The optional upgrade allows users to run board to 610 microns (530gsm) and to print on synthetic substrates. It expands the applications that the press can run to heavier carton stocks, but also to tags, labels, point of sale displays, signage, thicker business cards and menus.
The process takes two days with additions to the software to enable operators to switch quickly between the standard configuration and that for the thicker materials. And it is proving useful in operation.
Another early adopter is Van Vleit Printing in the Netherlands where the extra capability is improving production efficiency. “We’re now able to use the Nexpress for 3D elements, hangers, and all sorts of applications for the retail business. Previously we used our flatbed inkjet printer, but due to speed, flexibility and quality, it was not an ideal machine for the work,” says Daniël van Vliet.
In the period since Drupa, Kodak has also added an opaque white to the nine speciality inks it has offered on the five-colour station on the Nexpress. It has moved software to v17, increasing further the control and nuances that operators have over running the press.
However, some of the changes announced at Drupa have yet to be announced. This includes an extension of maximum sheet length from 1,000mm to 1,219mm, timed for 2017 and the launch of a next generation version, the Max Platform.
This will include a new multi-bit 12000 micro LED writing head able to write at ultra high speed with the ability to print 310dpi equivalent halftone images and running up to 152ppm. The printhead had been the result of a three-year joint development with Swindon company PRP Optoelectronics culminating in the signing of a production contract 12 months ago.
Kodak has also introduced a Dynamic Print Planning feature to the cloud version of its Prinergy workflow. This uses AI capabilities to provide the best way to manufacture multi jobs, deploying resources and job flows in the most productive way for manufacturing efficiency.
It is, says Kodak, a response to the growing volume of small run jobs that printers face and allowing them to keep on top of jobs that can be troublesome to manage.
“The industry is moving toward smaller, more frequent print runs which create margin and delivery challenges for PSPs,” said Allan Brown, VP of Kodak’s Unified Workflow Solutions. “The Dynamic Print Planning capabilities provide printers the ability to quickly and accurately plan, respond to changes and produce a greater number of orders with the same resources. By eliminating potential human errors from the project planning process, this offering can reduce 40% of the labour costs per project, dramatically increase an operation’s agility and help keep businesses competitive.”