Kodak buys key supplier

Inside the GSS facility in Springboro, Ohio
Inside the GSS facility in Springboro, Ohio

Kodak has moved to take greater control of its supply chain with the acquisition of key supplier Graphic Systems Services (GSS).

GSS makes transport systems for inkjet web presses and provides a range of bespoke services.

The firm is based in a 9,300sqm facility in Springboro, Ohio not far from Kodak’s Dayton inkjet facility, and has been a supplier to the manufacturer for more than 20 years.

Kodak executive chairman and CEO Jim Continenza said the buy would “immediately make our inkjet business stronger and more sustainable,” by having the expertise in-house.

“As business conditions continue to be challenging, now is the time to control our own destiny and mitigate supply chain risks to ensure reliable delivery of presses to our customers.

“Looking forward, our ability to leverage GSS’s skills and resources will be extremely valuable as we continue to focus on expanding our inkjet portfolio and providing completely integrated inkjet solutions.”

GSS was founded in 1995 when it acquired the Schriber and Harris product lines from AM International.

In 2009 it added the assets and intellectual property of the Didde web press business to its portfolio.

The firm has been making inkjet web transport systems for nearly 20 years, and also supplies bespoke systems directly to printers with inkjet presses from other manufacturers, including HP, Xerox and Kyocera.

GSS states: “We have manufactured over 100 inkjet transports ranging from 18” wide to 52” wide and speed from 500 to 2,000fpm.”

GSS also supplies hybrid towers for adding inkjet printing to analogue web presses, and can make new Didde and Harris web presses on request.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kodak showed its Prosper Ultra 520 inkjet web for the first time in Europe at the Hunkeler Innovationdays earlier this year.

It aims to shift pages currently printed offset to inkjet via the new model.