Eastman Kodak Company

European Operations Differentiate With Innovative KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press

Printers from all sectors are finding out just how effective the KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press can be in creating results that help expand their portfolio of services to support existing customers and help win new business.

The array of businesses adopting KODAK Technology for use in a wide range of sectors include Drukkerij De Bie, a Belgian specialist in personalized calendars and mailings, commercial printing and magazines; UK photo product provider, Printer Pix and UK commercial printer Maygray; Dutch print house Gildeprint Drukkerijen and Dutch full-service print provider Molenberg Media as well as German commercial printers AlsterWerk and Häuser KG.

Productivity increased by Kodak’s integrated solutions

Drukkerij De Bie’s KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press, two KODAK MAGNUS Platesetters and the KODAK PRINERGY Workflow System have increased productivity and reduced reprints resulting in time and cost savings and happier customers.

“The KODAK NEXPRESS Press offers excellent registration,” states Director Bart De Bie. “You can print flat areas perfectly clean. This digital press also lets us create higher value products that inspire customers, especially with its four-colour and dimensional applications. For example, a mailer that combines an extra ink or coating with a personalized greeting creates a striking impact. And the outstanding quality remains constant, regardless of the print run.” 

Investing in ecologically responsible equipment, such as solar panels and heat pumps is part of Drukkerij De Bie’s operational ethos. “For an environmentally aware organization like ours, KODAK NEXPRESS HD Dry Inks presented another strong argument for choosing Kodak,” says De Bie adding: “There is no way we could adopt ink technology that cannot be easily de-inked. The impact has been huge.”

Picturing a brighter future

Print Express, the commercial corporate division of the Syncoms group, is building a successful photobook business at Printer Pix utilising a KODAK NEXPRESS Photo 3900 Press. Printer Pix is the new division of the Syncoms group of companies based on five sites in South Ruislip, UK and focuses on the photographic and consumer market.

Murtaza Daya, Chief Innovation Officer at Print Express says: “The photo market is growing exponentially. Personal photography plays a huge part in keeping our memories alive and through the medium of mobile devices and web-based communication channels, we are enabling our customers to upload, store and share their images on a global scale. With the KODAK NEXPRESS 3900 Press, we can also offer them the option to order online and treasure their images by preserving them in high-quality leather-bound photobooks.”

The KODAK NEXPRESS 3900 Press has the Long Sheet option and an automatic roll feeder so the operators can combine continuous feed and sheet-fed options from the drawers. Daya says that Print Express chose the press essentially from the operator’s standpoint, as there is very little downtime. With sheet-fed jobs, the company can change substrates very quickly with the automatic feed from the drawers. Alternatively, the continuous web-feed allows the NEXPRESS Press to run 22 hours a day with no disruptions. “We have total confidence in this machine. There is a depth of image to the printed product from the NEXPRESS Press,” explains Daya. “The sharpness in the detail and the vivid colour contrast bring vibrancy to all printed matter. The great thing about Kodak is it wants to work with us and is constantly looking at how to develop products that meet the trends in the marketplace. It is a partnership more than anything else. We share the same goals—to support the customer and the end user and to make a difference.”

Maygray’s strategic choice

Maygray’s installation of a KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 Digital Production Color Press was part of a strategic change in the company’s business model towards digital printing. The KODAK NEXPRESS Press replaces one of two HEIDELBERG 74 5-colour Speedmasters and Steve Evans, Operations Manager at Maygray explains: “The Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions on the NEXPRESS Press will give us added value options and the SX3300 also has the advantage of a longer sheet option to increase productivity.”

He states: “We were blown away by the quality and diversity that Kodak’s Digital Press is capable of producing. The ability to complement the standard 4-color CMYK with RGB dry inks and raise the quality in one pass, the opportunities with the unique Gold and Dimensional Ink options on the Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions were all too attractive a proposition to resist. We will be able to offer our customers countless options which will give them the edge over their competitors. KODAK NEXPRESS Press technology will take us into the future. We can see the KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 Digital Production Color Press complementing our litho press for the short-run work we already have in hand. We recognize that the future is the internet and realize our customers would benefit from a service where they can go online to order, design and monitor their jobs.”

