Eastman Kodak Company

Kodak SONORA XP Process Free Plates

Just months after becoming commercially available, KODAK SONORA XP Process Free Plates are establishing themselves as the new class of process free plates, yielding dramatic environmental and economic benefits for customers without sacrificing quality and output.  SONORA XP Plates remove the need for the plate processor, which requires chemicals, water, and energy while generating waste. Over the course of a year, a print operation that has removed its plate processor could save an estimated 4,418 kWh of power and 204,816 liters of water under typical operation conditions. As more printers transition to process free technology, these savings will have significant impact within their operations and the industry as a whole.

SONORA XP Plates recently won industry recognition with a stellar rating from Environmental Leader, a U.S. daily trade publication focusing on energy, environmental and sustainability news. One judge wrote, “Being backed by a major company (Kodak) and likely useable widely, this is a neat solution to a present problem (a process with major impacts in terms of environment) that completely obviates the former technology.”

Until now, process free plate technology did not offer the same level of productivity output and quality as traditional plate printing technology. SONORA XP Plates provide the benefits of no processing (environmental and cost benefits), while delivering quality, productivity, and print capabilities comparable to mainstream processed plates. Customers around the world, such as commercial printers Chevillon Imprimeur in France and W.O. Jones Printers in the U.K. are seeing demonstrative environmental gains while simultaneously meeting their stringent output and quality demands.

“The plates are now being used worldwide, and their sustainability advantages in reducing the costs and environmental impact are critical to Kodak customers who are facing rising energy and water costs,” said Rich Rindo, General Manager of Kodak’s Worldwide Graphics Marketing organization. “Not only are customers reducing their costs and environmental footprint, they are getting a product that can meet their customers’ demanding print needs.” 

Miami Valley Publishing was among the first customers in the U.S. to use SONORA XP Plates and it has been able to eliminate all processing and related maintenance, while also enjoying faster plate production and the ability to use VLF (Very Large Format) plates. The company estimates it has been able to save at least half a million dollars in overall costs as a result of switching to process free plates (i.e., labor, efficiency in product, chemistry, electricity, etc.).

“Our commitment to the environment is as strong as our commitment to our customers,” said Dan Stahl, President and CEO, Miami Valley Publishing. “Our goal for the company was to be a green printing plant, but we were still managing a large amount of chemistry from processing plates. There were also costs associated with maintenance of processors and equipment, as well as operating costs of electricity for ovens and conveyors. Finally, there was a need to improve our throughput and shorten our plate-making cycle time. We looked at multiple vendors and Kodak was the only company that provided us with the solution we were looking for.”

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