Uteco & Kodak Announce Digital Press

COLOGNOLA AI COLLI, ITALY | Uteco Group, in partnership with Kodak, announces the commercial availability of the Sapphire EVO digital press. Said to allow packaging service providers and converters a digital offering without compromising on productivity or economics, the press addresses a full range of low- and high-volume applications that produce up to 20 m2 /yr. 

Aldo Peretti, CEO of the Uteco Group, says, “Our customers have been asking for a digital production solution that meets their customer demand for more versions, which is driving shorter run lengths, as well as an economic long-run digital solution. Uteco’s rich experience in flexo and gravure printing, film handling, coating, and drying, coupled with Kodak’s inkjet expertise, now allows us to deliver a device that combines the capabilities of flexo with digital.”

Adds Stefano Russo, COO of the Uteco Group, “As the demand for mass versioning and customization of packaging grows globally, hybrid flexo, gravure, and digital printing is becoming a very important part of packaging providers’ offerings. The combination of Uteco and Kodak’s technologies not only delivers a competitive option for digital short-run printing but also competes in medium-long print runs. This makes the Sapphire EVO an ideal investment for both label and packaging print service providers.”

The Sapphire EVO brings digital printing to the production floor with capabilities of printing more than 9,000 linear m/hr, reportedly with compelling economics. Utilizing KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology, it is said to deliver excellent print quality on a variety of packaging films and papers. The press uses media to 650 mm in width and prints to 622 mm and offers CMYK printing as well as options for in-line priming and varnishing.

Using environmentally friendly water-based inks to print on a variety of flexible substrates, including BOPP, PET, and paper, Kodak’s inks and pre-coating fluids used with the Sapphire EVO comply with regulatory requirements for indirect food contact in the EU and the US, as well as brand specific requirements and the EuPIA exclusion list.

Randy Vandagriff, president and corporate VP, Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division, Kodak, says, “Kodak’s 50-year heritage has delivered the quality, capabilities, and cost-effectiveness that the commercial print and publishing industry have enjoyed with our PROSPER Press systems. We are excited to take it further with economical water-based inks on flexible films at production speeds. It is great to be working with a partner like Uteco to combine their exceptional expertise with ours to deliver a high-end digital production device that offers new opportunities for the flexible packaging industry.”

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