Bob Fowler, Maygray Managing Director adds: “The KODAK NEXPRESS Press fits with our culture of having the best that money can buy. The KODAK NEXPRESS Press is a ‘printers’ digital press—it is the perfect machine for us.”

Responsive display of digital

Molenberg Media has invested in two KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Presses to help it deliver high quality, responsive display print for large corporate organizations and retailers. It handles the entire print process for its customers – from concept design to production and fulfilment – and has developed an app that lets customers order materials from stock.

“When we started out in 1996, we thought it was a big deal if we managed 50,000 impressions a month,” comments Molenberg Media’s director and owner, René Molenberg.  “Today we are registering two million impressions, across a wide range of products and formats, and in short and long runs. For this kind of output you must have highly reliable machines that consistently deliver top-quality print. It is essential that the last copy of anything we print is every bit as good as the first. We deliver to 1,200 branches every week. Materials are replenished all the time, and are delivered in mixed batches. So when they end up side by side in the store, any colour variances would immediately show up on the shelf. And consistency is just as important for corporate customers. For example, a card we are currently printing for one customer in reflex blue must look exactly the same over three years.”

He concludes: “Although we produce many short and long runs in quick succession, we are running almost continuously – we have hit 95% uptime!”

Making change personal

Gildeprint Drukkerijen also chose to move into the digital print market, particularly personalisation, after investing in the KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 Digital Production Color Press. “I always want the same print quality – even though many customers can’t detect a discrepancy, I can!”  explains Peter Hendriks, owner of Gildeprint. “Of the four samples that I picked out as the best, three were produced on the KODAK NEXPRESS SX3300 Press. After seeing the print quality, the decision to invest was easy. I can honestly say that it doesn’t make any difference whether work is produced on one of our offset presses or on the NEXPRESS SX3300 Press.”

Since installation, Gildeprint is offering shorter lead times and has seen an increase in orders and throughput, says Hendriks: “The results speak for themselves. Our aim was to produce 250,000 impressions a month, but after two months we had already exceeded 800,000.”

Under the Boekengilde name, the operation has established a web portal where customers can create and print their own book. He states: “This could be a consumer who wants to put together a book of their favourite holiday photos or a professional writer who wants to compile their best articles to use as a portfolio. The SX3300 Press has given us loads of ideas on how to grow the business – it has opened many doors for us.”

Retrofit to keep business fit

Other happy users include Torsten Wedemeier, joint Managing Director of AlsterWerk, Germany, who lists three things he likes about his KODAK NEXPRESS Press: “First, there are the retrofit options, for instance for increasing the speed or adding feeders and deliveries. The opportunities for inline finishing and adding value to print are another very important aspect. Finally, thanks to the wide range of paper stock the press will accept, we never have to disappoint our customers, no matter how unusual their needs.”

While Heiko Mazur, Managing Director of Häuser KG, Germany, says: “The KODAK NEXPRESS Press has enabled us to significantly extend our portfolio by offering longer runs and more finishing options. Anything from a single copy up to about two hundred is now digitally produced. And if the customer wants special coating effects, much longer digital runs are also not a problem. Orders for as many as 100,000 copies are not uncommon. The results we achieve on the NEXPRESS Press are so good you can hardly tell them apart from offset. In some cases, we print the covers digitally but use offset for the content. We have even had jobs where a photograph runs over from the cover's inside page to the first content page without any noticeable difference in quality.”

“The finishing options were one of the key arguments that persuaded me to invest in a KODAK NEXPRESS Press. Our business development in the digital segment is excellent, and I have never once regretted that decision,” Mazur adds.

Olivier Claude, General Manager for Print & Vice President Commercial Business EAMER Kodak comments: “These are some great examples of how investing in digital can prove pivotal to business growth especially in the light of the extensive creative potential it brings. Among them are operations unlocking the power of personalised print ensuring they have a bright future ahead of them and we are delighted to support them in that journey.”

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