Kodak and Uteco install first Sapphire Evo hybrid press


Kodak and Uteco Group have now installed their first Sapphire Evo hybrid press at a customer site as Japanese printer Kinyosha takes delivery of the new machine.

Kinyosha Printing Company was the second company to sign up for a Sapphire
Kinyosha Printing Company was the second company to sign up for a Sapphire

Fulfilling a deal agreed in February last year, the web press has now started production following installation and an acceptance test completed in mid-December.

Ōguchi, Nagoya-based Kinyosha Printing Company was the second company to sign up for a Sapphire following a deal with Italian packaging printer and convertor Nuova Erreplast, based in Naples, in 2018, though that machine has yet to be installed. The Japanese installation is the first Sapphire to go into full commercial production at a customer site. There is also one running at Kodak’s technology centre in Dayton, Ohio, US.

Izumi Makino, president of Kinyosha subsidiary DP2 International, said: “Kinyosha is looking forward to new business opportunities with the Sapphire Evo and the ability to drive new digital concepts for our customers.

“It is exciting to be the first operating installation site in the world for this groundbreaking capability in the packaging market. The flexibility to digitally print on flexible substrates and papers with environmentally friendly inks will enable us to offer our brand customers new creative solutions.”

First shown at Drupa 2016, the Sapphire Evo has a 650mm web width, with a 622mm print width and 2,530mm repeat length, running at a speed of 300m/min. The press is targeted at users producing up to 20m/sqm per annum.

It can print onto a wide range of plastic films as well paper. The configuration is bespoke, and can include flexo and gravure printing units, additional spot colours and inline lamination, as well as the Kodak Stream continuous inkjet heads.

A CMYK print system, the Sapphire installed by Kinyosha will make use of Kodak’s Stream inkjet lineheads and high-speed digital front end, with Personal Care pigment inks which are certified for skin contact on personal care products and comply with regulations for indirect food contact in the EU and US.

While the cost of investment was not shared, Kodak describes the Uteco Sapphire Evo as “a cost-effective and highly flexible digital solution”.

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