The Uteco Group (Verona, Italy), in partnership with Kodak, have announced the commercial availability of the Sapphire EVO Digital Press. Allowing packaging service providers and converters “a digital offering without compromising on productivity or economics,” the new press addresses a full range of low-volume and high-volume applications that produce up to 20 million square metres per year. “Our customers have been asking for a digital production solution that meets their customer demands for more versions, which is driving shorter run lengths, as well as an economic long-run digital solution,” said Aldo Peretti, CEO of the Uteco Group. “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.”
Stefano Russo, COO of the Uteco Group, added: “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 press brings digital printing to the production floor with capabilities of printing over 9,000 linear metres per hour, with compelling economics. Utilizing Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology, it delivers excellent print quality on a variety of packaging films and papers. The new press can handle media up to 650 mm in width, and offers CMYK printing as well as options for inline 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 press complies with regulatory requirements for indirect food contact in the EU and the U.S., as well as brand-specific requirements and the EuPIA exclusion list.
“Kodak’s 50-year inkjet heritage has delivered the quality, capabilities and cost effectiveness that the commercial print and publishing industry have enjoyed with our Prosper Press systems,” said Randy Vandagriff, President and Corporate VP of the Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division at Kodak. “We’re excited to take it further with economical water-based inks on flexible films at production speeds. It’s 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.” Sold worldwide, the Uteco Group will begin installation of the first EVO press in June of 2018 at an Italian flexible packaging producer serving the industrial and fashion industries.