Kodak meets the demand for advanced package printing technologies in China
Walk the halls at China Print 2017 here in Beijing for an hour or two and it’s clear that print for Packaging is top of the agenda. It’s everywhere! Labels, cartons, bags, boxes, personalized packaging, digital print for packaging, forums about packaging, commercial printers moving into packaging. You name it, it’s here. And of course, not a surprise. Between domestic consumption and the massively important role it plays in the global packaging supply chain, Euromonitor International reports that Asia accounts for the production of around 2 trillion units of packaging a year – around 46% of the world’s packaging - and most of those require printing in one form or another.
The China print industry is hungry for advanced printing technologies that enable them to meet the increasing and demanding needs of domestic and global brands and consumers, and Kodak is uniquely positioned to guide them on that journey. With a broad portfolio that covers flexo, inkjet and offset print technologies for packaging, and KODAK PRINERGY Workflow solutions to support automated and efficient conventional, digital or hybrid prepress workflows it’s not surprising that the Kodak booth has been busy from open to close.
The rise of high quality flexography is a hot topic. The KODAK FLEXCEL NX System has been proven on the global stage to be a key enabler for raising the overall capabilities of flexo printing. That’s important here in China – especially in the flexible packaging segment - because it’s allowing packaging printers to consider it as a viable alternative to the gravure printing processes that are dominant in that sector today. With gravure printing in China coming under heavy scrutiny for its environmental footprint Kodak is already working with leading flexible packaging printers to implement more sustainable flexo solutions that meet the demanding quality requirements of the global brands while achieving the cost base that this market demands. Chris Payne, President of Kodak’s Flexographic Packaging Division shared this, and the news of Kodak’s recent investment in a Flexo Packaging Technology center in Shanghai to support the initiatives, with leading industry media, including a video interview with channel, Printing 360, live at the show.
The other hot subject, unsurprisingly, is digital printing. In a nation obsessed with their mobile devices Kodak’s Rodd Harrison fittingly chose mobile-engaged packaging as one of the topics he explored in his ‘Packaging as a Marketing Tool’ presentation to a packed audience at the Digital and Sustainable Developments in Package Printing Forum at the show. He also advocated for packaging printers, whether they currently utilize conventional flexo, offset or gravure print processes to leverage their existing capital assets in a conventional / digital hybrid world for maximum return on investment, and was ready to talk to visitors about Kodak’s unique Stream Inkjet technologies that offer the unique quality, speed and cost base combination that can make this a reality.
Like their counterparts elsewhere in the world many of Kodak’s large install base of commercial offset printers in China, and across the Asia region, are also creating new revenue streams and diversifying into packaging. They can count on Kodak’s support as they make this transition with a digital plate portfolio, including the new SONORA UV Process Free Plate, that’s now available in China, and the newly announced SWORD MAX Plate, that can span both their commercial and packaging needs, underscoring once again Kodak’s key show theme of ‘PRINT. For Good’. Good for the Earth, Good for Printers and Good for Growth!