Kodak Expands Flexo Plate Facility

WEATHERFORD, OK | Kodak recently hosted customers and community leaders at an April 20th groundbreaking ceremony in Weatherford, OK, to celebrate the expansion of its manufacturing facility in the region to accommodate a new flexo plate line for the production of FLEXCEL NX plates.

The theme of the event centered on regeneration and the revitalization and investment of the Weatherford plant in its 50th anniversary year, which reportedly was chosen for its strong technical capabilities and existing skilled tenured workforce. The new flexo plate manufacturing line, a sister operation to the company’s existing plate manufacturing facility in Yamanashi, Japan, is designed to meet increasing industry demand for higher quality flexographic printed packaging with more cost effective and efficient production processes. The $15 million investment represents one of the company’s largest capital investments since 2000 and underscores the ongoing growth and adoption of FLEXCEL NX plates that grew 16% in 2016 compared to the prior year, a rate four times the projected growth rate of the flexible packaging market itself, according to researcher Smithers Pira.

“Today’s celebration brings a focus on the ‘new face of flexo,’” said Jeff Clarke, Kodak CEO. “Kodak’s differentiated flexo technology is helping our customers to drive growth, break new ground, and transform flexographic printing and the packaging industry as a whole. The growth of FLEXCEL NX speaks to the strength and opportunity of the flexographic packaging market, and we’re looking forward to using the expanding facility here in Weatherford to continue helping our customers realize the benefits of [our company’s] flexo technology and what its unique capabilities can do for their business.”

On the previous day, the print and packaging media, along with key FLEXCEL NX Plate customers, heard Kodak’s Flexographic Packaging Division president Chris Payne speak about the company’s role in driving growth and transformation of flexo. Additionally, two VIP customers spoke about growth and impact on their businesses.

The new flexo plate line is expected to be in full production by early 2019 and will initially focus on supply of FLEXCEL NX Plates to customers in the US, Canada, and Latin America.

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