Sales Director of SWG (Sachsische Walzengravur GMBH), describes the business impact this innovative solution has had at his company. “We are seeing signs of our sales increasing by about 30 percent with this system in place. And even more exciting, we are exploring where we can use the FLEXCEL Direct system for other applications.”
Environmental sustainability is another key benefit of this all-digital technology. Hubert Sampré, Managing Director of Miller Graphics Group, notes, “Direct engraving removes the need for solvents and uses a powerful filter to neutralize particulates, making it a very environmentally friendly flexo system. We also like the fact the high-power laser system is energy-efficient, ergonomic and simple to operate.”
The FLEXCEL Direct System is the latest innovation in Kodak’s industry-leading portfolio of flexographic solutions, designed to help our customers to print better and print smarter.