Digital Digest

From the left, brothers Tom, Brian, Dave and John Fenske stand by Fenske Media’s Kodak Prosper 5000XL continuous inkjet color web press.

Kodak hosted a contingent of industry journalists and analysts/consultants last month to tour the Fenske Media facility and speak candidly with the Fenske brothers, as well as to provide a product overview of Kodak’s Digital Printing Solutions (DPS) Group.

Greg Gresock, Kodak’s DPS director of presses and printers, led off the “Digital Your Way” presentation by noting the value-added opportunities of production digital printing. While it only represents 1 percent of the 64 trillion printed pages produced (retail value in 2009: $683 billion), digitally produced pages represent 9 percent of the retail value, he said.

Gresock also gave an overview of advancements in the Versamark inkjet series, including the introduction of several new models. These machines feature improved drop-on-demand image quality; custom spot, MICR and security UV ink fifth color capabilities; the 700 Print Manager controller; and a wider range of finishing options.

The toner-based NexPress Photo Platform has a longer (26˝) sheet option and a faster maximum speed of 131 ppm, which boost productivity 9 to 10 percent. Applications include photo books, yearbooks, calendars, various cards, posters, invitations and even photo magnets. Reproduction quality is also enhanced due to smaller particle dry inks, new screens, Light Black dry ink (fifth station) and a matte printing option.

According to Bill Schweinfurth, DPS director of market development, Americas, Prosper installations can now be found on every continent except Antarctica. Also, 120 million color impressions every month are being output by customers with Prosper presses, he noted. Applications include 58 percent publishing (growth area: educational books), 25 percent direct mail and 17 percent short-run collateral material.

In the United States, among the Prosper installs that have been made public, Quad/Graphics and Offset Paperback Manufacturers (OPM) are currently running Prosper 1000 monochrome presses. Aside from Fenske, 5000XL customers include AGS (Consolidated Graphics), Mercury Print Productions, Webcrafters, OPM, Quad/Graphics and Tribune Direct.

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