Over the past decade, the Kodak Flexcel NX System has revolutionized the flexo industry, bringing an unprecedented level of quality and performance to flexo printing for the benefit of everyone involved in the packaging value chain. Kodak is now announcing another innovation – its Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution which is the result of Kodak’s continued R&D investment in flexo.

Next phase in the continuing success story of Flexcel NX
The Flexcel NX Ultra Solution enables the outstanding and proven print performance for which Flexcel NX plates have become well known, with solvent-free, VOC-free, water-based processing that can deliver a press-ready plate in less than an hour and sustain clean, consistent plates in a high-volume production environment. Enabled by new, innovative and patent-pending Kodak Ultra Clean technology, the Flexcel NX Ultra Solution is the first aqueous solution that provides consistent, high-performing flexo plates in a high volume, low maintenance environment.

“Kodak has established a track record of technical innovation in the flexo space that drives growth and business success for our customers. We’re focused on solving complex technical challenges. Kodak Ultra Clean technology has solved the fundamental challenge of inconsistency traditionally associated with aqueous processed flexo plates and will enable printers to take advantage of our industry-leading plate technology without the hassle of solvent processing,” said Chris Payne, president, flexographic packaging division and vice president of Kodak. “The Flexcel NX Ultra 35 Solution is the first product to be commercialized from the Ultra NX technology demonstration that we previewed at drupa two years ago and has undergone extensive customer beta trials in demanding production environments. We are passionate about bringing robust technologies to market and extremely encouraged by the positive experiences of our early adopters.”

Beta sites have adopted Flexcel NX Ultra Plates into full production
Matt Gauthier, prepress and customer service manager for the label division of G3 Enterprises, says, “We can do essentially anything we want print-wise with the Kodak plates but it’s also important to be able to quickly produce an individual plate, especially when we have customers in-house for a press check. It’s been great to have NX Ultra in place, providing the same quality level but requiring much less time to produce a plate.” G3 Enterprises is a busy wine label operation in California that produces over 8000 production jobs a year and switched from thermal plates to Kodak Flexcel NX plates a number of years ago to increase quality.

“We have a green initiative in our facility,” explains Rob Anderson, director, production and planning, IGT, a major lottery ticket printer based in Florida. “So, knowing that NX Ultra was to be a water wash product and we wouldn’t have to deal with solvent-based processing it was very appealing to us. The operators of our flexo presses really appreciate the Kodak plates. They see the difference in the dots and how they print and how vignettes, our fine screens, how everything looks so much cleaner and essentially it has made their job much easier. The NX Ultra product itself has been all that has been promised. We can get plates much faster and we have accomplished our green initiative.”

A complete solution
The Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution includes the proven Flexcel NX System for world-class imaging paired with the new Flexcel NX Ultra Processing System and new Flexcel NX Ultra Plate, delivering a complete end-to-end plate making solution from Kodak. The all-in-one processing system combines exposure, washout, drying and finishing in an easy-to-use, robust system with automated cleaning cycles.

Flexcel NX Ultra Plates utilize the proven Kodak flat top dot structure and are fully compatible with Kodak’s NX Advantage technology and patented Advanced Edge Definition for an unprecedented level of ink transfer control during printing that delivers superb quality and production efficiency benefits. The plates will be available in thicknesses of 1.14 mm and 1.70 mm and are ideal for label, paperboard and flexible packaging applications.

The first product to be made available will be the Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra 35 Solution, which can produce plates up to 35 x 48 inches (889 x 1219.2 mm) in size. Product is due to ship in the first quarter of 2019, initially for the North American market.

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